Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28 in History

* 202 BC – coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place, initiating four centuries of the Han Dynasty's rule over China
* 870 – The Fourth Council of Constantinople closes.
* 1638 – The Scottish National Covenant is signed in Edinburgh.
* 1700 – Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar.
* 1710 – In the Battle of Helsingborg, 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau are decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock.
* 1784 – John Wesley charters the Methodist Church.
* 1811 – Cry of Asencio, begin of the Uruguayan War of Independence
* 1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
* 1838 – Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Quebec)
* 1844 – A gun on USS Princeton explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.
* 1849 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor.
* 1854 – The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.
* 1870 – The Bulgarian Exarchate is established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire.
* 1883 – The first vaudeville theater opens in Boston, Massachusetts.
* 1885 – The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone. (American Bell would later merge with its subsidiary.)
* 1893 – The USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, is launched.
* 1897 – Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, is deposed by a French military force.
* 1900 – The Second Boer War: The 118-day "Siege of Ladysmith" is lifted.
* 1914 – The Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus is proclaimed in Gjirokastër, by the Greeks living in southern Albania.
* 1922 – The United Kingdom ends its protectorate over Egypt through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
* 1928 – C.V. Raman discovers Raman effect.
* 1933 – Gleichschaltung: The Reichstag Fire Decree is passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire.
* 1935 – DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.
* 1939 – The erroneous word "dord" is discovered in the Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.
* 1940 – Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden).
* 1942 – The heavy cruiser USS Houston is sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed, along with HMAS Perth which lost 375 men.
* 1947 – 228 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives.
* 1953 – James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April's Nature (pub. April 2).
* 1954 – The first color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public.
* 1958 – A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunges down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork River. The driver and 26 children die in what remains the worst school bus accident in U.S. history.
* 1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object to achieve a polar orbit, is launched.
* 1972 – Sino-American relations: The United States and People's Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué.
* 1975 – A major tube train crash at Moorgate station, London kills 43 people.
* 1980 – Andalusia approves its statute of autonomy through a referendum.
* 1985 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army carries out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing nine officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.
* 1986 – Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden, is assassinated in Stockholm.
* 1991 – The first Gulf War ends.
* 1993 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group's leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
* 1997 – An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 in Armenia and Azerbaijan kills around 1,100 people
* 1997 – An earthquake in northern Iran is responsible for about 3,000 deaths.
* 1997 – The North Hollywood shootout takes place, resulting in the injury of 19 people and the deaths of both perpetrators.
* 1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.
* 1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
* 1998 – Kosovo War: Serbian police begin the offensive against the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo.
* 2001 – The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington.
* 2001 – Six passengers and four railway staff are killed and a further 82 people suffer serious injuries in the Selby rail crash.
* 2004 – Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (310 mi) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947
* 2005 – A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq kills 127.

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