January 29


1834: President Andrew Jackson ordered the first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labor dispute.

1845: Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven, was first published in the New York Evening Mirror.

1861: Kansas was admitted as the 34th U.S. state.

1886: Karl Benz received a patent for the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.

1907: Charles Curtis of Kansas became the first Native American U.S. senator. (He later served as vice president under President Herbert Hoover.)

1963: The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced.

2002: In his state of the union address, President George W. Bush described “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of evil, in which he included Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

2009: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was removed from office after his conviction of several corruption charges, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the U.S. Senate to replace then-U.S. President-elect Barack Hussein Obama.


January 30


1790: The first boat specializing as a lifeboat was tested on the River Tyne in northeast England.

1847: Yerba Buena, Calif., was renamed San Francisco.

1862: The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor, was launched at Hampton Roads, Va.

1911: The destroyer USS Terry made the first airplane rescue at sea, saving the life of John Alexander Douglas McCurdy (1886-1910), 10 miles north of Havana, Cuba. The Canadian Naval Service became the Royal Canadian Navy.

1933: Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

1948: Died this day: Mohandas Gandhi (political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic, born 1869); and aviation pioneer Orville Wright (born 1871).

1969: the Beatles made their last public performance in an impromptu concert on the roof of their London recording studio. (The event was broken up by the police.)

1982: Richard Skrenta (born 1967) wrote the first personal computer virus code, which was 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner.”

2014: At 5:50 a.m., Darlene Shaver of Troy, Mont., became the first patient admitted into Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, a new, $40 million hospital in Libby, Mont. At 6:45 a.m., Cheryle Amos of Libby became the last patient discharged from St. John’s Lutheran Hospital.


January 31


1747: The first venereal diseases clinic opened at London Lock Hospital.

1865: As the Civil War began winding down, Confederate general and traitor Robert E. Lee became general-in-chief.

1915: During World War I, Germany became the first country to make large-scale use of poison gas in warfare, in the Battle of Bolimów against Russia.

1917: During World War I, Germany announced the renewal of unlimited submarine warfare in the Atlantic after a two-year hiatus, and German torpedo-armed submarines prepared to attack any and all ships, including civilian passenger carriers, seen in war-zone waters.

1930: 3M began marketing Scotch Tape.

1949: The first TV soap opera, These Are My Children, was broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago.

1950: U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announced his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II.

1958: The first American satellite, Explorer 1, was launched.

1990: The first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow.

2010: Avatar became the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide.


February 1


1918: Russia adopted the Gregorian calendar, the last major nation to do so.

1957: Felix Wankel’s first working prototype of the Wankel rotary engine ran at the NSU research and development department Versuchsabteilung TX in Germany.

1960: Four black students staged the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.

1964: The Beatles had their first No. 1 hit in the United States with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

1995: Richey Edwards, lyricist and guitarist for ‘Manic Street Preachers,’ disappeared in England at age 27. (He was declared “presumed dead” on Nov. 23, 2008.)

1998: Lillian E. Fishburne became the first female African-American to be promoted to rear admiral.


February 2


1653: New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) was incorporated.

1887: The first Groundhog Day was observed, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

1914: Charlie Chaplin made his first film appearance in the movie Making a Living.

1925: Dog sleds reached Nome, Alaska, with diphtheria serum from Anchorage, inspiring the Iditarod race.

1935: Leonarde Keeler (1903-1949) tested the first polygraph machine, in Los Angeles, Calif.

1969: Actor Boris Karloff, most famous for his portrayal as Frankenstein’s monster, died in Midhurst, Sussex, England, at age 81.

1996: Actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and movie director Gene Kelly (“Singing in the Rain”) died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 83.


February 3


1488: Portuguese sea captain Bartolomeu Dias landed in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, becoming the first known European to travel that far south.

1690: The British colony of Massachusetts issued the first paper money in the Americas.

1783: Spain officially recognized the United States in the final year of the American Revolutionary War:

1924: Thomas Woodrow Wilson (28th president, 1913-1921) died in Washington, D.C., at age 67.

1943: Born this day: stage and movie actress Blythe Danner (mother of actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Paltrow), and singer Dennis Edwards (The Temptations).

1947: The lowest temperature in North America, minus 83.0 degrees F (63.9 degrees C) , was recorded in Snag, Yukon, Canada.

1966: The first rocket-assisted landing on the Moon occurred when the unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft landed.

1984: A research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center performed the world’s first embryo transfer, from one woman to another, resulting in a live birth.


February 4


1787: Shays’ rebellion ended in Petersham, Mass.

1789: George Washington was unanimously elected first president of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College, in the only unanimous electoral vote to date.

1846: The first Mormon pioneers left from Nauvoo, Ill., headed west toward their then-unknown destination of the Salt Lake Valley.

1861: Delegates from six seceded U.S. states met in Montgomery, Ala., and formed the traitorous Confederate States of America.

1941: The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in Arlington, Va., to entertain American troops.

2003: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopted a new constitution.

2004: Facebook, an online social networking site, was launched by self-described hacker and thief Mark Zuckerberg.