On This Day

Historical Events in February 2020

  • 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 Largest swarm of locusts across East Africa leads Somalia to declare national emergency
  • 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)

Australian 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

Super 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

BAFTA Awards

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

  • Feb 3 Malawi's constitutional court annuls 2019 election which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected due to voting irregularities

Historic Event

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

  • Feb 3 Cruise ship Diamond Princess with 3700 passengers quarantined in Yokohama port, Japan after cases of COVID-19 found on board

Radio History

Feb 4 Radio personality Rush Limbaugh is presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump during the State Of The Union Address

  • Feb 4 Charles McGee, American retired US Air Force officer and fighter pilot of the Tuskegee Airmen promoted from colonel to brigadier general

Historic Event

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

  • 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 COVID-19 related death in the US (confirmed by the CDC 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 Féin 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 COVID-19 virus overtake those of Sars (2003) with 813 deaths worldwide, with more than 34,800 known infections

Academy 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 11 Largest wave ever surfed by a woman by Brazilian Maya Gabeira riding a 73.5ft (22.4m) wave at Nazaré, Portugal
  • 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 COVID-19-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

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Laureus Awards

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

  • Feb 18 40th BRIT Awards: Best Album "Psychodrama" by rapper Dave, Best Song of the Year "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi
  • Feb 18 Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits, suspending those claims

Election of Interest

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 18 President Donald Trump commutes the 14-year sentence of former Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich's corruption conviction
  • Feb 19 German gunman opens fire in a bar in Hanau, Germany, killing nine in a racially motivated attack

Historic Event

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

  • Feb 20 Trump associate Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months imprisonment for obstructing a congressional investigation

Sports History

Feb 22 Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo marks his 1,000th senior appearance by scoring in Juventus' 2-1 Serie A win over SPAL; 725 career goals in 836 club games and 164 internationals

  • Feb 23 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.

COVID-19 Pandemic

Feb 23 President Moon Jae-in puts South Korea on high alert, empowering the government to lock down cities after 602 cases of COVID-19 reported with six deaths

  • Feb 23 First major COVID-19 outbreak in Europe in Italy with 152 cases and three deaths, prompting emergency measures, locking down 10 towns in Lombardy

COVID-19 Pandemic

Feb 23 China's Supreme Leader Xi Jinping describes the country's COVID-19 outbreak as the China's largest health emergency since 1949

  • Feb 23 Fashion designer heavyweights Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons announce they will work alongside 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

Film & TV History

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

Historic Event

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

  • 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 Memorial service for NBA star Kobe Byrant held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
  • 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 25 147 murders occurred during a five day police strike in Ceará, Brazil, despite army patrolling the streets according to authorities
  • Feb 25 Iran emerges as a newCOVID-19 hotspot, recording 95 cases and 11 deaths as a deputy health minister that appeared on TV confirmed as also infected
  • Feb 26 Saudi Arabia bars overseas pilgrims from accessing religious sites of Mecca and Medina because of COVID-19 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"

COVID-19

Feb 27 Dow Jones Index suffers its biggest points fall in history closing down 1,190.95 in New York amid concerns about COVID-19

  • 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.