Today in History

Today in History


1066Feb 28Westminster Abbey opened.
1533Feb 28Michel de Montaigne (d.1592), was born near Bordeaux, France.  He was the French moralist who created the personal essay. Montaigne was brought up by his father under peasant guidance and a German tutor for Latin. He spent a lifetime of political service under Henry IV, and then composed his “Essays.” This was the first book to reveal with utter honesty and frankness the author’s mind and heart. Montaigne sought to reach beyond his own illusions, to see himself as he really was, which was not just the way others saw him. “Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.”
1569Feb 28The Lithuanian delegation pulled out of union talks with Poland and departed Liublin.
1573Feb 28Elias Hill, German architect, city builder (Augsburg), was born.
1574Feb 28On the orders of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, two Englishmen and an Irishman were burnt for heresy.
1609Feb 28Paul Sartorius (39), composer, died.
1610Feb 28Thomas West, Baron de La Mar, was appointed governor of Virginia.
1626Feb 28Cyril Tourneur (c51), English poet, dramatist, died.
1632Feb 28Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer, was born in Florence, Italy. [see Nov 28]
1638Feb 28Scottish Presbyterians signed the National Covenant at Greyfriars, Edinburgh.
1638Feb 28Henri duc de Rohan, French soldier, Huguenot leader, died.
1646Feb 28Roger Scott was tried in Massachusetts for sleeping in church.
1663Feb 28Thomas Newcomen, English co-inventor of the steam engine, was born.
1692Feb 28The Salem witch hunts began.
1704Feb 28Indians attacked Deerfield, Mass., killing 40 and kidnapping 100.
1708Feb 28A slave revolt in Newton, Long Island, NY, left 11 dead.
1728Feb 28Georg F. Handel’s opera “Siroe, re di Persia,” premiered in London.
1749Feb 28The 1st edition of “The History of Tom Jones: A foundling” was published. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) wrote the book and a film based on the novel was made in 1963. A TV production premiered in 1998.
1759Feb 28Pope Clement XIII allowed the Bible to be translated into various languages.
1778Feb 28Rhode Island General Assembly authorized the enlistment of slaves.
1784Feb 28John Wesley (1703-1791) chartered the Methodist Church. His teaching emphasized field preaching along with piety, probity and respectability. In 2003 Roy Hattersley authored “A Brand from the Burning: The Life of John Wesley.”
1801Feb 28Motiejus Valancius, Lithuanian educator, historian, writer and bishop, was born in Nasrenai in the Kretinga region. He died May 29, 1875, in Kaunas. His portrait is on the 2-litas note.
1810Feb 28The 1st US fire insurance joint-stock company was organized in Philadelphia.
1813Feb 28Russia and Prussia formed the Kalisz union against Napoleon.
1820Feb 28John Tenniel, illustrator of “Alice in Wonderland,” was born.
1823Feb 28Ernst Renan, French philosopher, historian, scholar of religion, was born.
1824Feb 28Charles Blondin, tightrope walker, was born.
1825Feb 28Quincy Adams Gillmore (d.1888), Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1827Feb 28The first U.S. railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co., was incorporated.
1844Feb 28A 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer and several others.
1847Feb 28Colonel Alexander Doniphan and his ragtag Missouri Mounted Volunteers rode to victory at the Battle of Sacramento during the Mexican War.
1849Feb 28The steamer California, sounding the first steamship whistle on the SF Bay, arrived in SF with San Francisco postmaster John W. Geary on board carrying mail for the Pacific coast. Steamboat service began from Panama City to SF. Pacific Mail Steamship Co. sent the side-wheel steamship California to SF with American gold-seekers and 50 Peruvian miners. Also onboard were preacher Osgood C. Wheeler (32) and his wife Elizabeth.
1852Feb 28The French ship arrived in San Francisco from Le Havre with some 200 lottery emigrants. They included criminals, political prisoners, honest workers, common thugs and others considered undesirable. France had organized a national lottery for a gold bar and used the proceeds to ship people to California.
1854Feb 28Some 50 slavery opponents met in Ripon, Wis., to call for creation of a new political group, which became the Republican Party. [see Mar 20, Jul 6]
1859Feb 28Arkansas legislature required free blacks to choose exile or slavery.
1861Feb 28The territory of Colorado was organized.
1862Feb 28Karl Goldmark’s opera “The Queen of Sheba,” premiered in Paris.
1863Feb 28Four Union gunboats destroyed the CSS Nashville near Fort McAllister, Ga. Popular during the Crimean War, the floating battery was revived by hard-pressed Confederates because the popular gunboats were not capable of doing the things that the batteries could do.
1864Feb 28-Mar 3A skirmish took place at Albemarle County, Virginia (Burton’s Ford).
1871Feb 28The 2nd Enforcement Act set federal control of congressional elections.
1879Feb 28In the “Exodus of 1879” southern blacks fled political and economic exploitation.
1882Feb 28Geraldine Farrar, US soprano, actress (Story of American Singer), was born.
1883Feb 281st US vaudeville theater opened in Boston.
1888Feb 28Vincent d’Indy’s Wallenstein trilogy, premiered.
1890Feb 28Vaslav Nijinsky, ballet dancer (3/12 NS), was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He was the pre-eminent ballet artist of his day and at 20 became the protege and lover of Sergei Diaghilev. He spent some time in psychotherapy during which he made a number of abstract drawings. Nijinsky died in 1950 in London.
1893Feb 28Edward Acheson of Pennsylvania, patented an abrasive he named “carborundum.”
1894Feb 28Ben Hecht (d.1964), American author and screenwriter, was born. “There’s one thing that keeps surprising you about stormy old friends after they die -  their silence.”
1895Feb 28Guiomar Novaes, pianist (Brazilian Order of Merit), was born in Brazil.
1895Feb 28Marcel Pagnol, French playwright, director (Marchands de Gloire), was born.
1896Feb 28Philip Showalter Hench, physician (cortisone-Nobel), was born in Pittsburgh.
1900Feb 28After a 119-day siege by the Boers, the English defenders of Ladysmith, under General Sir George White were relieved.
1901Feb 28Linus Pauling, American chemist, was born in Portland, Oregon. He won the Nobel Prize for chemistry (1954) and a Nobel Peace Prize (1962) for his arguments for nuclear disarmament. He also advocated major doses of vitamin C to maintain health.
1904Feb 28Vincent d’Indy’s 2nd Symphony in B premiered.
1905Feb 28Jane Lathrop Stanford, the wife of Leland Stanford, died of suspected arsenic poisoning at the Moana Hotel in Honolulu.
1906Feb 28Bugsy Siegel, gangster who created casinos in Las Vegas, was born.
1907Feb 28Milton Caniff, cartoonist (Terry and the Pirates), was born in Hillsboro, Ohio.
1909Feb 28Stephen Spender (d.1995), English poet, critic, was born.
1910Feb 28Vincente Minnelli, director (American in Paris, Gigi), was born in Chicago, IL.
1911Feb 28Denis Burkitt, British medical researcher, was born.
1915Feb 28Zero “Samuel” Mostel (d.1977), actor (Fiddler on the Roof), was born in Brooklyn.
1916Feb 28Haiti became the first U.S. protectorate.
1917Feb 28Russian Duma set up a Provisional Committee; workers set up Soviets.
1920Feb 28Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” premiered.
1922Feb 28Britain declared Egypt a sovereign state, but British troops remained.
1923Feb 28Charles Durning, actor (Fury, Sting, Tootsie), was born in Highland Falls, NY.
1924Feb 28U.S. troops were sent to Honduras to protect American interests during an election conflict.
1925Feb 28“Tea For Two” by Marion Harris hit #1.
1926Feb 28Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin, author (My Life), was born.
1928Feb 28Smokey the Bear was created.
1931Feb 28Oswald Mosley founded his New Party.
1933Feb 28Hitler disallowed the German communist party (KPD).
1935Feb 28Nylon was discovered by Dr. Wallace H. Carothers.
1936Feb 28The Japanese Army restored order in Tokyo and arrested officers involved in a coup.
1939Feb 28Great Britain recognized the Franco regime in Spain. [see Feb 27, 1938]
1940Feb 28The Superliner Queen Elizabeth was launched in Britain.
1942Feb 28Japanese landed in Java, the last Allied bastion in Dutch East Indies.
1943Feb 28“Porgy & Bess” opened on Broadway with Anne Brown & Todd Duncan.
1943Feb 28In Operation Gunnerside Norwegian commandos flown in from Britain destroyed the Nazi heavy water plant near Rjukan. The raid was later depicted in the 1965 film “The Heroes of Telemark.” The 9 commandos included Claus Helberg (d.2003) and Knut Haukelid (d.1994).
1945Feb 28U.S. tanks broke the natural defense line west of the Rhine and crossed the Erft River.
1946Feb 28The U.S. Army declared that it would use the V-2 rocket to test radar as an atomic rocket defense system.
1947Feb 28There was an anti-Kuomintang demonstration on Taiwan. As many as 20,000 civilians were massacred by the Kuomintang (KMT). A riot was sparked by the arrest of a woman selling contraband cigarettes in Taipei. Crowds attacked the Nationalist Party institutions as Nationalist troops and secret police struck back over the ensuing months. In 1996 a 69 cent postage stamp was planned in commemoration of the “228 Incident.” In 2006 a team from UC Berkeley won a design competition for a 15-acre “228 National Memorial Park.
1948Feb 28The last British troops left India. The First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry passed through the Gateway of India monument in a ceremony.
1950Feb 28The French Assembly in Paris decided to limit the sale of Coca-Cola.
1951Feb 28The Senate committee headed by Estes Kefauver, D-Tenn., Issued a preliminary report saying at least two major crime syndicates were operating in the United States.
1953Feb 28Stalin met with Beria, Bulganin, Khrushchev and Malenkov.)
1960Feb 28The Eighth Winter Olympic Games formally closed in Squaw Valley, Calif.
1967Feb 28Art Davidson, Ray Genet and Dave Johnston completed the first winter ascent of Alaska’s Mount McKinley. On their descent they became trapped by a storm for 6 days at 18,500 feet in an ice-cave. In 1969 Art Davidson authored “Minus 148°.”
1969Feb 28A Los Angeles court refused Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan’s request to be executed.
1970Feb 28Bicycles were permitted to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.
1971Feb 28The male electorate in Lichtenstein refused to give voting rights to women.
1972Feb 28President Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai signed the Shanghai Communique at the Jin Jiang Hotel Assembly Hall on the last night of Nixon’s visit.
1974Feb 28Britain’s Labor Party won the parliamentary election. No party had an overall majority resulting in a hung parliament. This lasted until elections in October.
1975Feb 28The EU signed another trade deal in Lome, Togo, to keep markets open to former European colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands (ACP)
1977Feb 28Eddie “Rochester” Anderson (b.1905), African-American comedian, died.
1978Feb 28Consuelo Kanaga (b.1894), San Francisco photographer, died.
1979Feb 28Ernest Thompson’s play “On Golden Pond,” premiered in NYC.
1982Feb 28The FALN, a Puerto Rican Nationalist Group, bombed Wall Street. 4 powerful bombs detonated in front of business institutions in New York’s financial district.
1983Feb 28The last episode of M*A*S*H was shown. A record 125 million made MASH the most watched TV show.
1984Feb 28New Hampshire held its presidential primary. Ronald Reagan won with 86.1% of the total vote. Gary Hart won the Democratic tally over Walter Mondale and John Glenn.
1986Feb 28In the Philippines Pres. Corazon Aquino signed executive order No. 1 creating the Presidential Commission on Good Governance. It was created to trace and recover assets stolen under the Marcos regime, estimated at up to $10 billion. By 2007 only a quarter of that number was retrieved.
1988Feb 28The 15th Olympic Winter Games held its closing ceremony in Calgary, Canada.
1989Feb 28In Chicago, Richard M. Daley, son of Mayor Richard J. Daley who served as mayor for 21 years, defeated acting Mayor Eugene Sawyer in a Democratic primary election.
1990Feb 28In San Francisco protesters lit the street outside the St. Francis Hotel with a flaming torch parade and bonfire as part of demonstrations against a visit by Pres. George H.W. Bush.
1991Feb 28NCR Corporation acquired the Teradata Company specializing in data warehousing and analytic applications.
1992Feb 28Twenty-eight people were injured when an IRA bomb exploded at London Bridge train station.
1993Feb 28Ishiro Honda (81), Japanese director, producer (Godzilla), died.
1994Feb 28Two U.S. F-16 fighter jets downed four Serb warplanes that U.N. officials said had bombed an arms plant run by Bosnia’s Muslim-led government. This was the first NATO use of force in the troubled area.
1995Feb 28U.S. Marines swept ashore in Somalia to protect retreating U.N. peacekeepers.
1996Feb 28Russia joined the Council of Europe and halted capital punishment. The Russian Federation had applied to join the Council of Europe on 7 May 1992.
1997Feb 28Brushing aside congressional calls for a tougher stance against Mexico, President Clinton recertified the country as a fully cooperating ally in the struggle against drug smuggling.
1998Feb 28In weekly radio addresses, President Clinton and Republicans sparred over education, with Clinton describing tests showing American high school students lagging behind those of other industrial nations as a “wake-up call” while the Republicans blamed the disappointing results on a “hungry bureaucracy in Washington” that gobbles up education funds.
1999Feb 28A US air strike in Iraq was said to have damaged an oil pipeline, stopped the flow of oil and killed one Iraqi. The US denied the charges. Iraq claimed that a communications center for a major oil pipeline into Turkey was struck.
2000Feb 28In Massachusetts computer-industry publisher Patrick J. McGovern and his wife, Lore Harp McGovern, pledged a $350 million donation over 20 years to MIT to finance brain research.
2001Feb 28China ratified a UN-sponsored human rights treaty but backed away from a guarantee of workers’ rights
2002Feb 28Dr. Ellen Feinberg (43) stabbed to death her 10-year-old son and wounded a younger son in Champaign, Ill.
2003Feb 28The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood by its ruling that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because of the words “under God.”
2004Feb 28The Bow Mariner, a tanker carrying 3.5 million gallons of ethanol, exploded and sank off Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Three crewmen were known dead and six others were rescued. 18 crew members were left missing.
2005Feb 28The US Mint began distributing new buffalo nickels to banks. The reverse side showed a bolder profile of Thomas Jefferson.
2006Feb 28The US Supreme Court voted 8-0 to bar the use of racketeering laws against antiabortion protesters.
2007Feb 28The US government said the nation has 754,000 homeless people, filling emergency shelters through the year and spilling into special seasonal shelters in the coldest months.
2008Feb 28The Pew Center on the States reported that 1% of adult Americans are in jail or prison, an all-time high that cost state governments nearly $50 billion a year in addition to over $5 billion spent by the federal government. The US led the world in the percentage of residents incarcerated with China a distant second.
2009Feb 28In Louisiana 3 ½ years after Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard pulled the last of its troops out of New Orleans, leaving behind a city still desperate and dangerous.
2010Feb 28The US White House called for a “simple up-or-down” vote on health care legislation as Speaker Nancy Pelosi appealed to House Democrats to get behind President Barack Obama’s chief domestic priority even it if threatens their political careers.
2011Feb 28A Pentagon official said the US military is repositioning naval and air forces around Libya, as international demands intensify for an end to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s decades-long rule.
2012Feb 28In the US Republican primaries Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, won 41% to Rick Santorum’s 38% in Michigan. Romney won Arizona with 48% to Santorum’s 26%, with 76% of the vote counted.
2013Feb 28US Army Pvt. Bradley Manning (25), accused of providing secret documents to the WikiLeaks website, pleaded guilty to misusing classified material he felt “should become public,” but denied the top charge of aiding the enemy.
2014Feb 28In northern Yemen at least 13 people died when Shi’ite Muslim fighters clashed with security forces. The violence erupted after members of the Houthi group staged a protest in al Hazm.
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Source: Timelines in History



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