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...

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...

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...

USSR established -1922

In post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided...

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...

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...

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...

1933: Arsonist Torches the Reichstag

On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building in Berlin was burned down by a Dutch communist, possibly with the assistance of Nazi officials. The...

Eurotunnel Connects Britain and France

On Dec. 1, 1990, British and French construction workers joined the two halves of the Eurotunnel, physically linking Britain and France for the first...

1942: Roosevelt Authorizes Internment of Japanese-Americans

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the military to relocate Japanese-Americans from their homes to internment...