Today in History: Tuesday, Feb. 28
by Staff Reports | February 28, 2017 12:00 am
Last Updated: February 4, 2017 at 1:14 pm
202 BC – coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place, initiating four centuries of the Han dynasty’s rule over China.
628 – Khosrow II is executed by Mihr Hormozd under the orders of Kavadh II.
870 – The Fourth Council of Constantinople closes.
1246 – The Siege of Jaén ends in the context of the Spanish Reconquista resulting in the Castilian takeover of the city from the Taifa of Jaen.
1525 – Aztec king Cuauhtémoc is executed by Hernán Cortés’s forces.
1638 – The Scottish National Covenant is signed in Edinburgh.
1700 – Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar.
1710 – In the Battle of Helsingborg, 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau are decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock. This is the last time Swedish and Danish troops meet on Swedish soil.
1784 – John Wesley charters the Methodist Church.
1811 – Cry of Asencio, beginning of the Uruguayan War of Independence
1827 – The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
1838 – Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Quebec)
1844 – A gun on USS Princeton explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.
1847 – The Battle of the Sacramento River during the Mexican–American War is a decisive victory for the United States leading to the capture of Chihuahua.
1849 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, four months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor.
1867 – Seventy years of Holy See–United States relations are ended by a Congressional ban on federal funding of diplomatic envoys to the Vatican and are not restored until January 10, 1984.
1870 – The Bulgarian Exarchate is established by decree of Sultan Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire.
1874 – One of the longest cases ever heard in an English court ends when the defendant is convicted of perjury for attempting to assume the identity of the heir to the Tichborne baronetcy.
1885 – The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone. (American Bell would later merge with its subsidiary.)
1893 – The USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, is launched.
1897 – Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, is deposed by a French military force.
1900 – The Second Boer War: The 118-day “Siege of Ladysmith” is lifted.
1922 – The United Kingdom ends its protectorate over Egypt through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
1925 – The Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake strikes northeastern North America.
1933 – Gleichschaltung: The Reichstag Fire Decree is passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire.
1935 – DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.
1939 – The erroneous word “dord” is discovered in the Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.
1940 – Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden).
1942 – The heavy cruiser USS Houston is sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed, along with HMAS Perth which lost 375 men.
1947 – February 28 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of an estimated 30,000 civilians.
1948 – Christiansborg Cross-Roads shooting in the Gold Coast, when a British police officer opens fire on a march of ex-servicemen, killing three of them and sparking major riots and looting in Accra.
1953 – James Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April’s Nature (pub. April 2).
1954 – The first color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public.
1958 – A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunges down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork river. The driver and 26 children die in what remains one of the worst school bus accidents in U.S. history.
1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched but fails to achieve orbit.
1972 – Sino-American relations: The United States and People’s Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué.
1975 – In London an underground train fails to stop at Moorgate terminus station and crashes into the end of the tunnel, killing 43 people.
1980 – Andalusia approves its statute of autonomy through a referendum.
1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale.
1985 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army carries out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing nine officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.
1986 – Olof Palme, 26th Prime Minister of Sweden, is assassinated in Stockholm.
1991 – The first Gulf War ends.
1993 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leader David Koresh. Four ATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
1995 – Former Australian Liberal party leader John Hewson resigns from the Australian parliament almost two years after losing the Australian federal election, 1993.
1997 – An earthquake in northern Iran is responsible for about 3,000 deaths.
1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.
1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
1998 – Kosovo War: Serbian police begin the offensive against the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo.
2002 – During the religious violence in Gujarat, the 97 people killed in the Naroda Patiya massacre and 69 in Gulbarg Society massacre.
2004 – Over one million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand rally form a 500-kilometre (310 mi) long human chain to commemorate the February 28 Incident in 1947
2005 – A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq kills 127.
2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope to do so since 1415.