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962 - Translatio imperii: Pope John XII crowns Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, the first Holy Roman Emperor in nearly 40 years.

1032 - Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor becomes King of Burgundy.

1119 - Callixtus II becomes Pope.

1509 - Battle of Diu takes place near Diu, India, between Portugal and Turkey.

1536 - Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1542 - Portuguese under Christovão da Gama capture a Moslem-occupied hillfort in northern Ethiopia in the Battle of Baçente.

1653 - New Amsterdam (later renamed New York City) is incorporated.

1709 - Alexander Selkirk is rescued from shipwreck on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

1790 - The U.S. Supreme Court convenes for the first time after an unsuccessful attempt on February 1.

1812 - Russia establishes a fur trading colony at Fort Ross, along the California coast.

1848 - Mexican-American War: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed ending the war.

1848 - California Gold Rush: The first ship with Chinese emigrants seeking fortune in California's gold country arrive in San Francisco.

1870 - It is revealed that the famed Cardiff Giant was just carved gypsum and not the petrified remains of a human.


1874 - Grand County, Colorado is created when it is carved out of Summit County

1876 - The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball is formed.

1878 - Greece declares war on Turkey.

1880 - The first electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana.

1882 - The Knights of Columbus are formed in New Haven, Connecticut.

1887 - In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.

1897 - The Pennsylvania state capitol is destroyed by fire.

1899 - The Australian Premiers' Conference held in Melbourne decides to locate Australia's capital (Canberra) between Sydney and Melbourne.

1920 - Tartu Peace Treaty signed between Estonia and Russia.

1920 - France occupies Memel.

1925 - Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

1933 - Adolf Hitler dissolves the German Parliament.

1935 - The polygraph machine is tested for the first time. Leonard Keeler conducts the experiment in Portage, Wisconsin.


1940 - Frank Sinatra debuts with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.

1943 - World War II: The last German forces surrender to the Soviets after the Battle of Stalingrad.

1945 - World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leave to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference.

1952 - A tropical storm forms north of Cuba and moves northeast making landfall in Florida. It is the earliest reported formation of a tropical storm on record in the Atlantic basin.

1957 - President Iskander Mirza of Pakistan lays the foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage across river Indus near Sukkur.

1962 - For the first time in 400 years Neptune and Pluto align.

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 - The American Basketball Association is formed.

1971 - After a coup in Uganda, Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader.

1972 - The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest over Bloody Sunday.

1976 - Groundhog Day gale of 1976 hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada.

1980 - Abscam: Reports surface that FBI personnel were targeting members of the U.S. Congress in a sting operation.

1980 - Founding congress of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey.

1982 - Hama Massacre: The government of Syria attacks the town of Hama and kills thousands of people.

1989 - Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet Union armored column leaves Kabul, ending nine years of military occupation.

1990 - Apartheid: In South Africa President F.W. de Klerk allows the African National Congress to legally function again and promises to set Nelson Mandela free.

1998 - A Cebu Pacific Air DC-9-32 crashes into a mountain near Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, killing 104.

2002 - Wedding of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands to the Argentinean born Máxima Zorreguieta in Amsterdam.

2006 - An aging Egyptian passenger ferry carrying more than 1,400 people sinks in the Red Sea off the Saudi coast.


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