This Day in History

February 14


842      Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German languages   1177
869      Greek Byzantine Christian theologian and missionary Cyril dies in Rome, age around 42   1150
1400      deposed King of England Richard II dies in Pontefract Castle in West West Yorkshire, age 33   619
1542      Guadalajara, Mexico, is founded at its present site   477
1774      English mathematician and inventor John Hadley dies in Hertfordshire, age 61   245
1779      James Cook killed in the Hawaiian Islands, age 50   240
1797      British Royal Navy is victorious over a larger Spanish fleet in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, Portugal   222
1835      original members of the Latter Day Saint church's Quorum of the Twelve are chosen   184
1844      John C. Frémont becomes the first white man to view Lake Tahoe   175
1855      Texas is linked by telegraph to the rest of the U.S. with the completion of the line between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas   164
1859      Oregon is admitted as the 33rd state   160
1870      Esther Hobart Morris takes office in South Pass City, Wyoming as the first female judge in the U.S.   149
1879      War of the Pacific between Chile and allied Bolivia and Peru begins when Chilean armed forces occupy the port city of Antofagasta   140
1912      Arizona is admitted as the 48th state   107
1912      USS E-1 (Skipjack) and USS E-2 (Sturgeon) are commissioned as U.S. Navy's first diesel powered submarines   107
1920      League of Women Voters (LWV) founded about six months before the Nineteenth Amendment gave U.S. women the right to vote   99
1924      International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) founded   95
1929      Saint Valentine's Day Massacre—murder of seven mob associates in a garage on the North Side of Chicago   90
1943      German mathematician David Hilbert dies, age 81   76
1946      ENIAC is unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania   73
1950      radio astronomy pioneer Karl Jansky dies, age 44   69
1961      first synthesis of the element 103 Lawrencium, Lr, in Berkeley, California   58
1975      English author Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse dies in Long Island, New York, age 93   44
1989      American ornithologist, and inspiration for Ian Flemming, James Bond dies in Philadelphia, age 89   30
1989      first of the GPS satellites placed into orbit with the first launch of a Delta II vehicle   30
1990      Voyager I takes a photograph from 40 AU that includes six planets including Earth as a "pale blue dot"   29
1998      two trains collide in Yaoundé, Cameroon, spilling fuel oil—person scavenging the oil creates a massive explosion which kills 200   21
2000      NEAR-Shoemaker inserted into orbit around Eros—first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid   19
2002      The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), statement of principles relating to open access to the research literature, is issued   17
2003      female sheep Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned, dies from a progressive lung disease, age 6   16
2005      Alberto Gonzales is sworn in as first Hispanic Attorney General   14
2005      domain name is activated   14
2005      1000 kg bomb explodes near the St. George Hotel in Beirut killing Rafic Hariri, former Prime Minister of Lebanon and 21 others   14
2008      gunman opens fire in a crowded lecture hall of Northern Illinois University—6 killed and 21 others injured   11
2010      NBA All-Star game in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas sets attendance record for a basketball game—108,713   9
2010      Swiss freediver Peter Colet sets record for holding his breath of 19 min 21 sec   9
2011      Stardust performs a flyby of comet Tempel 1—photographs impact crater from Deep Impact   8
2012      American lyricist, singer-songwriter, and poet Dory Previn (born Dorothy Veronica Langan) dies in Southfield, Massachusetts, age 86   7
2013      American Pentecostal evangelist, singer, and author Tommy Lee "T.L." Osborn dies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, age 89   6
2014      American professional baseball player, shortstop, and manager James Louis Fregosi dies in Miami, Florida, age 71   5
2015      owner of Ferrero SpA the maker of Nutella and richest man in Italy Michele Ferrero dies in Monte Carlo, age 89   4
2015      French film and television actor Louis Jourdan (born Louis Robert Gendre) dies in Beverly Hills, California, age 93   4
2016      Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Steven Edward Stucky dies in Ithica, New York, age 66   3
2018      former student opens fire with an AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17, injuring 15 others   1
2019      bomb explodes near a convoy of Indian paramilitary personnel in Indian-controlled Kashmir killing over 40   0
   Valentine's Day,  

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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