1978 First computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois). It opened to the public the following year.
1959 Fidel Castro is sworn in as leader of Cuba after forcing Pres. Fulgencio Batista into exile.
1948 Uranus G.P. Kuiper discovers the planet's fifth moon. It was named Miranda.
1948 First daily TV news broadcast by NBC.
1938 Federal Crop Insurance Corporation is established by Congress, to protect wheat growers against crop losses due to natural causes.
1937 Nylon is patented, by Dr. Wallace Carothers of the E.I. du Pont Co.
1923 King Tutankhamen The boy king's burial chamber is unsealed by Howard Carter.
1918 Anti-Loafing Law New Jersey enacts a law requiring all able-bodied males to be employed in some useful occupation.
1868 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized.
1857 First U.S. school of higher education for the deaf The Columbia Institute for the Deaf is founded.
1741 First issue of Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine, the second magazine published in America.
1682 Gregorian calendar is adopted by Alsace (part of France at the time): Today's date would have been February 5.
1961 Andy Taylor English singer, with Duran Duran. Music: Hungry Like the Wolf (1982), Rio (1982), Union of the Snake (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985).
1959 John McEnroe American tennis player. Rated the number 1 player in the world four times (1981-84), he has won four U.S. Open singles titles (1979-81, 84) and three Wimbledons (1981, 83-84).
1958 Ice-T (Tracy Marrow), American rap singer, actor, Cop Killer, New Jack City, Breakin', and Who's the Man.
1958 Lisa Loring American actress. TV: The Addams Family (Wednesday) and As the World Turns (Cricket).
1957 LeVar Burton (Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr.), actor. TV: Roots (Kunta Kinte), Star Trek: The Next Generation (Lt. La Forge), Reading Rainbow (host).
1935 Sonny Bono d. 1998 (Salvatore Bono), American singer with Cher, mayor, and U.S. Representative. Music: I Got You Babe (1965, #1).
1930 Ricou Browning American actor, underwater cinemaphotographer. Film: The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, the creature in the underwater scenes). He also worked underwater sequence director on Island of the Lost (1967), Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
1926 John Schlesinger d. 2003 English Oscar-winning director. Film: Midnight Cowboy (1969, Oscar), Marathon Man (1976), and Pacific Heights (1990).
1918 Patty Andrews American singer, with the Andrews Sisters.
1909 Richard "Dick" J. McDonald d. 1998 American restaurateur. He and his brother started the McDonald's hamburger chain in 1940. He also created the Golden Arches logo.
1909 Hugh Beaumont d. 1982 American actor. TV: Leave It to Beaver (Ward Cleaver).
1903 Edgar Bergen d. 1978 (Edgar John Bergren), American ventriloquist with Mortimer Snerd and Charlie McCarthy.
1884 Robert Joseph Flaherty d. 1951 American filmmaker, father of the film documentary. Film: Nanook of the North (1922), which was the first commercially successful feature length documentary.
1812 Henry Wilson d. 1875 18th U.S. Vice-President (1873-75), died in office making Thomas W. Ferry the acting Vice-President.
1967 Smiley Burnette b. 1911 (Lester Alvin Burnette), American actor. Film: He was Gene Autry's comic partner in 81 Western films. TV: Petticoat Junction (train engineer Charlie Pratt).
1924 Henry Bacon b. 1866 American architect. He designed the Lincoln Memorial (1922).
1911 Edward Hitchcock b. 1828 American physician, the first U.S. professor of physical education and hygiene (1861). He was appointed by Amherst College of Massachusetts.
1905 Jay Cooke b. 1821 American banker, "Financier of the Civil War." He sold over $2.5 billion in Union bonds during the war. The collapse of his bank led to the Panic of 1873.