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On February 1st...

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1552 English jurist Sir Edward Coke was born.

First Meeting of the Supreme Court1790 The U.S. Supreme Court met for the first time.

Victor Herbert1859 Composer/conductor/cellist Victor Herbert was born.

Julia Ward Howe1862 Julia Ward Howe published "Battle Hymn of Republic."

1871 Jefferson Long of Georgia became the first black to make an official speech in the U.S. House of Representatives (opposing leniency to former Confederates).

Matthew Fontaine Maury1873 Oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury died.

Hattie Wyatt Caraway1878 Hattie Wyatt Caraway, the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, was born.

1882 Louis S. St. Laurent, Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1884 The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

Thomas Edison1893 Thomas Edison completed the world's first movie studio in West Orange, New Jersey.

1898 The first auto insurance policy in the U.S. was issued by Travelers Insurance Co.

Clark Gable1901 Actor Clark Gable was born.

James Langston Hughes1902 Author James Langston Hughes was born.

1906 The first federal penitentiary building was completed, at Leavenworth, Kansas.

1929 The prototype Knoll KN-1 airplane was destroyed in a crash.

Boris Yeltsin1931 Russian President Boris Yeltsin was born.

Hungary1946 The Republic of Hungary was proclaimed.

Federation of Malaysia1948 The Federation of Malaysia was formed from nine sultanates.

1949 The 200-inch Hale Telescope was used for the first time.
1949 RCA released the first ever 45 record.

1951 The X-ray moving picture process was demonstrated for the first time.
1951 An atomic explosion was telecast for the first time.

1953 "General Electric Theater" debuted on CBS-TV.
1953 "You Are There," with Walter Cronkite, debuted on CBS-TV.

1957 P.H. Young became the first black pilot on a U.S. scheduled passenger airline.

United Arab Republic1958 The United Arab Republic was formed by the union of Egypt and Syria.
1958 A four-engine military transport collided with a Navy patrol bomber over Norwalk, California; 47 persons aboard the two planes and a Norwalk resident were killed.

1963 Hastings Kamuzu Banda became the first Prime Minister of Nyasaland.

1964 The Beatles hit #1 for the first time with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

1965 Martin Luther King, Jr. and 700 demonstrators were arrested in Selma, Alabama.

Buster Keaton1966 Silent movie star Buster Keaton died.

1972 The first scientific hand-held calculator, the HP-35, was introduced (retail price $395).

1974 The situation comedy "Good Times" debuted on CBS.

1976 The mini-series "Rich Man, Poor Man" debuted on ABC.

Ayatollah Khomeini1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 15 years in exile.

1980 The soap opera "Love of Life" ended after a run of 28 years.

1982 "Late Night With David Letterman" debuted on NBC.

1992 Barry Bonds signed baseball's highest single year contract -- $4.7 million.

2003 The Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart during entry over Texas, killing all seven crew members.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on December 20, 2017.