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This Day in History - February 5

February 5

1556 – Henry II of France and Philip of Spain sign the truce of Vaucelles

1576 – Henry of Navarre abjures Catholicism at Tours

1631 – The ship, the Lyon, arrives at Massachusetts Bay Colony with provisions

1631 – The founder of Rhode Island, religious leader Roger Williams, arrives in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

1723 – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Witherspoon, is born

1762 – A French base in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, Martinique, surrenders to the British

1777 – Georgia formally adopts a new state constitution, abolishing the inheritance practices of primogeniture and entail

1783 – Sweden recognizes US independence

1783 – An estimated 7.5 to 8.0-magnitude earthquake strikes Italy, producing aftershocks and a tsunami.  The death count in total was 80,000 and the quakes drastically changed the geography of the region, creating new lakes and literally moving mountains

1788 – British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, is born

1811 – The Prince of Wales becomes Prince Regent of England and later will become George IV, after George III is declared insane

1826 – Future President of the US Millard Fillmore marries Abigail Powers

1837 – Evangelist Dwight L. Moody is born

1840 – Scottish businessman who co-founded Dunlop Rubber, John Boyd Dunlop is born

1846 – The first Pacific Coast newspaper, Oregon Spectator, is published

1848 – Western outlaw Belle Starr is born

1852 – One of the world’s largest and oldest museums, originally founded in 1764, the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg opens to the public

1864 – Federal forces occupy Jackson, Mississippi

1865 – The three-day Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia begins

1869 – The “Welcome Stranger,” the biggest gold nugget in history, is found at Moliagul in Australia, weighing a whopping 71.081 kg

1872 – Biochemist Lafayette Benedict Mendel is born

1878 – Andre Citroen, the “Henry Ford of France,” is born

1881 – Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle dies

1883 – The Southern Railroad completes its transcontinental “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California

1885 – News of the fall of Khartoum reaches London

1885 – King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a colonial possession

1898 – Editor and publisher Ralph McGill is born

1900 – Illinois governor and presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson II is born

1900 – The US and Great Britain sign the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, giving the US the right to build a canal in Nicaragua but not to fortify it

1909 – The world’s first synthetic plastic is developed by Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland

1914 – English physiologist and biophysicist, Sir Alan Hodgin is born

1915 – Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter is born

1917 – US Congress nullifies President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the Immigration Act, where literacy tests are required

1917 – Mexican President Venustiano Carranza proclaims the modern Mexican constitution, offering dramatic economic and educational reforms

1918 – The Soviets proclaim separation of church and state

1918 – The Anchor line steamship Tuscania, carrying 2,000 American soldiers headed to Europe, is torpedoed and sinks off the coast of Ireland by a German submarine U-77

1919 – Actors Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and DW Griffith join forces to found United Artists Corporation

1922 – The Reader’s Digest begins publication

1922 – William Larned’s steel-framed tennis racquet is used for the first time

1924 – The Greenwich Time Signal is broadcast for the first time

1926 – New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger is born

1928 – Novelist and Catholic priest Andrew Greeley is born

1934 – Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron is born

1937 – First Charlie Chaplin talkie is released, “Modern Times”

1937 – President Franklin Roosevelt announces a plan to expand the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges in what is known as the “court-packing plan”

1938 – Playwright John Guare is born

1938 – German jurist Hans Litten dies

1941 – Adolf Hitler reprimands his partner Benito Mussolini for his troops’ retreat from the British in Libya

1945 – American and French troops destroy German forces in the Colmar Pocket in France

1947 – The Soviet Union and Great Britain reject the terms of a proposed American trusteeship over the Japanese Pacific Isles

1952 – New York adopts the three-color traffic signals

1960 – The South Vietnamese government requests double the US Military Assistance and Advisory Group from 342 to 685

1961 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik V, the heaviest satellite to date at 7.1 tons

1968 – US troops divide Viet Cong at Hue while the Saigon government claims they will arm loyal citizens

1969 – Welsh actor Michael Sheen is born

1971 – Two Apollo 14 astronauts walk on the moon

1972 – It is reported that the US has agreed to sell 42 F-4 Phantom jets to Israel

1975 – The North Vietnamese prepare for an offensive in Saigon

1985 – US pulls back a loan to Chile in protest over human rights abuses

1985 – Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo is born

1988 – Panama military leader General Manuel Noriega and 16 associates are indicted of drug smuggling, racketeering and money laundering in Florida.  He will be found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison, where he remains today in Miami

1989 – The last Russian troops withdraw from Kabul in Afghanistan

1993 – American director, screenwriter and producer Joseph Mankiewicz dies

1994 – White supremacist Byron De La Beckwith is convicted of the murder of black civil rights leader Medgar Evers, over 30 years after the fact.  Evers was shot in his driveway in Mississippi in 1963.  A jury had refused to convict Beckwith in two separate trials.  Evers’ wife Myrlie, pressed authorities to reopen the case.  Beckwith was sentenced to life and died in prison in 2001

1997 – Three of Switzerland’s biggest banks create a fund worth 100 million francs for Holocaust victims and their families, in response to international pressure

2008 – Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi dies

2010 – German and South African lawyer, diplomat and 13th South African Ambassador to the US, Harry Schwarz dies

2012 – Josh Powell murders himself and his two young sons, by setting fire to his home in Graham, Washington.  Powell had been labeled a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Susan. It was later discovered that Powell attacked his boys with a hatchet before starting the fire.  Susan has never been found


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the owner of Madison's Media, Madison's CPC and the Chief Administrative Officer for Lanterns. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and has two adult children. Writers seeking additional exposure: Ask how you can contribute!


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