* 138 – The Emperor Hadrian adopts Antoninus Pius, effectively making him his successor.
* 1570 – Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I of England.
* 1797 – Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000-1500 soldiers surrender after the Last Invasion of Britain.
* 1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.
* 1843 – Provisional Cession of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands established by Lord George Paulet.
* 1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull, human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.
* 1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress.
* 1901 – J. P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.
* 1912 – Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of Guillaume IV, becomes the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
* 1919 – Oregon places a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.
* 1921 – Tbilisi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, is occupied by Bolshevist Russia.
* 1928 – Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a television license from the Federal Radio Commission.
* 1932 – Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.
* 1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.
* 1941 – February Strike: In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike is declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis.
* 1945 – World War II: Turkey declares war on Germany.
* 1947 – The State of Prussia ceases to exist.
* 1948 – The Communist Party takes control of government in Czechoslovakia and the period of the Third Republic ends.
* 1951 – The first Pan American Games are held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
* 1954 – Gamal Abdul Nasser is made premier of Egypt.
* 1956 – In his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union denounces the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.
* 1964 – North Korean Prime Minister Kim Il-sung calls for the removal of feudalistic land ownership aimed at turning all cooperative farms into state-run ones.
* 1964 – U.S. Air Force launches a satellite employing a US Air Force Atlas/Agena combination from Point Arguello (LC-2-3) in California and from Cape Kennedy in Florida.
* 1968 – Vietnam War: 135 unarmed citizens of Ha My village in South Vietnam's Quảng Nam Province are killed and buried en masse by South Korean troops in what would come to be known as the Ha My massacre.
* 1971 – The first unit of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, the first commercial nuclear power station in Canada, goes online.
* 1980 – The Suriname government is overthrown by a military coup which is initiated with the bombing of the police station from an army ship off the coast of the nation's capital, Paramaribo
* 1986 – People Power Revolution: President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos flees the nation after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino becomes the Philippines' first woman president.
* 1991 – Gulf War: An Iraqi scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania.
* 1992 – Khojaly massacre: about 613 civilians are killed by Armenian armed forces during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan
* 1994 – Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Baruch Goldstein opens fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors.
* 2009 – BDR massacre in Pilkhana, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 74 people are killed, including more than 50 army officials, by Bangladeshi Border Guards inside its headquarters.
* 2011 – In the Irish general election, the Fianna Fáil-led government suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in 1921.