On This Day

What Happened in February 2020

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 Australian Open Women's Tennis: 21 year old American Sofia Kenin wins her first Grand Slam title with a 4–6, 6–2, 6–2 victory over Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain
  • Feb 1 Locusts swarm across East Africa leads Somalia to declare national emergency, largest in 25 years
  • Feb 1 Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, appointed the new Prime Minister of Iraq by President Barham Salih after 4 months of protests
  • Feb 2 Palindrome Day: the date 02022020 reads the same forward and backward including in the US and China (last one like this 11 November 1111)

Sport awardAustralian Men's Tennis Open

Feb 2 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Novak Đoković of Serbia rallies to beat Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 for a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park

Tennis Champion Novak Đoković
Tennis Champion
Novak Đoković

Sport awardSuper Bowl

Feb 2 Super Bowl LIV, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL: Kansas City Chiefs beat San Francisco 49ers, 31-20; MVP: Patrick Mahomes, KC Chiefs, QB; Chiefs' 1st victory in 50 years

NFL Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
NFL Quarterback
Patrick Mahomes

Film tv awardsBAFTA Awards

Feb 2 73rd British Film awards (BAFTAS): "1917" Best Film, Sam Mendes Best Director, Renée Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix best actors

Actress Renée Zellweger
Actress
Renée Zellweger
Film Director Sam Mendes
Film Director
Sam Mendes
Actor Joaquin Phoenix
Actor
Joaquin Phoenix
  • Feb 3 Malawi's constitutional court annuls 2019 election which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected due to voting irregularities

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 3 First Democratic caucus in Iowa won narrowly by Pete Buttigieg (most delegates) and Bernie Sanders (most votes) after lengthy delays and irregularities in reporting the results

US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders
  • Feb 3 Cruise ship Diamond Princess with 3700 passengers quarantined in Yokohama port, Japan after cases of coronavirus found on board

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 5 US Senate votes to acquit President Donald Trump 52-48 on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction of Congress

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • Feb 6 US astronaut Christina Koch completes the longest continuous spaceflight by a female astronaut after 328 days on the International Space Station, landing in Kazakhstan
  • Feb 6 Antarctica records high temperature of 64.9 F / 18.2 C at Esperanza, Argentina’s research station
  • Feb 6 Date of the 1st coronavirus COVID-19 related death in the US (only confirmed by the CDC on April 21)
  • Feb 8 Gunman shoots and kills 29 people in a shopping center in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, with 57 injured. Shooter shot and killed by security forces a day later.
  • Feb 8 Irish General Election: No party wins a majority, Sinn Fein 37 seats and the popular vote, Fianna Fáil 38 seats, Leo Varadkar's ruling Fine Gael only 35 seats

  • Feb 9 Fastest supersonic New York to London journey made by British Airways Boeing 747-436 in four hours and 56 minutes, speeds of 1,327 km/h / 825 mph due to Storm Ciara
  • Feb 9 Deaths from the Coronavirus overtake those of Sars (2003) with 813 deaths worldwide, more than 34,800 known to be infected

Film tv awardsAcademy Awards

Feb 9 92nd Academy Awards: "Parasite" 1st non English film to win Best Picture, Best Director Bong Joon-ho, Best Actor Joaquin Phoenix, Best Actress Renée Zellweger

  • Feb 9 Suspected militants attack and kill at least 30 people, many while sleeping in their cars in Auno, north-eastern Nigeria, kidnapping women and children
  • Feb 9 Solar Orbiter probe attached to an Atlas rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral
  • Feb 9 Storm Ciara makes landfall in northern Scotland bringing widespread wind and flooding to northern Europe resulting in 18 deaths
  • Feb 10 More than 30 bushfires put out by heaviest rainfall for 30 years in New South Wales, Australia, helping end one of the worst bushfire seasons ever, 46 million acres burnt, over 1 billion animals killed, 34 people dead
  • Feb 11 Snow falls in Baghdad, Iraq, for only the second time in a century
  • Feb 11 Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire Democratic primary
  • Feb 11 US attorney general, William Barr recommends cutting suggested sentence of Roger Stone, prompting prosecutors to resign
  • Feb 13 Fire in US-run orphanage kills 15 children near Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Feb 13 January 2020 was the hottest January in recorded history according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Feb 13 Scientists overturn current thought about how planets form - not by violent collision but gentle clumping, through study of Arrokoth in Kepler belt, published in "Science"
  • Feb 14 UEFA places 2 year ban on Manchester City from European club competition for committing "serious breaches" of club licensing and financial fair play regulations; EPL champions also fined €30million
  • Feb 14 More than 800,000 people displaced from their homes in north-western Syria amid assault by Syrian pro-government forces on last rebel stronghold
  • Feb 15 Beijing orders people returning to the city after Lunar New Year holiday to self-quarantine for 14 days to prevent spread of Covid-19
  • Feb 16 America evacuates 400 citizens from coronavirus-infected cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined in Yokohama port, Japan
  • Feb 16 NBA All Star Game, United Center, Chicago, IL: Team LeBron beats Team Giannis, 157-155; MVP: Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers, F
  • Feb 16 'Ghost ship' cargo vessel MV Alta washed up on the Irish coast near Ballycotton by Storm Dennis, after drifting across the Atlantic from Bermuda
  • Feb 17 India's Supreme Court grants equal rights to women in the armed forces

  • Feb 17 General Motors announces it is retiring the Holden brand in Australasia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 17 Amazon boss Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to help fight climate change

Amazon Entrepreneur Jeff Bezos
Amazon Entrepreneur
Jeff Bezos
  • Feb 17 62nd Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin wins second straight title by 0.014 seconds over Ryan Blaney on the second restart in overtime; his third Daytona victory

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 17 Laureus World Sports Awards, Berlin, Germany: Sportsman: Lewis Hamilton & Lionel Messi; Sportswoman: Simone Biles; Team: South Africa National Rugby Union team

Formula 1 Driver Lewis Hamilton
Formula 1 Driver
Lewis Hamilton
Football Star Lionel Messi
Football Star
Lionel Messi
Gymnast Simone Biles
Gymnast
Simone Biles
  • Feb 18 40th Brit Awards: Best Album "Psychodrama" by Dave, Best, Song of the Year "Someone you Loved" Lewis Capaldi
  • Feb 18 Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits, suspending those claims
  • Feb 18 Ashraf Ghani declared the winner of Afghanistan's presidential elections five months after the vote, fraud allegations meant recounting
  • Feb 18 Swarms of desert locusts affecting east Africa reach South Sudan, threatening a food crisis
  • Feb 19 German gunman opens fire in a bar in Hanau, Germany, killing nine in a racially motivated attack

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 20 New Bank of England £20 note with painter JMW Turner released, replacing earlier one with economist Adam Smith

Romantic Painter J. M. W. Turner
Romantic Painter
J. M. W. Turner
Economist and Philosopher Adam Smith
Economist and Philosopher
Adam Smith
  • Feb 20 Trump associate Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months imprisonment for obstructing a congressional investigation
  • Feb 23 President Moon Jae-in puts South Korea on high alert, empowering the government to lock down cities after 602 cases of Coronavirus reported with six deaths
  • Feb 23 First major coronavirus outbreak in Europe in Italy with 152 cases and three deaths, prompting emergency measures, locking down 10 towns in Lombardy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 23 China's Supreme Leader Xi Jinping describes the country's coronavirus outbreak as the China's largest health emergency since 1949

Paramount Leader of China Xi Jinping
Paramount Leader of China
Xi Jinping
  • Feb 23 Fashion designer heavyweights Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons announce they will work along side each other at Prada
  • Feb 23 Violent protests against new citizenship laws in Delhi, India erupt leaving at least 38 people dead over the next few days

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 24 Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and a criminal sexual act in landmark case that ignited #MeToo movement

Film Producer Harvey Weinstein
Film Producer
Harvey Weinstein

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 24 Malaysia's 94-year old Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad resigns only to be reinstated later in the day as interim Prime Minister

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
Malaysian Prime Minister
Mahathir bin Mohamad

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 24 US President Donald Trump begins a 2 day trip to India meeting Indian PM Narendra Modi

15th Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
15th Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • Feb 24 New York firefighter Daniel Foley, who found his brother's body in ruins of World Trade Center, dies of cancer bringing first responders death toll to 343
  • Feb 24 Scientists identify the first animal that doesn't need oxygen to breathe - a tiny parasite living in salmon tissue, reported in journal PNAS
  • Feb 25 African American Ahmaud Arbery shot to death after being chased down by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia. Video of the killing emerges in May, prompting arrests.
  • Feb 25 147 murders occurred during a five day police strike in Ceará , Brazil, despite army patrolling the streets according to authorities
  • Feb 25 Iran emerges as new coronavirus hotspot, recording 95 cases and 11 deaths as a deputy health minister that appeared on TV confirmed also infected
  • Feb 25 Memorial service for NBA star Kobe Byrant held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
  • Feb 26 Saudi Arabia bars overseas pilgrims from accessing religious sites of Mecca and Medina because of coronavirus fears for 1st time in living memory
  • Feb 27 Biggest cosmic explosion ever detected from a supermassive black hole in Ophiuchus galaxy 390 million lights years away, (size of 15 Miky Ways), published in "Astrophysical Journal"

Historic DiscoveryCOVID-19

Feb 27 Dow Jones Index suffers its biggest points fall in history closing down 1,190.95 in New York amid concerns about coronavirus
Learn More >>

Burial of a coronavirus victim in Iran during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
Burial of a coronavirus victim in Iran during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
  • Feb 28 Court of Arbitration for Sport bans Chinese triple Olympic gold medallist Sun Yang from swimming for 8 years for breaking anti-doping rules
  • Feb 29 Watford beats Liverpool, 3-0 at Vicarage Road; first Reds loss since Manchester City January 2019; ends joint-longest winning streak (18) and second longest unbeaten run (44) in English top-flight football history
  • Feb 29 US and Taliban sign deal to end 18-year war in Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar. US and NATO allies will withdraw their troops after 14 months if deal kept.

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Peter Serkin, American pianist (Tashi), dies at 72
  • Feb 3 Willie Wood, American Pro Football Hall of Fame safety (Pro Bowl 1962, 64–70; Super Bowl 1967, 68; Green Bay Packers), dies of dementia at 83
  • Feb 3 Robert Alner, British racehorse trainer (Cheltenham Gold Cup, Cool Dawn 1998), dies at 76
  • Feb 3 George Steiner, French American literary critic and educator, dies at 90
  • Feb 4 Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya's longest serving President (1978-2002), dies at 95
  • Feb 4 Giancarlo Bergamini, Italian fencer (Olympic gold foil, team 1956; silver foil team 1952, individual 1956), dies at 93
  • Feb 4 Benito Sarti, Italian soccer defender (6 caps; Juventus, Sampdoria), dies at 83
  • Feb 4 Alexander Skvortsov, Russian ice hockey left wing (Olympic gold 1984; World C'ship gold 1979, 81, 83), dies at 65
  • Feb 4 Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Caribbean poet (Born to Slow Horses) and academic, dies at 89

Person of interestKirk Douglas

Feb 5 Kirk Douglas [Issur Danielovitch], American actor (Spartacus, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral), dies at 103

  • Feb 6 Jan Liberda, Polish soccer forward (35 caps; Polonia Bytom), dies at 83
  • Feb 7 Orson Bean, American actor and comedian (To Tell the Truth), killed in a traffic accident at 91
  • Feb 7 Li Wenliang, Chinese doctor who tried to raise the alarm over COVID-19, dies of COVID-19 in Wuhan at 34
  • Feb 7 Nexhmije Pagarusha, Albanian singer ‘the Nightingale of Kosovo’ and actress, dies at 86
  • Feb 8 Robert Conrad [Conrad R. Falk], American actor (Wild Wild West), dies at 84
  • Feb 8 Erhard Schnell, German automotive designer 'Father of the Opel GT', dies at 92
  • Feb 9 Mirella Freni, Italian lyric soprano (Madame Butterfly), dies at 84
  • Feb 10 Claire Bretécher, French cartoonist (Les Frustrés), dies at 79
  • Feb 10 Waqar Hasan, Pakistani cricket batsman (21 Tests, top score 189; member Pakistan's inaugural Test squad), dies at 87
  • Feb 11 Katsuya Nomura, Japanese baseball catcher and manager (first NPB batter to win Triple Crown 1965; Nankai Hawks), dies of heart failure at 84
  • Feb 12 Tamás Wichmann, Hungarian sprint canoeist (World C'ship gold x 9; Olympic silver C-1 1000m 1972, C-2 1000m 1968; bronze C-1 1000m 1976), dies at 72
  • Feb 13 Jimmy Thunder, New Zealand boxer (IBO heavyweight title 1994-95), dies following brain surgery at 54
  • Feb 14 Jimmy Conway, Irish soccer midfielder (20 caps Republic of Ireland; Fulham), dies at 73
  • Feb 14 Garrett Fitzgerald, Irish rugby union coach and administrator (CEO Munster Rugby 1999-2019), dies at 65
  • Feb 15 Caroline Flack, British television presenter (Love Island), commits suicide at 40
  • Feb 15 Tony Fernández, Dominican baseball shortstop (MLB All-Star 1986, 87, 89, 92, 99; World Series 1993; Gold Glove Award 1986–89; Toronto Blue Jays), dies of polycystic kidney disease at 57
  • Feb 16 Harry Gregg, Irish soccer goalkeeper (25 caps Northern Ireland; Manchester United) and manager (Shrewsbury Town, Swansea, Crewe Alexandra), dies at 87
  • Feb 16 Barry Hulshoff, Dutch soccer defender (14 caps; European Cup 1971, 72, 73; Ajax Amsterdam), dies at 73
  • Feb 16 Larry Tesler, American computer scientist (invented copy, cut, paste), dies at 74
  • Feb 17 Terry Lineen, New Zealand rugby union centre (12 caps; Auckland), dies at 84
  • Feb 17 Mickey Wright, American golfer (13 major titles; 82 LPGA Tour wins), dies from a heart attack at 85
  • Feb 19 Heather Couper, British astronomer and presenter (The Sky at Night), dies at 70
  • Feb 19 Jens Nygaard Knudsen, Danish Lego designer of the minifigure, dies at 78
  • Feb 21 Phil Maloney, Canadian ice hockey center (NHL: Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks) and coach (Vancouver Canucks), dies at 92
  • Feb 23 Stefan Florenski, Polish soccer defender (11 caps; Górnik Zabrze), dies at 86
  • Feb 23 János Göröcs, Hungarian soccer midfielder (62 caps; Újpesti Dózsa, Tatabányai Bányász), dies at 80
  • Feb 24 Katherine Johnson, American NASA mathematician (portrayed in film Hidden Figures), dies at 101
  • Feb 24 Don Furner, Australian rugby league forward (1 Test) and coach (Australia 15 Tests; Eastern Suburbs, Canberra Raiders), dies at 87
  • Feb 24 Jan Kowalczyk, Polish equestrian rider (Olympics gold show jumping individual; silver team 1980), dies at 78

Person of interestHosni Mubarak

Feb 25 Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president (1981-2011) who was ousted during the Arab spring, dies at 91

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak
  • Feb 26 Nexhmije Hoxha, Albanian wife of dictator Enver Hoxha 'Lady Macbeth of Albania', dies at 99
  • Feb 28 Johnny Antonelli, American baseball pitcher (6 × MLB All-Star 1954, 56–59²; World Series, NL ERA leader 1954; SF Giants), dies from colon cancer at 89
  • Feb 28 Stig-Göran Myntti, Finnish soccer midfielder (61 caps; Vasa IFK), dies at 94
  • Feb 29 Éva Székely, Hungarian swimmer (Olympic gold 200m breaststroke 1952; silver 1956; first WR 400m individual medley 1953), dies at 92
  • Feb 29 Andrei Vedernikov, Russian road cyclist (first Soviet to win individual amateur road race at World C'ships 1981), dies as a result of a falling tree at 60
  • Feb 29 Bill Roe, American sports executive (President USA Track & Field 2000-2008), dies at 69