Today in History: Feb. 3
by Robert Joseph Baker | February 3, 2019 12:00 am
Last Updated: February 1, 2018 at 12:05 am
1112 – Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona and Douce I, Countess of Provence marry, uniting the fortunes of those two states.
1377 – More than 2,000 people of the Italian city of Cesena are killed by the Condottieri (papal armed forces) in the “Cesena Bloodbath”.
1451 – Sultan Mehmed II inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire.
1488 – Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.
1509 – The Portuguese navy defeats a joint fleet of the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Sultan of Gujarat, the Mamlûk Burji Sultanate of Egypt, the Zamorin of Calicut, and the Republic of Ragusa at the Battle of Diu in Diu, India.
1690 – The colony of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in the Americas.
1706 – During the Battle of Fraustadt Swedish forces defeat a superior Saxon-Polish-Russian force by deploying a double envelopment.
1781 – American Revolutionary War: British forces seize the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius.
1783 – American Revolutionary War: Spain recognizes United States independence.
1787 – Militia led by General Benjamin Lincoln crush the remnants of Shays’ Rebellion in Petersham, Massachusetts.
1807 – A British military force, under Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty captures the Spanish Empire city of Montevideo, now the capital of Uruguay.
1809 – The Territory of Illinois is created by the 10th United States Congress.
1813 – José de San Martín defeats a Spanish royalist army at the Battle of San Lorenzo, part of the Argentine War of Independence.
1830 – The London Protocol of 1830 establishes the full independence and sovereignty of Greece from the Ottoman Empire as the final result of the Greek War of Independence.
1834 – Wake Forest University is established.
1870 – The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to male citizens regardless of race.
1897 – The Greco-Turkish War breaks out.
1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.
1916 – The Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada burns down with the loss of 7 lives.
1917 – World War I: The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany a day after the latter announced a new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1918 – The Twin Peaks Tunnel in San Francisco, California begins service as the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet (3,633 meters) long.
1930 – Communist Party of Vietnam is founded at a “Unification Conference” held in Kowloon, British Hong Kong.
1931 – The Hawke’s Bay earthquake, New Zealand’s worst natural disaster, kills 258.
1933 – Adolf Hitler announces that the expansion of Lebensraum into Eastern Europe, and its ruthless Germanisation, are the ultimate geopolitical objectives of Third Reich foreign policy.
1943 – The SS Dorchester is sunk by a German U-boat. Only 230 of 902 men aboard survive.
1944 – World War II: During the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, U.S. Army and Marine forces seize Kwajalein Atoll from the defending Japanese garrison.
1945 – World War II: As part of Operation Thunderclap, 1,000 B-17s of the Eighth Air Force bomb Berlin, a raid which kills between 2,500 and 3,000 and dehouses another 120,000.
1945 – World War II: The United States and the Philippine Commonwealth begin a month-long battle to retake Manila from Japan.
1953 – The Batepá massacre occurred in São Tomé when the colonial administration and Portuguese landowners unleashed a wave of violence against the native creoles known as forros.
1958 – Founding of the Benelux Economic Union, creating a testing ground for a later European Economic Community.
1959 – Rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson are killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
1960 – British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan speaks of “a wind of change”, signalling that his Government was likely to support decolonisation.
1961 – The United States Air Forces begins Operation Looking Glass, and over the next 30 years, a “Doomsday Plane” is always in the air, with the capability of taking direct control of the United States’ bombers and missiles in the event of the destruction of the SAC’s command post.
1969 – In Cairo, Yasser Arafat is appointed Palestine Liberation Organization leader at the Palestinian National Congress.
1971 – New York Police Officer Frank Serpico is shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn and survives to later testify against police corruption.
1972 – The first day of the seven-day 1972 Iran blizzard, which would kill at least 4,000 people, making it the deadliest snowstorm in history.
1984 – John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announce history’s first embryo transfer, from one woman to another resulting in a live birth.
1984 – Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B is launched using Space Shuttle Challenger.
1989 – After a stroke two weeks previously, South African President P. W. Botha resigns as leader of the National Party, but stays on as president for six more months.
1989 – A military coup overthrows Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay since 1954.
1995 – Astronaut Eileen Collins becomes the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle as mission STS-63 gets underway from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1998 – Cavalese cable car disaster: a United States military pilot causes the death of 20 people when his low-flying plane cuts the cable of a cable-car near Trento, Italy.
2007 – A Baghdad market bombing kills at least 135 people and injures a further 339.
2014 – Two people are shot and killed and 29 students are taken hostage at a high school in Moscow, Russia.