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362 - Athanasius returns to Alexandria.

1440 - The Prussian Confederation is formed.

1543 - Battle of Wayna Daga - A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeated a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.

1613 - Mikhail I is elected unanimously as Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia .

1743 - The premiere in London of George Frideric Handel's oratorio, "Samson".

1804 - The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren ironworks in Wales.

1842 - John J. Greenough patents the sewing machine.

1848 - Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifesto.

1874 - The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first newspaper.

1875 - Jeanne Calment was born, going on to live for 122 years 164 days, the longest confirmed lifespan for any human being in history.

1878 - The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.

1885 - The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.

1893 - Thomas Edison receives two U.S. patents for a "Cut Out for Incandescent Electric Lamps" and for a "Stop Device"


1916 - World War I: In France the Battle of Verdun begins.

1925 - The New Yorker publishes its first issue.

1937 - Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile.

1937 - The League of Nations bans foreign national "volunteers" in the Spanish Civil War.

1947 - In New York City Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

1948 - NASCAR is incorporated.

1952 - Language Martyrs' Day, marking language-revolution in the then East Pakistan (currently, the independent state of People's Republic of Bangladesh).

1952 - The government of Winston Churchill abolishes Identity Cards in the UK to "set the people free".

1952 - In East Pakistan (Present Bangladesh) Police opened fire on a procession of students, who demended to establish Bangla as the State Language, killing four people and starting a country-wide protest which led to the independence of Bangladesh in 1971. 21st February was later declared as "International Mother Language Day" by UNESCO.

1953 - Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the structure of the DNA molecule.

1960 - Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalizes all businesses in Cuba.

1965 - Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.

1970 - Swissair Flight 330: A mid-air bomb explosion and subsequent crash kills 38 passengers and nine crew members near Zürich, Switzerland.


1971 - The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.

1972 - President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.

1972 - The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.

1973 - Over the Sinai Desert, Israeli fighter aircraft shoot down a Libyan Airlines jet killing 108.

1974 - The long-running Japanese comic strip "Sazae-san" publishes its final installment in the Asahi Shimbun.

1974 - The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal in carrying out a truce with Egypt.

1975 - Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.

1981 - Charles Rocket, portraying the gunshot victim in a Saturday Night Live parody of the "Who Shot J.R." plot on the program Dallas, said, "I'd like to know who the fuck did it," during the live feed of the "goodnights" segment. Afterward, everyone except Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo was fired.

1986 - Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda for the Famicom in Japan.

1986 - Metallica released their 3rd album Master of Puppets.

1988 - Jimmy Swaggart, on his own televangelism program being taped in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, confesses that he is guilty of an unspecified sin and will be temporarily leaving the pulpit.

1995 - Serkadji prison mutiny in Algeria; 4 guards and 96 prisoners killed in a day and a half.

1995 - Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

2000 - David Letterman returns to The Late Show over a month after having an emergency quintuple heart bypass surgery.

2003 - Over 100 concert goers in Rhode Island die in a fire during a performance of the rock band Great White.

2004 - The first European political party organization, the European Greens, is established in Rome.

2006 - New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg unveils a brand new sign on the corner of West 66th Street called Peter Jennings Way in honor of the late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings.


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