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  On This Day
 

On February 20th...

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1437 King James I of Scotland died.

1472 Orkney and Shetland were given to Scotland by Norway, via a dowry payment.

1482 Florentine sculptor Luca della Robbia died.

1768 The first American chartered fire insurance company opened.

1790 Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died.

1792 The U.S. Postal Service was created.

1808 French painter and caricaturist Honoré Daumier was born.

1809 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government's power is greater than that of any state.

1829 Actor Joseph Jefferson was born.

1834 British humorist and author George Du Maurier was born.

1861 The Department of the Navy of the Confederacy was formed.

1872 The hydraulic electric elevator was patented by Cyrus Baldwin.
1872 Luther Crowell patented a machine to manufacture paper bags.
1872 The Metroplitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.
1872 Silas Noble and J.P. Cooley patented a toothpick manufacturing machine.

Frederick Douglass1895 Frederick Douglass, abolitionist lecturer and leader, died.

Ansel Adams1902 Photographer Ansel Adams was born.

1904 Soviet Premier Alexsei Kosygin was born.

1906 Actor Gale Gordon was born.

1914 Game show host John Charles Daly was born.

Panama-Pacific International Exposition1915 The Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened in San Francisco.

1917 The United States purchased the Danish West Indies.

Robert Peary1920 Robert E. Peary, Arctic explorer who led the first party to reach the North Pole, died.

1924 Fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt was born.

1925 Film director Robert Altman was born.

1927 Actor Sidney Poitier was born.

American Samoa1929 American Samoa was organized as a territory of the United States.
1929 Actress Amanda Blake was born.

1934 Auto racer Bobby Unser was born.

1935 Dane Caroline Mikkelson became the first woman to land on Antarctica.

1936 Actor Larry Hovis was born.

1937 The first automobile/airplane combination was tested, in Santa Monica, California.
1937 Singer Nancy Wilson was born.

1942 Lieutenant E.H. O'Hare single-handedly shot down five Japanese heavy bombers, becing America's first World War II flying ace.
1942 Hockey player Phil Esposito was born.

Paricutin1943 A volcano literally began forming in the middle of a corn field near Parícutin, Mexico.

1944 The comic strip "Batman and Robin" debuted.

1946 Actress Sandy Duncan was born.
1946 John Geils, lead guitarist of the J Geils Band, was born.

1947 The State of Prussia ceased to exist.

1949 The first International Pancake Day Race was held.

1954 Heiress-turned-bank robber Patty Hearst was born.

Glen Canyon Dam Bridge1959 The Glen Canyon Dam Bridge opened across the Colorado River near Page, Arizona.

John Glenn1962 U.S. astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., orbited the earth three times.

Charles Barkley1963 Basketball player Charles Barkley was born.

1964 Actor French Stewart was born.

1966 Model Cindy Crawford was born.
1966 Chester W. Nimitz, Admiral of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II, died.

1967 Singer Kurt Cobain was born.

1968 A Learjet 25 set a time-to-climb record to 40,000 feet of 6 minutes 19 seconds.

Idi Amin1971 Major General Idi Amin Dada appointed himself President of Uganda.

1972 Radio personality Walter Winchell died.

Mir1986 The Soviet space station Mir was launched into earth orbit.

1988 Singer Rhianna was born.

1992 Actor Dick York died.

1999 Movie critic Gene Siskel died.

2003 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display set the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 300 others.

2005 Actress Sandra Dee died.

2010 Alexander Haig, presidential adviser and Secretary of State, died.

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This page was last updated on February 04, 2016.

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