February may be the shortest month, but there has been no shortage of significant historical events during the month. For example:
2/2/1848 – The US-Mexican War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The US paid $15 million for a huge swath of land that encompasses parts of present-day CA, AZ, TX, UT, NV, NM, CO and WY.
2/3/1870 – The 15th amendment to the Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing all citizens the right to vote.
2/3/1913 – The 16th amendment to the Constitution was ratified authorizing Congress to collect income taxes.
2/6/1933 – The 20th amendment to the Constitution was ratified, which changed the presidential inauguration date from March 4 to January 20.
2/6/1952 – Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne of the UK with the death of her father, King George VI.
2/8/1010 – The Boy Scouts of America was founded by William Boyce.
2/9/1943 – In one of the bloodiest battles of WWII the US captured Guadalcanal after six months of intense fighting. The KIA included 2,000 Americans and 9,000 Japanese.
2/10/1967 – The 25th amendment to the Constitution was ratified, which clarified the procedures for presidential succession.
2/11/660 BC – The date of the founding of the Japanese nation.
2/11//1990 – Nelson Mandela was released from a SA prison after 27 years.
2/12/1999 – The impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton concluded with a “not guilty” verdict.
2/13/1635 – Boston Latin, the first taxpayer-supported public school in America, was founded in Boston.
2/14 – Celebrated around the world as St. Valentine’s Day.
2/14/1849 – Photographer Mathew Brady took the first photograph of a US President in office (James K. Polk).
2/14/1929 – The infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred in Chicago, as members of Al Capone’s gang, posing as police, gunned down members of the Bugs Moran gang.
2/15/1898 – The USS Battleship Maine blew up under mysterious circumstances while anchored in Havana harbor. Although culpability was not proven, this incident precipitated the War of 1898 with “remember the Maine” as the chief battle cry.
2/15/1933 – A failed assassination attempt on FDR resulted in the death of Chicago mayor Anton Cermak.
2/19/1942 – The US commenced the internment of Japanese Americans.
2/20/1962 – Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to be launched into orbit.
2/21/1965 – Former Black Muslim leader, Malcolm X, was shot and killed in NYC.
2/21/1972 – President Richard Nixon arrived in China for the first State visit with communist China.
2/23/1991 – US ground troops initiated Operation Desert Storm versus Iraq.
2/24/1582 – Pope Gregory XIII replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar. The latter has become the standard worldwide.
2/24/1867 – The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson. The Senate acquitted him by one vote.
2/27/1950 – The 22nd amendment to the Constitution was ratified, which limits the president to a maximum of two terms or ten years in office.
2/27/1991- Operation Desert Storm concluded.
Birthdays – Hattie Caraway, Bakersville, TN – 2/1/1878, first woman elected to US Senate; John Ford – 2/1/1895, Cape Elizabeth, ME, Oscar winning director; Elizabeth Blackwell – 2/3/1821, Bristol, England – first female physician in US; Norman Rockwell – 2/3/1894, NYC – artist and illustrator; Thaddeus Kosciusko – 2/4/1746, Poland, Revolutionary War hero; Charles Lindbergh – 2/4/1902, Detroit, MI, first non-stop solo cross-Atlantic flight; Aaron Burr – 2/6/1756 – killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel; George Herman (“Babe”) Ruth – 2/6/1895, Baltimore, MD, generally considered best baseball player ever; Ronald Reagan – 2/6/1911, Tampico, IL, entertainer, 40th President; Charles Dickens – 2/7/1812, in England, British novelist; Sinclair Lewis – 2/7/1885, Sauk Center, MN, novelist and social critic; William Henry Harrison – 2/9/1773, Berkeley, VA, 9th President (died after having served only 32 days); Thomas Edison – 2/11/1847, Milan, OH, inventor; Abraham Lincoln- 2/12/1809, Hardin County, KY, 16th President, preserved the Union, freed the slaves; Charles Darwin – 2/12/1809, England, author; Galileo Galilei – 2/15/1564, astronomer and physicist; Susan B. Anthony – 2/15/1820, Adams, MA, women’s suffrage pioneer; Sonny Bono – 2/16/1935, Detroit, MI, entertainer; Nicolaus Copernicus – 2/19/1473, Poland, first to declare the sun, not earth, was the center of the solar system; George Washington – 2/22/1732, Westmoreland County, VA – “father” of US, 1st President; W.E.B. DuBois – 2/23/1868, Great Barrington, MA, AA educator; William (“Buffalo Bill”) Cody – 2/26/1846, Scott County, IN, reputedly killed 4,000 buffalo; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – 2/27/1807, Portland, ME, poet (“Paul Revere’s Ride”).