February 19

1807 - Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. He was later tried and acquitted on charges of treason. 

1846 - The formal transfer of government between Texas and the United States took place. Texas had officially become a state on December 29, 1845. 

1856 - The tintype camera was patented by Professor Hamilton L. Smith. 

1864 - The Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, DC. A dozen members formed what became Lodge No. 1. 

1878 - Thomas Alva Edison patented a music player (the phonograph). 

1881 - Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages. 

1922 - Ed Wynn became the first big-name, vaudeville talent to sign on as a radio talent. 

1942 - U.S. President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans. 

1942 - The New York Yankees announced that they would admit 5,000 uniformed servicemen free to each of their home ball games during the coming season. 

1942 - Approximately 150 Japanese warplanes attacked the Australian city of Darwin. 

1945 - During World War II, about 30,000 U.S. Marines landed on Iwo Jima. 

1949 - Bollingen Foundation and Yale University awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry ($5,000) to Ezra Pound. 

1953 - The State of Georgia approved the first literature censorship board in the U.S. Newspapers were excluded from the new legislation. 

1959 - Cyprus was granted its independence with the signing of an agreement with Britain, Turkey and Greece. 

1963 - The Soviet Union informed U.S. President Kennedy it would withdraw "several thousand" of its troops in Cuba. 

1981 - The U.S. State Department call El Savador a "textbook case" of a Communist plot. 

1981 - Ford Motor Company announced its loss of $1.5 billion. 

1985 - Mickey Mouse was welcomed to China as part of the 30th anniversary of Disneyland. The touring mouse played 30 cities in 30 days. 

1985 - William Schroeder became the first artificial-heart patient to leave the confines of the hospital. 

1985 - Cherry Coke was introduced by the Coca-Cola Company. 

1986 - The U.S. Senate approved a treaty outlawing genocide. The pact had been submitted 37 years earlier for ratification. 

1986 - The Soviet Union launched the Mir space station. 

1987 - A controversial, anti-smoking publice service announcement aired for the first time on television. Yul Brynner filmed the ad shortly before dying of lung cancer. Brynner made it clear in the ad that he would have died from cigarette smoking before ad aired. 

1997 - Deng Xiaoping of China died at the age of 92. He was the last of China's major revolutionaries. 

1999 - Dennis Franz received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

2001 - The museum at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center was dedicated. 

2002 - NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft began using its thermal emission imaging system to map Mars. 

2004 - Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the energy trader's collapse. Skilling was later convicted and sentenced to more than 24 years in prison. 

2005 - The USS Jimmy Carter was commissioned at Groton, CT. It was the last of the Seawolf class of attack submarines. 

2008 - Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency. His brother Raul was later named as his successor.

February 20

1673 - The first recorded wine auction took place in London. 

1792 - U.S. President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act thereby creating the U.S. Post Office. 

1809 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was greater than that of any individual state. 

1815 - The USS Constitution, under Captain Charles Stewart fought the British ships Cyane and Levant. The Constitution captures both, but lost the Levant after encountering a British squadron. The Constitution and the Cyane returned to New York safely on May 15, 1815. The Cyane was purchased and became the USS Cyane

1839 - The U.S. Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia. 

1872 - Luther Crowell received a patent for a machine that manufactured paper bags. 

1872 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City. 

1872 - Silas Noble and J.P. Cooley patented the toothpick manufacturing machine. 

1873 - The University of California got its first Medical School. 

1880 - The American Bell Company was incorporated. 

1901 - The first territorial legislature of Hawaii convened. 

1921 - The motion picture "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" was released starring Rudolph Valentino. 

1931 - The U.S. Congress allowed California to build the Oakland Bay Bridge. 

1933 - The U.S. House of Representatives completed congressional action on the amendment to repeal Prohibition. 

1944 - "Big Week" began as U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers during World War II. 

1952 - Emmett L. Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball. He was authorized to be a substitute in the Southwestern International League. 

1952 - "The African Queen" opened at the Capitol Theatre in New York City. 

1958 - Racing jockey Eddie Arcaro got win number 4,000, as he rode the winner at Santa Anita race track in Southern California. 

1962 - John Glenn made space history when he orbited the world three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes. He was the first American to orbit the Earth. He was aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule. 

1965 - Ranger 8 crashed on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of its surface. 

1987 - After 11 years, David Hartman left ABC’s "Good Morning America." 

1987 - A bomb exploded in a computer store in Salt Lake City, UT. The blast was blamed on the Unabomber. 

1993 - Two ten-year-old boys were charged by police in Liverpool, England, in the abduction and death of a toddler. The two boys were later convicted. 

1998 - American Tara Lipinski, at age 15, became the youngest gold medalist in winter Olympics history when she won the ladies' figure skating title at Nagano, Japan. 

2001 - FBI Agent Robert Phillip Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for the Russians for 15 years. 

2002 - In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire raced through a train killing at least 370 people and injuring at least 65. 

2003 - In West Warwick, RI, 99 people were killed when fire destroyed the nightclub The Station. The fire started with sparks from a pyrotechnic display being used by Great White. Ty Longley, guitarist for Great White, was one of the victims in the fire.

February 21

1804 - The first self-propelled locomotive on rails was demonstrated in Wales. 

1842 - John J. Greenough patented the sewing machine. 

1848 - The Communist Manifesto was published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. 

1858 - The first electric burglar alarm was installed in Boston, MA. 

1866 - Lucy B. Hobbs became the first woman to graduate from a dental school. The school was the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati. 

1874 - The Oakland Daily Tribune began publication. 

1878 - The first telephone directories issued in the U.S. were distributed to residents in New Haven, CT. It was a single page of only fifty names. 

1904 - The National Ski Association was formed in Ishpeming, MI. 

1916 - During World War I, the Battle of Verdun began in France. The battle ended on December 18, 1916 with a French victory over Germany. 

1925 - The first issue of "The New Yorker" was published. 

1932 - William N. Goodwin patented the camera exposure meter. 

1943 - "Free World Theatre" debuted on the Blue network (now ABC radio). 

1945 - "The Lion and the Mouse" was first broadcast on "Brownstone Theatre." 

1947 - Edwin Land demonstrated the Polaroid Land Camera to the Optical Society of America in New York City. It was the first camera to take, develop and print a picture on photo paper all in about 60 seconds. The photos were black and white. The camera went on sale the following year. 

1950 - The first International Pancake Race was held in Liberal, Kansas. 

1965 - Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City at the age of 39 by assassins identified as Black Muslims. 

1968 - An agreement between baseball players and club owners increased the minimum salary for major league players to $10,000 a year. 

1973 - Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert. More than 100 people were killed. 

1975 - Former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up. 

1988 - In Baton Rouge, LA, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart confessed to his congregation that he was guilty of an unspecified sin. He announced that he was leaving the pulpit temporarily. Swaggart had been linked to an admitted prostitute. 

1989 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush called Ayatollah Khomeini's death warrant against "Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie "deeply offensive to the norms of civilized behavior." 

1995 - Chicago stockbroker Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon. He landed in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada. 

1999 - India's Prime Minister Atal Bihair Vajpayee concluded two days of meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Mohammad Nowaz Sharif. 

2000 - David Letterman returned to his Late Night show about five weeks after having an emergency quintuple heart bypass operation.

2003 - David Hasselhoff and his wife Pamela were injured in a motorcycle accident. The accident was caused by a strong gust of wind. Hasselhoff fractured his lower back and broke several ribs. His wife fractured her left ankle and right wrist. 

February 22

1630 - Quadequine introduced popcorn to English colonists at their first Thanksgiving dinner. 

1784 - "Empress of China", a U.S. merchant ship, left New York City for the Far East. 

1819 - Spain ceded Florida to the United States. 

1855 - The U.S. Congress voted to appropriate $200,000 for continuance of the work on the Washington Monument. The next morning the resolution was tabled and it would be 21 years before the Congress would vote on funds again. Work was continued by the Know-Nothing Party in charge of the project. 

1859 - U.S. President Buchanan approved the Act of February 22, 1859, which incorporated the Washington National Monument Society "for the purpose of completing the erection now in progress of a great National Monument to the memory of Washington at the seat of the Federal Government." 

1860 - Organized baseball’s first game was played in San Francisco, CA. 

1865 - In the U.S., Tennessee adopted a new constitution that abolished slavery. 

1879 - In Utica, NY, Frank W. Woolworth opened his first 5 and 10-cent store. 

1885 - The Washington Monument was officially dedicated in Washington, DC. It opened to the public in 1889. 

1892 - "Lady Windermere's Fan", by Oscar Wilde, was first performed. 

1920 - The first dog race track to use an imitation rabbit opened in Emeryville, CA. 

1923 - The first successful chinchilla farm opened in Los Angeles, CA. It was the first farm of its kind in the U.S. 

1924 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House. 

1954 - ABC radio’s popular "Breakfast Club" program was simulcast on TV for the first time. 

1969 - Barbara Jo Rubin became the first woman to win a U.S. thoroughbred horse race. 

1973 - The U.S. and Communist China agreed to establish liaison offices. 

1984 - The U.S. Census Bureau statistics showed that the state of Alaska was the fastest growing state of the decade with an increase in population of 19.2 percent. 

1994 - The U.S. Justice Department charged Aldrich Ames and his wife with selling national secrets to the Soviet Union. Ames was later convicted to life in prison. Ames' wife received a 5-year prison term. 

1997 - Scottish scientist Ian Wilmut and colleagues announced that an adult sheep had been successfully cloned. Dolly was actually born on July 5, 1996. Dolly was the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell. 

2002 - In the Philippines, An MH-47E Chinook helicopter crashed into the ocean. All 10 men aboard were killed.

February 23

1574 - France began the 5th holy war against the Huguenots. 

1660 - Charles XI became the king of Sweden. 

1792 - The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated. 

1813 - The first U.S. raw cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham, MA. 

1820 - The Cato Street conspiracy was uncovered. 

1821 - The Philadelphia College of Apothecaries established the first pharmacy college. 

1822 - Boston was incorporated as a city. 

1836 - In San Antonio, TX, the siege of the Alamo began. 

1839 - In Boston, MA, William F. Harnden organized the first express service between Boston and New York City. It was the first express service in the U.S. 

1847 - Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary. 

1861 - U.S. President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore. 

1861 - Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union. 

1870 - The state of Mississippi was readmitted to the Union. 

1874 - Walter Winfield patented a game called "sphairistike." More widely known as lawn tennis. 

1875 - J. Palisa discovered asteroid #143 (aka Adria). 

1883 - Alabama became the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law. 

1886 - Charles M. Hall completed his invention of aluminum. 

1887 - The French/Italian Riviera was hit by an earthquake that killed about 2,000. 

1896 - The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield. 

1898 - In France, Emile Zola was imprisoned for his letter, "J'accuse," which accused the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus. 

1900 - The Battle of Hart's Hill took place in South Africa between the Boers and the British army. 

1904 - The U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million. 

1905 - The Rotary Club was founded in Chicago, IL, by Attorney Paul Harris and three others. 

1910 - In Philadelphia, PA, the first radio contest was held. 

1915 - Nevada began enforcing convenient divorce law. 

1916 - The U.S. Congress authorizes the McKinley Memorial $1 gold coin. 

1919 - The Fascist Party was formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini. 

1927 - The Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934 the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

1932 - Robert Short became the first American to die in an arial battle with the Japanese. (more info) 

1940 - Russian troops conquered Lasi Island. 

1940 - Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" was released. 

1945 - The 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reached the top of Mount Surabachi. A photograph of these Marines raising the American flag was taken. 

1954 - The first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh, PA. 

1955 - The French government was formed by Edgar Faure. 

1957 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NFL operations did fall within coverage of antitrust laws. 

1958 - Juan Fangio, 5-time world diving champion, was kidnapped by Cuban rebels. 

1963 - The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It prohibited poll taxes in federal elections. 

1966 - The Bitar government in Syria was ended with a military coup. 

1967 - Jim Ryun set a record in the half-mile run when ran it in 1:48.3. 

1968 - Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia 76ers) became the first player to score 25,000 career points in the NBA. 

1970 - Guyana became a republic. 

1974 - The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th. 

1980 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared that Iran's new parliament would have to decide the fate of the hostages taken on November 4, 1979, at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. 

1985 - The TV show "Gimme a Break" was broadcast live before a studio audience. It was the first TV sitcom to be seen live since the 1950s. 

1991 - During the Persian Gulf War, ground forces crossed the border of Saudi Arabia into the country of Iraq. Less than four days later the war was over due to the surrender or withdraw of Iraqi forces. 

1993 - Gary Coleman won a $1,280,000 lawsuit against his parents. 

1995 - The Dow Jones Industrial closed about 4,000 for the first time at 4,003.33. 

1997 - NBC-TV aired "Schindler's List." It was completely uncensored. 

1997 - Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian teacher, opened fire on the 86th-floor observation deck of New York City's Empire State Building. He killed one person and wounded six more before killing himself. 

1998 - In central Florida, tornadoes killed 42 people and damaged and/or destroyed about 2,600 homes and businesses. 

1999 - In Ankara, Turkey, Abdullah Ocalan was charged with treason. The prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for the Kurdish rebel leader. 

1999 - White supremacist John William King was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering James Byrd Jr. Byrd was dragged behind a truck for two miles on a country road in Texas. 

2000 - Robby Knievel made a successful motorcycle jump of 200 feet over an oncoming train. 

2005 - The New York, NY, city medical examiner's office annouced that it had exhausted all efforts to identify the remains of the people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, due to the limits of DNA technology. About 1,600 people had been identified leaving more than 1,100 unidentified.