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.
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."
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."
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.
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.