On This Day

Historical Events on February 28

  • 202 BC Coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place, initiating four centuries of the Han Dynasty's rule over China
  • 364 Valentinian I becomes Roman Emperor (rules till 375)
  • 870 8th Ecumenical council ends in Constantinople
  • 1570 Anti-Portuguese uprising on Ternate, Moluccas
  • 1638 Scottish Presbyterians sign National Convent, Greyfriars, Edinburgh
  • 1646 Roger Scott tried in Massachusetts for sleeping in church
  • 1653 -Mar 3] 3 Day Sea battle English beat Dutch
  • 1667 English colony Suriname comes under Dutch controls
  • 1700 Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar
  • 1704 Frenchman Elias Neau opens a school for blacks in NYC
  • 1704 Indians attack Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 40, kidnapping 100
  • 1708 Slave revolt in Newton, Long Island NY results in 11 deaths
  • 1710 In the Battle of Helsingborg, 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau are decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock

Music Premiere

1728 George Frideric Handel's opera "Siroe, re di Persia" premieres in London

  • 1730 Tsarina Anna Ivanovna leads autocracy
  • 1749 1st edition of Henry Fieldings' novel "Tom Jones" published
  • 1759 Pope Clement XIII allows Bible to be translated into various languages
  • 1778 Rhode Island General Assembly authorizes enlistment of slaves

Historic Event

1784 John Wesley charters Methodist Church

  • 1787 The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh is granted
  • 1794 US Senate voids Pennsylvania's election of Abraham Gallatin
  • 1804 Charles Pichegru, French army general and royalist who plotted to overthrow Napoleon in the Pichegru Conspiracy, arrested
  • 1810 1st US fire insurance joint-stock company organized, Philadelphia

Music Premiere

1819 1st public performance of a Franz Schubert's song "Schäfers Klageleid"

  • 1826 Biela's Comet rediscovered by Austrian astronomer Wilhelm von Biela (originally discovered 1772)
  • 1827 1st commercial railroad in US, Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) chartered
  • 1828 Franz Grillparzer's "Ein Treuer Diener" premieres in Vienna

Historic Event

1832 Charles Darwin, aboard HMS Beagle, arrives in the town of Salvador in the Brazilian state of Bahia

  • 1835 Dr Elias L"nnrot publishes Finnish poem "Kalevala"
  • 1838 Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Québec)
  • 1844 12-inch gun aboard USS Princeton explodes, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer, and other high-ranking U.S. federal officials
  • 1844 6th Grand National: John Crickmere wins aboard 5/1 co-favourite Discount
  • 1847 US defeats Mexico in battle of Sacramento

Discovery of Gold in California

1849 1st boat load of gold rush prospectors arrives in San Francisco from the east coast

  • 1849 11th Grand National: Tom Cunningham wins aboard 20/1 Peter Simple; 2nd consecutive year there are 3 equine fatalities during the race
  • 1850 The University of Utah opens in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1854 Republican Party formally organized in Ripon, Wisconsin
  • 1859 Arkansas legislature requires free blacks to choose exile or slavery
  • 1862 Charles Gounod's opera "La Reine de Saba" premieres in Paris
  • 1863 Confederate raider "Nashville" sinks near Fort McAllister, Georgia
  • 1864 -Mar 3rd] Skirmish at Albemarle County Virginia (Burton's Ford)
  • 1864 -Mar 4th) Raid at Kilpatrick's Richmond
  • 1870 The Bulgarian Exarchate (Orthodox Church) is established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire
  • 1871 2nd Enforcement Act gives federal control of congressional elections in US

Historic Event

1878 Congress overrides US President Rutherford B. Hayes veto of the Bland-Allison Act, requiring the Treasury to buy a certain amount of silver and put it into circulation as silver dollars

  • 1878 US congress authorizes large-size silver certificate
  • 1879 "Exodus of 1879" southern blacks flee political and economic exploitation
  • 1882 1st US college cooperative store opens, at Harvard University
  • 1883 1st US vaudeville theater opens in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1888 Ferry in San Pablo Bay explodes

Music History

1888 Vincent d'Indy's Wallenstein-trilogy, premieres

  • 1891 Oscar Grundén skates world record 500m (50.8 sec)
  • 1893 Edward Acheson of Pennsylvania, patents an abrasive he names "carborundum" (Silicon carbide)
  • 1896 France dismisses Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar
  • 1900 General Buller's troops relieve Ladysmith in Natal
  • 1903 Barney Dreyfuss & James Potter buy Philadelphia Phillies for $170,000
  • 1904 Vincent d'Indy's 2nd Symphony in B, premieres
  • 1904 Football club Sport Lisboa (Benfica) founded in Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1906 Stanley Cup: Ottawa HC beats Queen's University (Kingston, ON), 12-7 for a 2-0 sweep of challenge series
  • 1908 Failed assassination attempt on Shah Mohammed Ali in Tehran
  • 1909 1st National Woman's Day is observed in the United States. Organized by the Socialist Party of America in honor of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

Sports History

1912 Victor Trumper's last Test Cricket innings c Woolley b Barnes 50

  • 1914 Construction begins on Tower of Jewels for the San Francisco Exposition
  • 1915 WWI: After the French try to drive the Germans forces back into the Champagne region, they gain a few hundred yards - at the cost of 50,000 casualties
  • 1917 AP reports Mexico & Japan will allie with Germany if US enters WW I

Music History

1920 Maurice Ravel's orchestral suite "Le tombeau de Couperin" premieres in Paris

  • 1922 KHQ-AM in Spokane WA begins radio transmissions
  • 1923 Swedish King Gustaaf V begins state visit to Netherlands
  • 1924 US begins intervention in Honduras
  • 1925 "Tea For Two" by Marion Harris hits #1
  • 1925 Congress authorizes a special handling stamp
  • 1925 Longest win streak in Toronto Maple Leaf history (9 games)
  • 1925 Theater Museum of Amsterdam forms
  • 1929 Chic Black Hawks lose record NHL 15th straight game at home
  • 1931 Canadian Rugby Union adopts the forward pass
  • 1931 British politician Oswald Mosley founds the New Party
  • 1933 1st female in US Cabinet: Frances Perkins appointed Secretary of Labor

Reichstag Fire

1933 On Adolf Hitler's advice, German President Paul von Hindenburg signs the Reichstag Fire Decree after the building is destroyed by fire in Berlin; this eliminates many civil liberties in Germany

Historic Event

1933 After the Reichstag Fire Decree, the German Communist Party (KPD) is essentially outlawed (though not formally banned) after the German government blames the Communists for burning down the Reichstag building

  • 1933 Pacifist and anti fascist writer Carl Von Ossietzky arrested, sent to Esterwegen-Papenburg concentration camp
  • 1935 Amsterdam Hotel of the Red Lion gets sidewalk permit
  • 1935 Wallace Carothers manufactures 1st nylon polymer
  • 1935 Ladby Ship is discovered within a Viking grave on the island of Funen in Denmark by amateur archaeologist Poul Helweg Mikkelsen
  • 1936 Karl Schäfer of Austria follows up his Winter Olympics victory with his 7th consecutive men’s figure skating World Championship title in Paris, France
  • 1936 Olympic champions Ernst Baier and Maxi Herber of Germany win their 4th consecutive pairs figure skating gold medal at the World Championships in Paris, France

Historic Event

1939 Great Britain recognizes Franco regime in Spain

  • 1939 The first issue of Serbian weekly magazine Politikin zabavnik is published.
  • 1939 The erroneous word "Dord" is discovered in the Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.
  • 1940 1st televised basketball game (U of Pitts beats Fordham U, 50-37)
  • 1940 Richard Wright's "Native Son" published
  • 1940 US population at 131,669,275 (12,865,518 African American (9.8%))
  • 1941 British-Italian dogfight above Albania
  • 1942 1st weapon drop on Netherlands
  • 1942 Japanese land in Java, last Allied bastion in Dutch East Indies
  • 1942 Race riot at Sojourner Truth Homes, a housing project in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1943 George Gershwin's "Porgy & Bess" opens on Broadway with Anne Brown & Todd Duncan
  • 1944 Arrests of the ten-Boom family in Nazi occupied Netherlands (Haarlem) through a Dutch collaborator on charges of hiding Jews

February 28 Massacre

1947 February 28 Massacre: Anti-government uprising in Taiwan is violently put down by Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang-led Republic of China government with the loss of 18,000-28,000 lives. Marks the beginning of the White Terror.

  • 1950 "Alive & Kicking" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 46 performances
  • 1951 French government of Pleven dissolves
  • 1951 Senate committee reports of at least 2 major US crime syndicates

Golden Globes

1951 8th Golden Globes: "Sunset Boulevard", Jose Ferrer, & Gloria Swanson win

Historic Event

1952 Vincent Massey is sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor General of Canada

Historic Event

1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discover the chemical structure of DNA-molecule (double-helix polymer)

  • 1954 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island
  • 1956 13 die in a train crash in Swampscott, Massachusetts
  • 1956 American engineer Wright Forrester issued a patent for computer core memory
  • 1957 Jockey Johnny Longden's 5,000th career victory
  • 1958 West Indies 1-504 in reply to Pakistan 328, day 3 of 3rd Test Cricket
  • 1959 "Goldilocks" closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 161 performances
  • 1959 Ice Dance Championship at Colorado Springs USA won by Denny & Jones of Great Britain
  • 1959 Ice Pairs Championship at Colorado Springs won by Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul of Canada, their 3rd title
  • 1959 Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by Carol Heiss USA
  • 1959 Launch of Discoverer 1 (WTR)-1st polar orbit
  • 1959 Men's World Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by David Jenkins USA
  • 1959 NFL trade, Chicago Cards trade Ollie Matson to LA Rams for 9 players
  • 1960 VIII Winter Olympic Games close in Squaw Valley, California

Olympic Gold

1960 Home team United States wins its first Olympic ice hockey gold medal at Squaw Valley; with 9-4 win over Czechoslovakia

  • 1962 WMGM-AM in New York City changes call letters to WHN
  • 1966 Cavern Club (Beatles hangout) in Liverpool closes

Sports History

1966 Sandy Koufax & Don Drysdale begin a joint holdout against Dodgers

Golden Globes

1966 23rd Golden Globes: "Doctor Zhivago", Omar Sharif, & Samantha Eggar win

NBA Record

1967 Wilt Chamberlain sinks NBA record 35th consecutive field goal

  • 1967 A West German court rules that impostor Anna Anderson failed to prove that she was missing Russian duchess Anastasia Romanov, ending a legal case that lasted almost 30 years
  • 1968 Pirate Radio Hauraki, on a boat floating off coast of NZ, returns to the air
  • 1969 Ice Dance Championship at Colorado Springs won by Towler & Ford of Great Britain
  • 1969 Ice Pairs Championship at Colorado Springs won by Rodnina & Ulanov of the Soviet Union
  • 1969 Ladies Figure Skating Champion in Colorado Springs won by Gabriele Seyfert of Great Britain
  • 1969 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by Tim Wood of USA

Election of Interest

1969 Terence O'Neill re-elected as leader of the Unionist Parliamentary Party and thus confirmed as Northern Ireland Prime Minister

  • 1970 "Georgy" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 4 performances
  • 1970 Bicycles permitted to cross Golden Gate Bridge
  • 1970 Caroline Walker runs world female record marathon (3:02:53)
  • 1970 KIIN (now KUN) TV channel 12 in Iowa City, IA (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1970 WUTR TV channel 20 in Utica-Rome, NY (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1971 WDRB TV channel 41 in Louisville, Kentucky (IND) begins broadcasting

PGA Championship

1971 PGA Championship Men's Golf, PGA National East: Jack Nicklaus leads wire-to-wire for his 2nd career grand slam; wins by 2 from Billy Casper

  • 1971 A British soldier dies in Derry after his vehicle had been attacked with petrol bombs (he died as a result of inhaling chemicals from fire extinguishers that were used to put out the fire)

Music History

1972 George Harrison is involved in a minor car accident

Historic Event

1972 US President Richard Nixon ends historic week-long visit to China

  • 1972 The Asama-Sanso incident ends in Japan.
  • 1973 Suriname government of Sedney arrests 13 union leaders
  • 1973 Iraq and Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) reach an agreement on compensation for nationalization
  • 1974 Ethiopian government of Makonnen forms
  • 1974 UK general election results in a hung parliament
  • 1974 Taiwan police shoots into crowd
  • 1974 US & Egypt re-form diplomatic relations after 7 years
  • 1975 EG signs accord of Lome with 46 developing countries
  • 1975 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1975 A major London tube train crash at Moorgate station kills 43 people and injures a further 74.

Grammy Awards

1976 18th Grammy Awards: "Love Will Keep Us Together" Record of the Year, Natalie Cole 1st African American to win Best New Artist

  • 1976 Spain withdraws from Western Sahara, leaving Ceuta & Melilla (Spanish Morocco) as the last European possessions in Africa
  • 1977 1st killer whale born in captivity (Marineland, Los Angeles California)
  • 1977 Dock strike in Rotterdam/Amsterdam ends
  • 1979 Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond" premieres in NYC
  • 1980 "The Well-Tuned Piano" by La Monte Young premieres (takes 4 h 12 m)
  • 1980 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1981 Calvin Murphy (Hou), sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws
  • 1981 People's Republic of China throws out the Netherlands ambassador due to Dutch sales of submarines to Taiwan
  • 1982 AT&T looses a record $7 BILLION for the fiscal year ending on this day
  • 1982 FALN (PR Nationalist Group) bombs Wall Street

Television Finale

1983 Final TV episode of "M*A*S*H", a 2-hour special directed by series star Alan Alda titled "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", airs (CBS); record 125 million watch in the US

Album Release

1983 U2 release their third studio album "War" featuring protest song "Sunday Bloody Sunday", their 1st No. 1 UK album

  • 1984 British satirical puppet show "Spitting Image" premieres on ITV
  • 1986 European Economic Community signs "Special Act" for Europe free trade
  • 1986 Peter Uberroth suspended 7 baseball players for 1 year, after they admitted in Curtis Strong's trial in September, they used drugs
  • 1988 XV Winter Olympic Games close in Calgary, Canada
  • 1988 Anti-Armenian pogrom in Azerbaijan, 30 killed
  • 1988 Pat Verbeek becomes 1st NJ Devil to score 4 goals in an NHL game

World Record

1988 Yvonne van Gennip skates world record 5 km ladies (7:14.13)

  • 1989 Gretchen Polhemus, 23, (Texas), crowned 38th Miss USA
  • 1989 Memo by Brian Gumbel criticizing Today Show co-workers becomes public
  • 1989 10-time All Star second baseman and manager Red Schoendienst and umpire Al Barlick are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • 1990 Dutch police seize 3,000 kg of cocaine
  • 1990 US 65th manned space mission STS 36 (Atlantis 6) launches into orbit
  • 1991 Gulf War ends after Iraq accepts a ceasefire following their retreat from Kuwait
  • 1991 "Les Miserables" opens at Theatre Carre, Amsterdam
  • 1991 "Speed of Darkness" opens at Belasco Theater NYC for 36 performances

Sports History

1991 Don Mattingly named 10th NY Yankee Captain

  • 1991 Noureddine Morceli runs world record 1500m indoor (3:34:16)
  • 1993 "Anna Christie" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 54 performances

Film & TV History

1993 7th American Comedy Award: Jerry Seinfeld

  • 1993 Gun battle erupts near Waco, Texas at Branch Davidian compound after FBI attempts a raid
  • 1993 Iolanda Chen triple jumps world indoor record hop step (14.46m)
  • 1994 Brady Law, imposing a wait-period to buy a hand gun in the USA, comes into effect
  • 1995 Denver International Airport opens
  • 1995 The US Pentagon announces that it monitored Iranian installation of surface-to-air Hawk missiles in the Strait of Hormuz

Grammy Awards

1996 38th Grammy Awards: Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette wins

  • 1997 Earthquake in Pakistan kills 45
  • 1997 FBI agent Earl Pitts pleads guilty to selling secrets to Russia
  • 1997 Purchasers of cigarettes in US must prove they are over 18
  • 1997 The North Hollywood shootout takes place.
  • 1998 "View From the Bridge" closes at Criterion Theater NYC

Sports History

1998 Vancouver Canucks Mark Messier is 4th NHLer to get 1,600 points

  • 1998 First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
  • 1998 Kosovo War: Serbian police begin the offensive against the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo.
  • 2001 The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington.