On This Day

Events in History on February 2

  • 506 Alaric II, king of the Visigoths, promulgates the Lex Romania Visigothorum (or Breviary of Alaric), a collection of Roman law
  • 962 Pope John XII crowns German King Otto I the Great Emperor
  • 1032 Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor becomes King of Burgundy, succeeding Rudolf III
  • 1119 Guido di Borgogna elected Pope Callistus II
  • 1141 Battle of Lincoln: King Stephen captured by forces loyal to Empress Matilda and commanded by Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
  • 1349 By this date at least 200 people a day were being buried in London as a result of the Black Death
  • 1536 Pedro de Mendoza founds Argentine city of Buenos Aires
  • 1542 Portuguese under Christovão da Gama capture a Muslim-occupied hillfort in northern Ethiopia in the Battle of Baçente.
  • 1550 Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, freed
  • 1637 Zorilla's "El más Impropio Verdugo Para Las" premieres in Madrid
  • 1653 New Amsterdam becomes a city (later renamed New York)
  • 1709 British sailor Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being marooned on a desert island for 5 years, his story inspires "Robinson Crusoe"
  • 1714 Nicholas Rowe's play "The Tragedy of Jane Shore" premieres in London
  • 1732 King Frederik Willem I moves Lutherans towards East-Prussia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1742 British government of Robert Walpole resigns

1st British Prime Minister Robert Walpole
1st British Prime Minister
Robert Walpole

USAArticles of Confederation

1787 Arthur St. Clair is elected the 9th President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation
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The Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America
The Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America

  • 1798 Federal St Theater, Boston, becomes 1st in US destroyed by fire
  • 1802 1st leopard exhibited in US, Boston (admission 25 cents)
  • 1811 Russian settlers establish Ft Ross trading post, north of San Francisco
  • 1829 Madman Jonathan Martin sets York Cathedral on fire, does £60,000 damage
  • 1843 US & British settlers in Oregon Country choose government committee
  • 1848 1st ship load of Chinese immigrants arrive in San Francisco
  • 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War: US acquires Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona for $15 million
  • 1852 1st British public men's toilet opens in Fleet St, London
  • 1852 Alexandre Dumas Jr's "La Dame aux Camélias" premieres in Paris
  • 1854 Pope Pius IX encyclical "On persecution of Armenians"
  • 1861 The "Organized Incorporated Territory of Nevada" is created, lasting until October 31st, 1864
  • 1864 -Oct 7th) Cruise of CSS Florida
  • 1869 James Oliver invents removable tempered steel plow blade
  • 1870 Cardiff Giant (supposed petrified human) proved to be gypsum
  • 1878 Greece declares war on Turkey
  • 1880 SS Strathleven arrives in London with first shipment of frozen Australian mutton
  • 1887 In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day is observed.
  • 1888 Frank Sprague opens the first successful U.S. electric street railway system, the Richmond Union Passenger Railway, in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1892 Bottle cap patented by William Painter
  • 1892 Johnny Briggs takes a hat-trick, England v Australia SCG
  • 1894 US warship Kearsarge wrecked on Roncador Reef, near Solomon Island
  • 1899 The Australian Premiers' Conference held in Melbourne decides to locate Australia's capital (Canberra) between Sydney and Melbourne.
  • 1901 Female Army Nurse Corps established as a permanent organization

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1901 Queen Victoria's funeral takes place in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England

Queen of the United Kingdom Queen Victoria
Queen of the United Kingdom
Queen Victoria
  • 1901 Mexican government troops are ambushed by Yaqui Indians, 100 killed

  • 1901 The US Congress passes the Army Reorganization Act, placing the minimum number of men under arms at 58,000
  • 1906 Pope encyclical against separation of church & state
  • 1909 Italian writer Marinetti publishes Futurist Manifest in Paris
  • 1912 Frederick R Law, parachutes from Statue of Liberty (stunt for Pathe)

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1913 NY football Giants sign Jim Thorpe

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • 1913 NYC's Grand Central Terminal opens

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1913 American poet Joyce Kilmer writes his famous poem "Trees" in Mahwah, New Jersey

  • 1919 Monarchist riot in Portugal
  • 1920 Estonia declares its Independence from Russia (Dorpat Peace)
  • 1920 France occupies (German) Memel territory
  • 1920 Tarto/Dorpat peace treaty: USSR recognizes Estonian independence
  • 1922 It was 2:22:22 on 2/2/22

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1922 James Joyce's "Ulysses" published in Paris (1,000 copies)

Novelist & Poet James Joyce
Novelist & Poet
James Joyce
  • 1923 Ethyl gasoline 1st marketed, Dayton, Ohio
  • 1923 US signs friendship treaty with Central American countries
  • 1924 International Ski Federation (FIS) forms
  • 1925 Belgian episcopacy rejects liberalism, communism & socialism
  • 1925 Dogsleds reach Nome with emergency diphtheria serum after 1000-km
  • 1925 NL holds Golden Jubilee Year meeting at same hotel where NL began
  • 1927 Harry Tierney/Joseph McCarthy's "Rio Rita" premieres in NYC
  • 1927 Ziegfeld Theater (Loew's Ziegfeld) opens at 6th Ave & 54th St NYC
  • 1931 1st siyyum of Talmud celebrated by Daf Yomi students
  • 1931 1st use of a rocket to deliver mail (Austria)
  • 1932 Geneva disarmament conference begins with 60 countries
  • 1932 Grimmett takes 14 wickets v South Africa (7-116 & 7-83)
  • 1932 Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) organized in the US to provide financial support to state and local governments and to make loans to banks, railroads, mortgage associations and other businesses

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1933 2 days after becoming chancellor, Adolf Hitler dissolves the German Reichstag (Parliament)

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1933 Hermann Goering bans Communist meetings/demonstrations in Germany

Nazi Politician Hermann Goering
Nazi Politician
Hermann Goering
  • 1933 Ucicky's "Rotten Morning" premieres in Berlin
  • 1934 Dutch RC Bishops warn against fascism and nazism
  • 1935 Leonarde Keeler first uses his polygraph machine on criminals later convicted of assault on its findings in Portage, Wisconsin
  • 1941 US female Figure Skating championship won by Jane Vaughn
  • 1941 US male Figure Skating championship won by Eugene Turner
  • 1942 LA Times urges security measures against Japanese-Americans
  • 1942 US auto factories switch from commercial to war production
  • 1943 German 6th Army surrenders after Battle of Stalingrad in a major turning point in Europe during World War II
  • 1944 4th US marine division conquers Roi, Marshall Islands
  • 1944 Allied troops 1st set foot on Japanese territory
  • 1944 Edward Chodorov's "Decision" premieres in NYC
  • 1945 Escape attempt at Mauthausen concentration camp
  • 1946 The Proclamation of Hungarian Republic made
  • 1948 President Harry Truman urges congress to adopt a civil rights program
  • 1951 -35°F (-37°C), Greensburg, Indiana (state record until 1994)
  • 1951 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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1952 Hubert de Givenchy presents his first collection in Paris with Bettina Graziani opening the show

Courtier and Fashion Designer Hubert de Givenchy
Courtier and Fashion Designer
Hubert de Givenchy

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1954 President Eisenhower reports detonation of 1st H-bomb (done in 1952)

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1954 Snow falls on Gibraltar

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1954 "The Nutcracker" ballet choreographed by George Balanchine with Maria Tallchief as the Sugar Plum Fairy opens in New York, establishes its popularity in the US

Ballet Choreographer George Balanchine
Ballet Choreographer
George Balanchine
Ballerina Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief
  • 1956 Coasters sign with Atlantic Records
  • 1957 UN adopts a resolution calling for Israeli troops to leave Egypt
  • 1958 Syria joins Egypt in United Arab Republic
  • 1960 Michale Eufemia sinks 625 balls in pool match without a miss
  • 1961 Prince Bernhard opens new RAI building in Amsterdam
  • 1962 8 of 9 planets align for 1st time in 400 years
  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1964 GI Joe, debuts as a popular American boy's toy
  • 1965 Joe Orton's "Loot" premieres in Brighton
  • 1966 Pakistan suggests a six-point agenda with Kashmir dispute as number one item for the proposed Indo-Pak ministerial talks after 1965 war.
  • 1967 Bolivia adopts its constitution
  • 1968 Springer Publishers in West Berlin, bombed
  • 1971 US Congressional Black Caucus organizes with Charles C. Diggs Jr. its first Chair

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1971 Idi Amin ousts Milton Obote and appoints himself President (dictator) of Uganda

Ugandan Dictator Idi Amin
Ugandan Dictator
Idi Amin
  • 1972 Lefty Gomez, Ross Youngs & William Harridge selected for Hall of Fame

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1972 Tom Stoppard's play "Jumpers" premieres in London

Playwright and Screenwriter Tom Stoppard
Playwright and Screenwriter
Tom Stoppard
  • 1972 Angry demonstrators burn the British Embassy in Dublin to the ground in protest at the shooting dead of 13 people on 'bloody sunday'
  • 1973 Richard Helms, ends term as 8th director of CIA; succeeded by James R Schlesinger (until July)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974 Pope Paul VI encyclical "To Honor Mary"

Pope Paul VI
Paul VI
  • 1974 The F-16 Fighting Falcon flies for the first time.
  • 1974 Playmobil toys debut at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, designed by Hans Beck and produced by the Brandstätter Group
  • 1975 Army offensive against rebels in Eritrea

  • 1975 US female Figure Skating championship won by Dorothy Hamill
  • 1975 US male Figure Skating championship won by Gordon McKellen Jr
  • 1976 "Honeymooners Second Honeymoon" airs on TV
  • 1977 Burn up of Salyut 4 Space Station (USSR)
  • 1977 Radio Shack officially begins creating the TRS-80 computer
  • 1980 FBI releases details of Abscam, a sting operation that targeted 31 elected & public officials for bribes for political favors
  • 1982 Government troops and Muslim fundamentalists battle in Hamah, Syria
  • 1983 Chicago Archbishop Joseph L Bernardin is among 18 new cardinals invested

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1983 Pope John Paul II names 18 new cardinals

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1984 Lebanese army fights in Beirut
  • 1985 US male Figure Skating championship won by Brian Boitano
  • 1986 Dalai Lama meets Pope John Paul II in India
  • 1986 Oscar Arias Sanchez elected president of Costa Rica
  • 1987 Philippines adopts constitution
  • 1989 0°F (-18°C) or below in 15 US states

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989 F. W. de Klerk replaces P. W. Botha as South Africa's National Party leader

South African President F. W. de Klerk
South African President
F. W. de Klerk
President of South Africa P. W. Botha
President of South Africa
P. W. Botha
  • 1990 South African President F. W. de Klerk promises to free Nelson Mandela & legalizes ANC & 60 other political organisations
  • 1991 Aravinda De Silva scores 267 v NZ at Wellington
  • 1991 NH snaps its 32-game losing streak at home beating Holy Cross, 72-56
  • 1991 US postage is raised from 25 cents to 29 cents
  • 1992 Danny Everett runs world record 400m indoor (45.02 sec)
  • 1993 Frito Lay pays court ordered $2,500,000 to Tom Wait for using his song
  • 1993 Irina Privalova runs world record 50m indoor (6.05 sec)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993 Václav Havel becomes the first president of an independent Czech Republic, after the split with Slovakia

Politician and Author Václav Havel
Politician and Author
Václav Havel
  • 1995 US space shuttle Discovery launched
  • 1998 Daniel Baldwin hospitalized in NYC for cocaine overdose
  • 1998 Philippine DC-9 crashes apparently killing all 104 on board
  • 2012 Cold snap across Europe kills more than 100 people (over 400 people by 08-02)
  • 2012 MV Rabaul Queen sinks off the coast of Papua New Guinea with 246 people saved and 126 missing (100 of these estimated to be trapped inside)
  • 2013 23 people are killed and 8 are injured after militants attacked an army base in the Lakki Marwat District, Pakistan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2013 Shinzō Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister vows to defend the Senkaku Islands "at all costs"

Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Shinzō Abe
  • 2013 18 people are killed and 34 are injured after a bus catches fire after falling down a ravine in Gansu province, China
  • 2014 Protests in Ukraine turn violent after parliament passes legislation that outlaws protest
  • 2016 First case of Zika contracted on US mainland (Texas) and second known sexually transmitted case confirmed in Texas
  • 2018 All 955 miners rescued from the Beatrix gold mine in Welkom town, South Africa, after 2 days underground
  • 2019 More than 40 mummies from 323-30 BC found at a burial site at Tuna el-Gebel archaeological site south of Cairo, Egypt
  • 2019 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam admits to wearing blackface in 1984 but says he's not in a photo of men wearing blackface and a Ku Klux Klan robe on a yearbook page