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This Day in History - February 28

February 28

202 BC – Liu Bang’s coronation ceremony takes place, initiating him to the role of Emperor Gaozu of Han

1066 – The most famous church in England, Westminster Abbey, opens

1533 – French moralist who created the personal essay, Michel de Montaigne is born

1574 – On the orders of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, two Englishmen and an Irishman are burned for heresy

1610 – Thomas West is appointed governor of Virginia

1704 – Indians attack Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 40 and kidnapping 100

1710 – 14,000 Danish invaders are defeated by the Swedes in the Battle of Helsingborg

1784 – John Wesley charter the first Methodist Church in the US

1820 – Illustrator John Tenniel is born

1824 – Tightrope walker Charles Blondin is born

1844 – President John Tyler, aboard the USS Princeton, narrowly escapes with his life when the ship suffers the worst maritime disaster of its time. While firing off new cannons, one explodes, killing several aboard. One of the men killed was a wealthy New Yorker along for the ride, who had boarded with his two daughters. One of the daughters, upon hearing of her father’s death, fainted. Tyler rushed her to safety, and the two fell in love, marrying later that year

1847 – Colonel Alexander Doniphan and the Missouri Mounted Volunteers are victorious at the Battle of Sacramento, during the Mexican War

1849 – The steamship California arrives in San Francisco, bringing the first East Coasters to the Gold Rush

1854 – Republican Party is formally organized at Ripon, Wisconsin

1861 – The territory of Colorado is established

1863 – Four Union gunboats destroy the CSS Nashville near Fort McAllister, Georgia

1864 – A major Union cavalry raid begins known as the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid in Richmond, Virginia

1894 – Writer Ben Hecht is born

1900 – After a Boers siege, the British troops in Ladysmith, South Africa, are relieved

1901 – Nobel Prize-winning American chemist Linus Pauling is born

1909 – English poet and critic Stephen Spender is born

1911 – British medical researcher Denis Burkitt is born

1915 – The French drive back the Germans a few hundred yards into the Champagne region, but lose 50,000 casualties in the process

1916 – Haiti becomes the first US protectorate

1916 – Novelist Henry James dies

1916 – Allied forces complete the conquest of the Cameroons during World War I

1924 – US troops are sent to Honduras to protect American interests during an election conflict

1925 – 1st President of Germany Friedrich Ebert dies

1926 – Josef Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Stalin is born

1929 – Architect Frank Gehry is born

1931 – Legendary basketball coach Dean Smith is born

1935 – Wallace Carothers invents nylon at the DuPont Experimental Station in Delaware

1936 – The Japanese Army restores order in Tokyo and arrests officers involved in a coup

1940 – Auto racing legend Mario Andretti is born

1944 – Hannah Reitsch, the first female test pilot in the world, suggests creating a sort of kamikaze squad of suicide bombers to Adolf Hitler

1945 – US tanks break the natural defense line west of the Rhine and cross the Rift River

1946 – The US Army declares that it will use a V-2 rocket to test radar as an atomic rocket defense system

1947 – Civil disorder is put down in Taiwan, at the cost of 30,000 civilians

1948 – The last of the British troops leave India

1948 – Actress, singer, and writer Bernadette Peters is born

1953 – Greece, Turkey, and Yugoslavia sign a 5-year defense pact in Ankara

1953 – Cambridge University scientists James Watson and Frances HC Crick discover the chemical structure of DNA

1953 – Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is born

1967 – In Mississippi, 19 are indicted in the slayings of three civil rights workers

1968 – General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reports to President Johnson that more troops are needed to fight in Vietnam

1969 – A Los Angeles court refuses Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan’s request to be executed

1971 – The male electorate in Lichtenstein refuses to give voting rights to women

1975 – A subway crash in London kills 43 when the driver failed to break while the train headed toward a dead end. While the break was found in the driver’s hand, no attempt to use it was discovered. The reasoning for the driver’s failure to break has never been concluded.

1977 – American actor Eddie Anderson dies

1982 – J. Paul Getty Museum is endowed with $1.2 billion left to it by the late J. Paul Getty

1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs

1986 – Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme is shot to death in Stockholm

1987 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announces that the Soviet Union is ready to sign a nuclear weapons treaty

1991 – The first Gulf War ends

1993 – ATF agents raid the Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas. A gunfight ensues, and four agents and six cult members are killed. After a two-month standoff, and on April 19, using teargas, the agents moved in to end the siege. A fire broke out, and roughly two dozen people shot themselves to death, including David Koresh, the leader, before the fire engulfed the compound. All in all, 80 Branch Davidians died, and only 11 escaped. Eight were convicted of charges ranging from manslaughter to weapons violations

1994 – US warplanes shoot down four Serb aircraft over Bosnia in the first NATO use of force there

2007 – Singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Billy Thorpe dies

2009 – Radio host Paul Harvey dies

2013 – Pope Benedict XVI officially resigns, becoming the first pope to relinquish power in nearly 600 years


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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