* 624 – Battle of Badr: a key battle between Muhammad's army – the new followers of Islam and the Quraish of Mecca. The Muslims won this battle, known as the turning point of Islam, which took place in the Hejaz region of western Arabia.
* 1138 – Cardinal Gregorio Conti is elected Antipope as Victor IV, succeeding Anacletus II.
* 1639 – Harvard College is named for clergyman John Harvard.
* 1781 – William Herschel discovers Uranus.
* 1809 – Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden is deposed in a coup d'état.
* 1845 – Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto receives its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist.
* 1862 – American Civil War: The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers to return fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
* 1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate States of America agree to the use of African American troops.
* 1881 – Alexander II of Russia is killed near his palace when a bomb is thrown at him. (Gregorian date: it was March 1 in the Julian calendar then in use in Russia.)
* 1884 – The Siege of Khartoum, Sudan begins, ending on January 26, 1885.
* 1897 – San Diego State University is founded.
* 1900 – Second Boer War: British forces occupy Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.
* 1920 – The Kapp Putsch briefly ousts the Weimar Republic government from Berlin.
* 1921 – Mongolia, under Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg, declares its independence from China.
* 1925 – Scopes Trial: A law in Tennessee prohibits the teaching of evolution.
* 1930 – The news of the discovery of Pluto is telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory.
* 1933 – Great Depression: Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandates a "bank holiday".
* 1938 – World News Roundup is broadcast for the first time on CBS Radio in the United States.
* 1938 – Anschluss of Austria to the Third Reich.
* 1940 – The Russo-Finnish Winter War ends.
* 1943 – World War II: In Bougainville, Japanese troops end their assault on American forces at Hill 700.
* 1943 – The Holocaust: German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
* 1954 – Battle of Điện Biên Phủ: Viet Minh forces attack the French.
* 1957 – Cuban student revolutionaries storm the presidential palace in Havana in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista.
* 1962 – Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers a proposal, called Operation Northwoods, regarding performing terrorist attacks upon Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The proposal is scrapped and President John F. Kennedy removes Lemnitzer from his position.
* 1964 – American Kitty Genovese is murdered, reportedly in view of neighbors who did nothing to help her, prompting research into the bystander effect.
* 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
* 1979 – The New Jewel Movement, headed by Maurice Bishop, ousts Prime Minister Eric Gairy in a nearly bloodless coup d'etat in Grenada.
* 1988 – The Seikan Tunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world, opens between Aomori and Hakodate, Japan.
* 1991 – The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
* 1992 – An earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale kills over 500 in Erzincan, eastern Turkey.
* 1996 – Dunblane massacre: in Dunblane, Scotland, 16 Primary School children and 1 teacher are shot dead by a spree killer, Thomas Watt Hamilton who then committed suicide.
* 1997 – India's Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.
* 1997 – The Phoenix lights are seen over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television.
* 2003 – Human evolution: The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human have been found in Italy.
* 2005 – Terry Ratzmann shoots and kills six members of the Living Church of God and the minister at Sheraton Inn in Brookfield, Wisconsin before killing himself.
* 2008 – Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time.