February 5

1782 - The Spanish captured Minorca from the British. 

1783 - Sweden recognized the independence of the United States. 

1846 - "The Oregon Spectator", based in Oregon City, became the first newspaper published on the Pacific coast. 

1861 - Samuel Goodale patented the moving picture peep show machine. 

1885 - Congo State was established under Leopold II of Belgium, as a personal possession. 

1881 - Phoenix, AZ, was incorporated. 

1917 - Mexico's constitution was adopted. 

1917 - The U.S. Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917 (Asiatic Barred Zone Act) with an overwhelming majority. The action overrode President Woodrow Wilson's December 14, 1916 veto. 

1924 - The BBC time signals, or "pips", from Greenwich Observatory were heard for the first time. They are broadcast every hour. 

1931 - Maxine Dunlap became the first woman licensed as a glider pilot. 

1937 - U.S. President Roosevelt proposed enlarging the U.S. Supreme Court. The plan failed. 

1940 - "Amanda of Honeymoon Hill" debuted on radio. 

1952 - In New York City, four signs were installed at 44th Street and Broadway in Times Square that told pedestrians "don't walk." 

1953 - The Walt Disney’s film "Peter Pan" opened at the Roxy Theatre in New York City. 
Disney movies, music and books 

1958 - Gamel Abdel Nasser was formally nominated to become the first president of the United Arab Republic. 

1961 - The first issue of the "Sunday Telegraph" was published. 

1962 - French President Charles De Gaulle called for Algeria's independence. 

1972 - Bob Douglas became the first black man elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. 

1982 - Great Britain imposed economic sanctions against Poland and Russia in protest against martial law in Poland. 

1987 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 2,200-point for the first time. The market closed at 2201.49. 

1988 - A pair of indictments were unsealed in Florida, accusing Panama's military leader, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, of bribery and drug trafficking. 

1994 - White separatist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted in Jackson, MS, of the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. 

1997 - Switzerland's "Big Three" banks announced they would create a $71 million fund for Holocaust victims and their families. 

1997 - Investment bank Morgan Stanley announced a $10 billion merger with Dean Witter. 

1999 - Mike Tyson was sentenced to a year in jail for assaulting two people after a car accident on August 31, 1998. Tyson was also fined $5,000, had to serve 2 years of probation, and had to perform 200 hours of community service upon release. 

2001 - It was announced the Kelly Ripa would be Regis Philbin's cohost. The show was renamed to "Live! With Regis and Kelly." 

2001 - Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman announced their separation. 

2003 - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented evidence to the U.N. concerning Iraq's material breach of U.N. Resolution 1441.

February 6

1778 - The United States gained official recognition from France as the two nations signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris. 

1788 - Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. 

1815 - The state of New Jersey issued the first American railroad charter to John Stevens. 

1843 - "The Virginia Minstrels" opened at the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City. It was the first minstrel show in America. 

1899 - The U.S. Senate ratified a peace treaty between the U.S. and Spain. 

1900 - The Holland Senate ratified the 1899 peace conference decree that created in international arbitration court at The Hague. 

1900 - U.S. President McKinley appointed W.H. Taft as commissioner to report on the Philippines. 

1911 - The first old-age home for pioneers opened in Prescott, AZ. 

1926 - The National Football League adopted a rule that made players ineligible for competition until their college class graduated. 

1932 - Dog sled racing happened for the first time in Olympic competition. 

1933 - The 20th Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect. The amendment moved the start of presidential, vice-presidential and congressional terms from March to January. 

1937 - K. Elizabeth Ohi became the first Japanese woman lawyer when she received her degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL. 

1950 - NBC radio debuted "Dangerous Assignment". 

1952 - Britain's King George VI died. His daughter, Elizabeth II, succeeded him. 

1956 - St. Patrick Center opened in Kankakee, IL. It was the first circular school building in the United States. 

1959 - The U.S., for the first time, successfully test-fired a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral. 

1971 - NASA Astronaut Alan B. Shepard used a six-iron that he had brought inside his spacecraft and swung at three golf balls on the surface of the moon. 

1972 - Over 500,000 pieces of irate mail arrived at the mail room of CBS-TV, when word leaked out that an edited-for-TV version of the X-rated movie, "The Demand," would be shown. 

1985 - The French mineral water company, Perrier, debuted its first new product in 123 years. The new items were water with a twist of lemon, lime or orange. 

1987 - President Ronald Reagan turned 76 years old this day and became the oldest U.S. President in history. 

1998 - Washington National Airport was renamed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan with the signing of a bill by U.S. President Clinton. 

1999 - King Hussein of Jordan transferred full political power to his oldest son the Crown Prince Abdullah. 

1999 - Excerpts of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky's videotaped testimony were shown at President Clinton's impeachment trial. 

1999 - Heavy fighting resumed along the common border between Ethiopia and Eritrea. 

2000 - Russia's acting President Vladimir Putin announced that Russian forces had captured Grozny, Chechnya. The capital city had been under the control of Chechen rebels. 

2000 - In Finland, Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen became the first woman to be elected president. 

2000 - U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton formally declared that she was a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from the state of New York. 

2001 - Ariel Sharon was elected Israeli prime minister. 

2002 - A federal judge ordered John Walker Lindh to be held without bail pending trial. Lindh was known as the "American Taliban."

February 7

1795 - The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. 

1818 - "Academician" began publication in New York City. 

1877 - The first Guernsey Cattle Club was organized in New York City. 

1882 - The last bareknuckle fight for the heavyweight boxing championship took place in Mississippi City. 

1893 - Elisha Gray patented a machine called the telautograph. It automatically signed autographs to documents. 

1913 - The Turks lost 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli. 

1922 - DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace offered 5,000 copies of "Reader's Digest" magazine for the first time. 

1931 - The American opera "Peter Ibbetson," by Deems Taylor, premiered in New York City. 

1936 - The U.S. Vice President’s flag was established by executive order. 

1940 - "Pinocchio" world premiered at the Center Theatre in Manhattan. 

1941 - The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Frank Sinatra recorded "Everything Happens to Me." 

1943 - The U.S. government announced that shoe rationing would go into effect in two days. 

1944 - During World War II, the Germans launched a counteroffensive at Anzio, Italy. 

1959 - The play "The Rivalry" opened in New York City. 

1962 - The U.S. government banned all Cuban imports and re-export of U.S. products to Cuba from other countries. 

1966 - "Crawdaddy" magazine was published by Paul Williams for the first time. 

1974 - The nation of Grenada gained independence from Britain. 

1976 - Darryl Sittler (Toronto Maple Leafs) set a National Hockey League (NHL) record when he scored 10 points in a game against the Boston Bruins. He scored six goals and four assists. 

1977 - Russia launched Soyuz 24. 

1984 - Space shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered space walk. 

1985 - "Sports Illustrated" released its annual swimsuit edition. It was the largest regular edition in the magazine’s history at 218 pages. 

1985 - "New York, New York" became the official anthem of New York City. 

1986 - Haitian President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier fled his country ending 28 years of family rule. 

1991 - The Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was sworn in as Haiti's first democratically elected president. 

1999 - King Hussein of Jordan died. His son was sworn in as king four hours after the announcement that his father had died. 

2000 - California's legislature declared that February 13 would be "Charels M. Schulz Day." 

February 8

1693 - A charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. 

1802 - Simon Willard patented the banjo clock. 

1861 - The Confederate States of America was formed. 

1861 - A Cheyenne delegation and some Arapaho leaders accepted a new settlement (Treaty of Fort Wise) with the U.S. Federal government. The deal ceded most of their land but secured a 600-square mile reservation and annuity payments. 

1896 - The Western Conference was formed by representatives of Midwestern universities. The group changed its name to the Big 10 Conference. 

1900 - In South Africa, British troops under Gen. Buller were beaten at Ladysmith. The British fled over the Tugela River. 

1904 - The Russo-Japanese War began with Japan attacking Russian forces in Manchuria. 

1910 - William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. 

1918 - "The Stars and Stripes" newspaper was published for the first time. 

1922 - The White House began using radio after U.S. President Harding had it installed. 

1927 - The original version of "Getting Gertie’s Garter" opened at the Hippodrome Theatre in New York City. 

1936 - The first National Football League draft was held. Jay Berwanger was the first to be selected. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

1952 - Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne. Her father, George VI, had died on February 6. 

1963 - The Kennedy administration prohibited travel to Cuba and made financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. citizens. 

1963 - Lamar Hunt, owner of the American Football League franchise in Dallas, TX, moved the operation to Kansas City. The new team was named the Chiefs. 

1969 - The last issue of the "Saturday Evening Post" was published. It was revived in 1971 as a quarterly publication and later a 6 times a year. 

1971 - The Nasdaq stock-market index debuted. 

1973 - U.S. Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal. 

1974 - The three-man crew of the Skylab space station returned to Earth after 84 days. 

1978 - The U.S. Senate deliberations were broadcast on radio for the first time. The subject was the Panama Canal treaties. 

1980 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced a plan to re-introduce draft registration. 

1985 - "The Dukes of Hazzard" ended its 6-1/2 year run on CBS television. 

1993 - General Motors sued NBC, alleging that "Dateline NBC" had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that some GM pickups were prone to fires after certain types of crashes. The suit was settled the following day by NBC. 

2002 - The exhibit "Places of Their Own" opened at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The works displayed were by Geogia O'Keeffe, Frida Kahlo and Emily Carr.

February 9

1825 - The U.S. House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president. No candidate had received a majority of electoral votes. 

1861 - The Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis as its president. 

1870 - The United States Weather Bureau was authorized by Congress. The bureau is officially known as the National Weather Service (NWS). 

1884 - Thomas Edison and Patrick Kenny executed a patent application for a chemical recording stock quotation telegraph (U.S. Pat. 314,115). 

1885 - The first Japanese arrived in Hawaii. 

1895 - Volley Ball was invented by W.G. Morgan. 

1895 - The first college basketball game was played as Minnesota State School of Agriculture defeated the Porkers of Hamline College, 9-3. 

1900 - Dwight F. Davis put up a new tennis trophy to go to the winner in matches against England. The trophy was a silver cup that weighed 36 pounds. 

1909 - The first forestry school was incorporated in Kent, Ohio. 

1932 - America entered the 2-man bobsled competition for the first time at the Olympic Winter Games held at Lake Placid, NY. 

1942 - The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff held its first formal meeting to coordinate military strategy during World War II. 

1942 - Daylight-saving "War Time" went into effect in the U.S. 

1943 - During World War II, the battle of Guadalcanal ended with an American victory over Japanese forces. 

1950 - U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that the State Department was riddled with Communists. This was the beginning of "McCarthyism." 

1953 - The movie "Superman" premiered. 

1958 - CBS radio debuted "Frontier Gentleman". 

1960 - A verbal agreement was reached between representatives of the American and National Football Leagues. Both agreed not to tamper with player contracts. 

1960 - The first star was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star was for Joanne Woodward. 

1969 - The Boeing 747 flew its inaugural flight. 

1971 - The San Fernando Valley experienced the Sylmar earthquake that registered 6.4 on the Richter Scale. 

1971 - The Apollo 14 spacecraft returned to Earth after mankind's third landing on the moon. 

1975 - The Russian Soyuz 17 returned to Earth. 

1984 - NBC Entertainment president, Brandon Tartikoff, gave an interviewer the "10 Commandments for TV Programmers." 

1989 - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. completed the $25 billion purchase of RJR Nabisco, Inc. 

1997 - "The Simpsons" became the longest-running prime-time animated series. "The Flintstones" held the record previously. 

2001 - "Hannibal," the sequel to "Silence of the Lambs", opened in theaters.