On This Day

Events in History in February 2021

BattleCoup d'état

Feb 1 Military stage a coup in Myanmar, detaining civilian leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi and declare a one-year state of emergency

Burmese Politician Aung San Suu Kyi
Burmese Politician
Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Feb 1 Wildfires ignite on the outskirts of Perth, Australia, forcing evacuations amid five-day COVID-19 lockdown
  • Feb 1 Wisdom the albatross, the world's oldest known bird, hatches at chick at 70 at the Midway Atoll national wildlife refuge, North Pacific [1]
  • Feb 2 Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine deemed 91.6% effective according to analysis published in "The Lancet" [1]
  • Feb 2 Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay person to be confirmed to a US cabinet post as transportation secretary
  • Feb 2 Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant to be confirmed as head of the US Department of Homeland Security

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Feb 2 Jeff Bezos announces he is stepping down as CEO of Amazon after 30 years, becoming executive chairman

Amazon Entrepreneur Jeff Bezos
Amazon Entrepreneur
Jeff Bezos
  • Feb 2 Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny jailed for three and a half years in jail over alleged parole violations in Moscow
  • Feb 3 US and Russia extend their New START nuclear arms control treaty for five years, the last remaining nuclear arms deal between the two countries

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Feb 3 US President Joe Biden signs executive orders to reunite immigrant families, setting up a new taskforce to address around 1000 remaining separated families [1]

46th US President, Vice President and Senator Joe Biden
46th US President, Vice President and Senator
Joe Biden
  • Feb 3 Engineers at MIT engineered spinach to send emails when detecting explosive materials in groundwater as part of plant nanobionic research [1]
  • Feb 4 US President Joe Biden announces an end to US support for the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen's civil war
  • Feb 4 Denmark approves plans for world's first energy island in the North Sea to provide power to 3 million Europeans
  • Feb 4 International Criminal Court convicts Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen of war crimes and crimes against humanity including forced pregnancy in legal first [1]
  • Feb 4 First successful face and double hand transplant announced performed on 22 year-old Joe DiMeo in New York
  • Feb 5 Ocean life is being drowned out by human noise, especially shipping, construction, sonar and seismic surveys according to new research [1]

  • Feb 7 Himalayan glacier crashes into the Dhauliganga river, destroying a dam and causing a huge flood in Uttarakhand province, India, killing 26, leaving 150 missing
  • Feb 8 South Africa halts rollout of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after research into the South African variant showed no protection again mild and moderate illness
  • Feb 8 Martial law declared in Mandalay, Myanmar, amid continuing protests against the country's military coup
  • Feb 9 WHO team investigating origin of COVID-19 in Wuhan say it is "extremely unlikely" that it leaked from a local research lab [1]

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Feb 9 US Senate Impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins in Washington D.C.

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • Feb 9 United Arab Emirates is the fifth entity to successfully orbit a probe around Mars, as probe Hope begins to study the planet's atmosphere.
  • Feb 10 17,000 year old couch shell discovered to be oldest known wind instrument, after being reassessed by archaeologists, originally found in Marsoulas cave, Pyrenees [1]
  • Feb 10 Astronomers confirm the planetoid named Farfarout as the most distant orbiting the Sun, almost four times more distant than Pluto [1]
  • Feb 11 World's second oldest person French nun Sister André' celebrates her 117th birthday after surviving COVID-19 in Toulon
  • Feb 11 US President Joe Biden rescinds the national emergency order used by Donald Trump to fund the border wall with Mexico
  • Feb 11 California's COVID-19 death toll overtakes New York's, reaching 45,496 amid first sign of falling infection numbers (Johns Hopkins)
  • Feb 11 UK Kent COVID-19 strain set "to sweep the world" and become the dominant strain globally according to UK scientist Sharon Peacock after strain detected in over 50 countries
  • Feb 12 Tokyo Olympics Chief Yoshiro Mori resigns after his comments talkative women made meetings “drag on too long”
  • Feb 13 Former US President Donald Trump acquitted in second Senate impeachment trial on charge of incitement of insurrection after senators vote 57 to 43 in favor of conviction, less than the two thirds majority required for impeachment
  • Feb 13 Archaeologists announce discovery of oldest known beer factory in Abydos, Egypt, from early Dynastic period 3150 B.C.- 2613 B.C

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Feb 13 Mario Draghi, former head of the European Central Bank, is sworn in as Italian Prime Minister ahead of a new coalition government

Economist and Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi
Economist and Prime Minister of Italy
Mario Draghi
  • Feb 14 Guinea declares an Ebola epidemic after three deaths, its first deaths since 2016
  • Feb 14 At least 60 people killed and hundreds missing after a boat capsizes on the Congo River carrying 700 people in western Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Feb 15 Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala becomes the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization
  • Feb 15 Major winter storm in the US stretches from Texas to Maine killing at least 31, with over 3 million without power in Texas

  • Feb 15 UK is the first European country to require travellers from COVID 'hotspots' to isolate in quarantine hotels, following other countries such as Australia, NZ and Singapore
  • Feb 16 US Winter storm continues with Dallas recording its lowest temperature in 70 years minus-2 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Feb 16 Athens and parts of Greece covered in unusual heavy snowfall
  • Feb 17 South Africa, Africa's worst-affected country begins COVID-19 vaccinations with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Cape Town
  • Feb 17 Texan senator Ted Cruz flies to Cancun, Mexico with his family amid a winter disaster in his state, igniting widespread condemnation
  • Feb 18 Facebook blocks users in Australia from accessing news sites in response to proposed new laws for tech companies to pay to show news content
  • Feb 18 Nearly seven million people required to boil their water in Texas as unusually harsh winter storm in the state continues
  • Feb 18 NASA Perseverance rover lands safely on Mars in the Jezero Crater on mission to find microfossils
  • Feb 18 NASA's Perseverance rover successfully lands at Jezero Crater, Mars [1]
  • Feb 20 Bloodiest day of protests in Myanmar since its coup after security forces open fire, killing two people with 40 wounded in Mandalay
  • Feb 20 US President Joe Biden declares a major disaster in Texas as state struggles to cope with aftermath of a crippling winter storm
  • Feb 21 Englishwoman Jasmine Harrison (21) becomes the youngest woman to row across an ocean arriving in Antigua as part of the Atlantic Challenge after 70 days, 3 hours, 48 minutes
  • Feb 21 First democratic transfer of power in Niger, the world's poorest country, as former interior minister Mohamed Bazoum wins Presidential election [1]
  • Feb 21 WHO pleads with Tanzania to start reporting COVID-19 cases amid fears of a hidden epidemic in the country
  • Feb 22 US death toll from COVID-19 passes 500,000, higher than US deaths in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined
  • Feb 22 Influential French dance duo Daft Punk announce their split after 28 years
  • Feb 22 US President Joe Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris hold a candle-lighting ceremony to mark the 500,000 COVID-19 deaths outside the White House "We must not grow numb to the sorrow"

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Feb 22 Wife of drug cartel boss "El Chapo" Emma Coronel Aispuro arrested in the US on drug trafficking charges and conspiring to free her husband from prison

  • Feb 23 Discovery of oldest Australian rock art, a 17,300-year-old painting of a kangaroo in Kimberley region, Western Australia, published in "Nature Human Behaviour" [1]
  • Feb 23 Covid-19 antibodies survey in Nigeria suggests 4 million people have had the virus in Lagos state alone, more than officially recorded for whole of Africa [1]
  • Feb 24 United Nations-backed COVAX initiative begins delivering vaccines to middle and low income countries with first AstraZeneca shipment to Ghana

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Feb 25 Chinese President Xi Jinping says the country has eradicated extreme poverty (earning less than US$620 a year), though many observers remain skeptical about the accuracy of Chinese data due to widespread corruption and lack of transparency [1] [2]

Paramount Leader of China Xi Jinping
Paramount Leader of China
Xi Jinping
  • Feb 25 More than 200 prisoners escape and 25 people are killed at Croix-des-Bouquets prison near Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Feb 26 Amnesty International Report says that Eritrean troops might have committed crimes against humanity, killing hundreds of civilians, in attack on Ethiopian city of Aksum 28-29 November [1]
  • Feb 26 Toymaker Hasbro announces that the Mr Potato Head brand name will be changed to be gender-neutral
  • Feb 27 US authorizes its third COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, a one-shot vaccine
  • Feb 28 Myanmar security forces open fire on protests around the country, killing at least 18, in bloodiest day since the military coup [1]
  • Feb 28 Hong Kong charges 47 with "conspiracy to commit subversion" in harshest implementation of its new security laws imposed by China