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On February 20th...
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1437 King James I of Scotland died.
1472 Orkney and Shetland were given to Scotland by Norway, via a dowry payment.
1482 Florentine sculptor Luca della Robbia died.
1768 The first American chartered fire insurance company opened.
1790 Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died.
1792 The U.S. Postal Service was created.
1808 French painter and caricaturist Honoré Daumier was born.
1809 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government's power is greater than that of any state.
1829 Actor Joseph Jefferson was born.
1834 British humorist and author George Du Maurier was born.
1861 The Department of the Navy of the Confederacy was formed.
1872 The hydraulic
electric elevator was patented by Cyrus Baldwin.
1895 Frederick Douglass, abolitionist lecturer and leader, died.
1902 Photographer Ansel Adams was born.
1904 Soviet Premier Alexsei Kosygin was born.
1906 Actor Gale Gordon was born.
1914 Game show host John Charles Daly was born.
1915 The Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened in San Francisco.
1917 The United States purchased the Danish West Indies.
1920 Robert E. Peary, Arctic explorer who led the first party to reach the North Pole, died.
1924 Fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt was born.
1925 Film director Robert Altman was born.
1927 Actor Sidney Poitier was born.
American Samoa was organized as a territory of the United
1934 Auto racer Bobby Unser was born.
1935 Dane Caroline Mikkelson became the first woman to land on Antarctica.
1936 Actor Larry Hovis was born.
1937 The first
automobile/airplane combination was tested, in Santa
1942 Lieutenant E.H.
O'Hare single-handedly shot down five Japanese heavy
bombers, becing America's first World War II flying ace.
1943 A volcano literally began forming in the middle of a corn field near Parícutin, Mexico.
1944 The comic strip "Batman and Robin" debuted.
Actress Sandy Duncan was born.
1947 The State of Prussia ceased to exist.
1949 The first International Pancake Day Race was held.
1954 Heiress-turned-bank robber Patty Hearst was born.
1959 The Glen Canyon Dam Bridge opened across the Colorado River near Page, Arizona.
1962 U.S. astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., orbited the earth three times.
1963 Basketball player Charles Barkley was born.
1964 Actor French Stewart was born.
Model Cindy Crawford was born.
1967 Singer Kurt Cobain was born.
1968 A Learjet 25 set a time-to-climb record to 40,000 feet of 6 minutes 19 seconds.
1971 Major General Idi Amin Dada appointed himself President of Uganda.
1972 Radio personality Walter Winchell died.
1986 The Soviet space station Mir was launched into earth orbit.
1988 Singer Rhianna was born.
1992 Actor Dick York died.
1999 Movie critic Gene Siskel died.
2003 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display set the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 300 others.
2005 Actress Sandra Dee died.
2010 Alexander Haig, presidential adviser and Secretary of State, died.
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This page was last updated on November 02, 2017.