1587: Mary, Queen of Scots Beheaded

On February 8, 1587, Mary I of Scotland was beheaded for her alleged role in a conspiracy against her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of...

1943: United States Defeats Japan at Guadalcanal

On February 9, 1943, the United States declared victory against Japan in the seven-month World War II campaign for Guadalcanal and nearby islands in...

1974: Russian Dissident Writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn Charged With Treason

On February 14, 1974, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian writer who revealed the horrors of the Soviet gulag, was charged with treason a day after...

1962: Soviets Release U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers

On February 10, 1962, U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was returned to the United States in a prisoner exchange. Powers had been...

1974: Heiress Patty Hearst Kidnapped

On February 4, 1974, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst, 19, granddaughter of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. After months of...

1633: Galileo Faces Inquisition

On February 13, 1633, Galileo arrived in Rome to be tried for promoting Copernican theories, such as the revolutionary idea that the Earth orbits...

1993: Feds Raid Branch Davidian Compound in Waco

On February 28, 1993, federal agents tried to arrest David Koresh at his Waco, Texas, compound. A gunfight ensued, killing 10 and beginning a...

1990: Nelson Mandela Released From Prison

On February 11, 1990, South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk freed anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. Mandela had spent 27 years in prison. Mandela Goes...

1850: Daniel Webster Endorses Compromise of 1850 in 3-Hour Speech

On March 7, 1850, United States nationalist and statesman Daniel Webster delivered a three-hour speech on the issue of states’ rights to permit slavery....

1839: Dueling Outlawed in DC

On February 20, 1839, Congress passed legislation barring the practice of dueling in the District of Columbia. Fatal Duel Between Congressmen Prompts Ban The passage of...