1898: USS Maine Explodes in Havana Harbor

On February 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor, escalating tensions with Spain and contributing to the outbreak of the...

1820: The “Mayflower of Liberia” Sets Sail

On February 6, 1820, a ship of freed black slaves set sail from New York for the coast of West Africa, where they would...

1954: Puerto Rican Nationalists Launch Assault on U.S. Congress

On March 1, 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire on the House of Representatives, injuring five congressmen. Nationalists Attack Congress Three members of the Puerto Rico...

1887: First Groundhog Day Celebrated in Punxsutawney

On February 2, 1887, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, celebrated the first official Groundhog Day, a holiday with roots in ancient traditions. The Origins of Groundhog Day On February...

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....

1960: Earthquake Kills Thousands in Morocco

On February 29, 1960, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck Agadir, Morocco. The 15-second event killed thousands and leveled parts of the city. It was a...

1964: The Beatles Arrive in New York

On February 7, 1964, the Beatles were greeted by thousands of screaming fans as they landed at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York...

2002: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic Begins

On February 12, 2002, the war crimes trial of Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic began at The Hague. The defendant died before a sentence was...

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...

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...