1852: Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the auto maker, was founded.
1923: English archaeologist Howard Carter unsealed the intact burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, “King Tut.”
1937: Wallace Hume Carothers, American chemist, inventor and leader of organic chemistry at DuPont, received U.S. patent No. 2,071, 250 for nylon.
1968: The first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system went into service, in Haleyville, Alabama,
2006: The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was decommissioned by the U.S. Army.
1621: Myles Standish was appointed as first commander of the English Plymouth Colony in North America.
1753: February 17 was followed by March 1 in Sweden as the country switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
1863: An organization to aid wounded people, that would later become the Red Cross, was founded in Geneva, Switzerland.
1933: Prohibition ended in the United States. The first edition of Newsweek magazine hit the streets in New York City. (The magazine ceased its print publication on Dec. 31, 2012.)
1959: Vanguard 2 launched the first weather satellite, which was used to measure cloud-cover distribution.
1965: The Ranger 8 probe launched on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. (Mare Tranquillitatis, or the “Sea of Tranquility,” would become the site eventually chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.)
1968: The Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, Mass.
1972: Cumulative sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceeded those of the Ford Model-T.
1980: The first-ever winter ascent of Mount Everest was accomplished by Polish mountaineers Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy.
2004: Bishop Thomas O’Brien, 68, became the first Roman Catholic bishop in U.S. history to be convicted of a felony (for hitting a pedestrian with his car and driving home without reporting the accident).
1861: Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Ala.
1885: Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published for the first time.
1930: Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997) discovered Pluto, the ninth planet of our solar system (now considered a dwarf planet) while studying photos he had taken in January. “Elm Farm Ollie” became the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and the first cow to be milked in an aircraft, at an exhibition in St. Louis, Mo.
1954: The first Church of Scientology was established in Los Angeles by L. Ron Hubbard.
1965: Born this day: rapper and actor Dr. Dre (World Class Wreckin’ Cru and N.W.A).
1978: The first Ironman Triathlon competition took place on the island of Oahu and was won by Gordon Haller in 11 hours, 46 minutes, 58 seconds.
1979: Snow fell in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history.
1998: Eric Bergoust of Missoula won the gold medal in aerial freestyle skiing at the Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.
1600: Peruvian volcano Huaynaputina exploded in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America.
1674: England and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. (A provision of the agreement transferred the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it was renamed New York.)
1878: Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) received a patent for his phonograph.
1884: Over sixty tornadoes struck the Southern United States in one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.
1985: William J. Schroeder became the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave the hospital (in Lexington, Ky.).
1472: The island archipelagos of Orkney and Shetland were pawned by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark.
1792: The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, was signed by President George Washington.
1873: The University of California opened its first medical school in San Francisco.
1877: Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premièred at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
1901: The legislature of Hawaii Territory convened for the first time.
1931: Congress approved the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge by the state of California.
1974: Basil Brown, a 48-year-old health food advocate from Croydon, England, drank himself to death with carrot juice.
1998: American figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest gold-medalist at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
1804: The first self-propelled steam locomotive was fired up at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.
1842: John Greenough was granted the first U.S. patent for a sewing machine.
1878: The first telephone directory was issued, by the District Telephone Company of New Haven, Conn.
1918: The last Carolina Parakeet died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo. (It was the only parrot species indigenous to the U.S.)
1925: The first issue of The New Yorker was published.
1947: Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.
1948: NASCAR was incorporated in Daytona Beach, Fla.
1986: The Legend of Zelda, the first game of The Legend of Zelda series, was released in Japan on the Famicom Disk System.
1995: Steve Fossett (1944-2007) became the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon, upon landing in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada.
1889: President Grover Cleveland signed a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.
1924: President Calvin Coolidge became the first president to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.
1959: Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500.
2002: Bugs Bunny animator Chuck Jones died in Corona del Mar, Calif.
ON THIS DAY…
FEBRUARY 16 – FEBRUARY 22
NATIONAL ALMOND DAY
You can toss them in a salad, ground them into flour, use them for a healthy alternative for milk, or just munch on a few for an afternoon snack.
RANDOM ACT OF KINDESS DAY
To commemorate the anniversary of the discovery of Pluto in 1930.
NATIONAL LASH DAY
This day is to promote the importance of proper eyelash care. A day to appreciate both true and false eyelashes for the beauty they add to our look.
NATIONAL CHERRY PIE DAY
With all its fruity, buttery goodness, we have our forks ready to devour this delicious dessert in all its forms—homemade or store bought.
Many people relish their day off of work, but they might be surprised to know that that was the point! Presidents’ Day moved in an effort to create more three day weekends for the public in the hope that this would inspire greater productivity nationwide.
NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY
The margarita—triple sec, tequila, and lime juice—was created in 1938 in Mexico and is widely considered the drink of having fun.