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.

February 10

1763 - The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. In the treaty France ceded Canada to England. 

1840 - Britain's Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg-Gotha. 

1846 - Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began their exodus to the west from Illinois. 

1863 - In New York City, two of the world’s most famous midgets, General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married. 

1863 - The fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane. 

1870 - The city of Anaheim was incorporated for the first time. 

1870 - The YWCA was founded in New York City. 

1879 - The electric arc light was used for the first time. 

1897 - "The New York Times" began printing "All the news that's fit to print" on their front page. 

1920 - Major league baseball representatives outlawed pitches that involve tampering with the ball. 

1923 - Ink paste was manufactured for the first time by the Standard Ink Company. 

1925 - The first waterless gas storage tank was placed in service in Michigan City, IN. 

1933 - The singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City. 

1933 - Primo Carnera knocked out Ernie Schaaf in round 13 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Schaaf died as a result of the knockout punch. 

1934 - The first imperforated, ungummed sheets of postage stamps were issued by the U.S. Postal Service in New York City. 

1935 - The Pennsylvania Railroad began passenger service with its electric locomotive. The engine was 79-1/2 feet long and weighed 230 tons. 

1942 - The Normandie, the former French liner, capsized in New York Harbor. The day before the ship had caught fire while it was being fitted for the U.S. Navy. 

1949 - "Death of a Salesman" opened at the Morocco Theatre in New York City. 

1962 - The Soviet Union exchanged capture American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for the Soviet spy Rudolph Ivanovich Abel being held by the U.S. 

1967 - The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment required the appointment of a vice-president when that office became vacant and instituted new measures in the event of presidential disability. 

1981 - The Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino caught fire. Eight people were killed and 198 were injured. 

1989 - Ron Brown became the first African American to head a major U.S. political party when he was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee. 

1990 - South African President F.W. de Klerk announced that black activist Nelson Mandela would be released the next day after 27 years in captivity. 

1992 - Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, Miss Black American contestant. 

1997 - The U.S. Army suspended its top-ranking enlisted soldier, Army Sgt. Major Gene McKinney following allegations of sexual misconduct. McKinney was convicted of obstruction of justice and acquitted of 18 counts alleging sexual harassment of six military women. 

1998 - A man became the first to be convicted of committing a hate crime in cyberspace. The college dropout had e-mailed threats to Asian students. 

1998 - Voters in Maine repealed a 1997 gay rights law. Maine was the first state to abandone such legislation. 

1999 - Avalanches killed at least 10 people when they roared down the French Alps 30 miles from Geneva. 

2005 - North Korea publicly announced for the first time that it had nuclear arms. The country also rejected attempts to restart disarmament talks in the near future saying that it needed the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States. 

2009 - A Russian and an American satellite collide over Siberia.

February 11

1752 - The Pennsylvania Hospital opened as the very first hospital in America. 

1808 - Judge Jesse Fell experimented by burning anthracite coal to keep his house warm. He successfully showed how clean the coal burned and how cheaply it could be used as a heating fuel. 

1812 - The term "gerrymandering" had its beginning when the governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry, signed a redistricting law that favored his party. 

1858 - A French girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes. 

1878 - The first U.S. bicycle club, Boston Bicycle Club, was formed. 

1929 - The Lateran Treaty was signed. Italy now recognized the independence and sovereignty of Vatican City. 

1936 - Pumping began the process to build San Francisco's Treasure Island. 

1937 - General Motors agreed to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union, which ended the current sit-down strike against them. 

1940 - NBC radio presented "The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street" for the first time. 

1943 - General Dwight David Eisenhower was selected to command the allied armies in Europe. (Today in World War II History) 

1945 - During World War II, the Yalta Agreement was signed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. (Today in World War II History) 

1957 - The NHL Players Association was formed in New York City. 

1958 - Ruth Carol Taylor was the first black woman to become a stewardess by making her initial flight. 

1960 - Jack Paar walked off while live on the air on the "Tonight Show" with four minutes left. He did this in response to censors cutting out a joke from the show the night before. 

1968 - The new 20,000 seat Madison Square Garden officially opened in New York. This was the fourth Garden. 

1972 - McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. and Life magazine canceled plans to publish an autobiography of Howard Hughes. The work turned out to be fake. 

1975 - Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to head a major party in Britain when she was elected leader of the Conservative Party. 

1979 - Nine days after the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran (after 15 years in exile) power was seized by his followers. 

1982 - ABC-TV’s presentation of "The Winds of War" concluded. The 18-hour miniseries cost $40 million to produce and was the most-watched television program in history at the time. 

1982 - France nationalized five groups of major industries and 39 banks. 

1984 - The tenth Space Shuttle mission returned to Earth safely. 

1989 - Rev. Barbara C. Harris became the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church. 

1990 - Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity. 

1990 - In Tokyo, Japan, James "Buster" Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in the tenth round to win the heavyweight championship. 

1993 - Janet Reno was appointed to the position of attorney general by U.S. President Clinton. She was the first female to hold the position. 

2000 - The space shuttle Endeavor took off. The mission was to gather information for the most detailed map of the earth ever made. 

2000 - Great Britain suspended self-rule in Northern Ireland after the Irish Republican Army (IRA) failed to begin decommissioning (disarming) by a February deadline. 

2002 - The six stars on NBC's "Friends" signed a deal for $24 million each for the ninth and final season of the series. 

2006 - In Texas, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a quail hunt. 

2009 - John Dingell of Michigan became the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He had more than 53 years of service.

February 12

1541 - The city of Santiago, Chile was founded. 

1554 - Lady Jane Grey was beheaded after being charged with treason. She had claimed the throne of England for only nine days. 

1733 - Savannah, GA, was founded by English colonist James Oglethorpe. 

1870 - In the Utah Territory, women gained the right to vote. 

1878 - Frederick W. Thayer patented the baseball catcher’s mask. 

1879 - The first artificial ice rink opened in North America. It was at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. 

1880 - The National Croquet League was organized in Philadelphia, PA. 

1892 - In the U.S., President Lincoln's birthday was declared to be a national holiday. 

1907 - A collision of the steamer Larchmont and a schooler resulted in the death of more than 300 people. The incident occurred off New England's Block Island. 

1909 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded. 

1912 - China's boy emperor Hsuan T'ung announced that he was abdicating, ending the Manchu Ch'ing dynasty. Subsequently, the Republic of China was established. 

1915 - The cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial was laid in Washington, DC. 

1918 - All theatres in New York City were shut down in an effort to conserve coal. 

1924 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge made the first presidential political speech on radio. 

1924 - "The Eveready Hour" became radio’s first sponsored network program. The National Carbon Company was the first sponsor of a network show. 

1934 - The Export-Import Bank was incorporated. 

1940 - Mutual Radio presented the first broadcast of the radio play "The Adventures of Superman." 

1968 - "Soul on Ice" by Eldridge Cleaver was published for the first time. 

1971 - James Cash (J.C.) Penney died at the age of 95. The company closed for business for one-half day as a memorial to the company's founder. 

1973 - The State of Ohio went metric, becoming the first in the U.S. to post metric distance signs. 

1973 - American prisoners of war were released for the first time during the Vietnam conflict. 

1985 - Johnny Carson surprised his audience by shaving the beard he had been wearing on "The Tonight Show." 

1993 - In Liverpool, England, a 2-year-old boy, James Bulger, was lured away from his mother at a shopping mall and beaten to death. Two ten-year-old boys were responsible. 

1998 - A U.S. federal judge declared that the presidential line-item veto was unconstitutional. 

1999 - U.S. President Clinton was acquitted by the U.S. Senate on two impeachment articles. The charges were perjury and obstruction of justice. 

2001 - The space probe NEAR landed on the asteroid Eros. It was the first time that any craft had landed on a small space rock. 

2002 - Kenneth Lay, former Enron CEO, exercised his constitutional rights and refused to testify to the U.S. Congress about the collapse of Enron. 

2002 - The trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic began at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague. Milosevic was accused of war crimes during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. 

2002 - Pakistan charged three men in connection with the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi. 

2002 - Princess Stephanie of Monaco and Franco Knie won a defamation-of-character lawsuit against the Swiss magazine "Facts." The case involved a photomontage created by the magazine. 

2003 - The U.N. nuclear agency declared North Korea in violation of international treaties. The complaint was sent to the Security Council. 

2004 - Mattel announced that "Barbie" and "Ken" were breaking up. The dolls had met on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961. 

February 13

1542 - Catherine Howard was executed for adultery. She was the fifth wife of England's King Henry VIII. 

1633 - Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition. 

1635 - The Boston Public Latin School was established. It was the first public school building in the United States. 

1741 - "The American Magazine," the first magazine in the U.S., was published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

1875 - Mrs. Edna Kanouse gave birth to America’s first quintuplets. All five of the baby boys died within two weeks. 

1880 - Thomas Edison observed what became known as the Edison Effect for the first time. 

1889 - Norman Coleman became the first U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. 

1900 - The Anglo-German accord of 1899 was ratified by Reichstag, in which Britain renounced rights in Samoa in favor of Germany and the U.S. 

1914 - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members. 

1920 - The League of Nations recognized the continued neutrality of Switzerland. 

1920 - The National Negro Baseball League was organized. 

1935 - In Flemington, New Jersey, a jury found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of the kidnapping and death of the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed for the crimes. 

1937 - The comic strip "Prince Valiant" appeared for the first time. 

1939 - Virginia Payne became a new character in NBC’s soap opera, "The Carter’s of Elm Street". She played the part of Mrs. Carter. 

1945 - During World War II, the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the German army. 

1945 - During World War II, Allied aircraft began bombing the German city of Dresden. 

1947 - "Family Theatre" was heard for the first time on Mutual radio. 

1955 - Israel acquired 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls. 

1960 - France detonated its first atomic bomb. 

1965 - Sixteen-year-old Peggy Fleming won the ladies senior figure skating title at Lake Placid, NY. 

1971 - South Vietnamese troops invaded Laos. They were backed by U.S. air and artillery support. 

1984 - Konstantin Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov. 

1985 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high of 1297.92 after it topped the 1300 mark earlier in the trading session. 

1990 - In Ottawa, the United States and its European allies forged an agreement with the Soviet Union and East Germany on a two-stage formula to reunite Germany. 

1991 - Hundreds of Iraqis were killed by two laser-guided bombs that destroyed an underground facility in Baghdad. U.S. officials identified the facility as a military installation, but Iraqi officials said it was a bomb shelter. 

1997 - Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery brought the Hubble Space Telescope aboard for a tune up. The tune up allowed the telescope to see further into the universe. 

1997 - The Dow Jones industrial average passed the 7,000 mark for the first time. The day ended at 7,022.44. 

1999 - A bomb exploded just outside a government-owned bank in southern Kosovo. Nine people were killed. 

2000 - Charles M. Schulz's last original Sunday "Peanuts" comic strip appeared in newspapers. Schulz had died the day before. 

2001 - El Savador was hit with an earthquake that measured 6.6 on the Richter Scale. At least 400 people were killed. 

2002 - In Alexandria, VA, John Walker Lindh pled innocent to a 10-count federal indictment. He was charged with conspiring to kill Americans and aiding Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. 

2002 - Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. 

2008 - Roger Clemens denied having taken performance-enhancing drugs in testimony before Congress. 

2008 - Hollywood writers ended a 100-day strike.