1980 Pink Lady NBC debuts a TV series starring the Japanese female singing duo. It was quickly canceled; maybe because neither star spoke English. TV Guide ranked it #35 on its 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time list.
1969 Jim Morrison, of The Doors, exposes himself in front of a Miami concert audience.
1966 First man-made object to strike another planet Soviet Venera 3 lands on Venus. It had been launched in November.
1954 First hydrogen bomb fatality A U.S. H-bomb test exposes a Japanese fisherman to fallout. He died the following September.
1954 Attack on U.S. Capitol Four Puerto Rican nationalists and independence supporters enter the U.S. House of Representatives and open fire with automatic pistols, injuring five members of Congress. They served 25 years in prison before being pardoned by Pres. Jimmy Carter in 1979.
1932 Lindbergh Kidnapping Charles Lindbergh's 20-month-old son is kidnapped. He was found dead two months later.
1875 Civil Rights Act passed by Congress, decreed the privilege of equal rights and enjoyment in places of public amusement without distinction of color.
1872 First national park Yellowstone, is established by Congress.
1867 Nebraska becomes the 37th state.
1845 Lone Star State President Tyler signs a resolution annexing Texas.
1815 100 Days War The war begins when Napoleon returns to France from exile. Wellington takes command of the allied army in Belgium.
1803 Ohio becomes the 17th state. Ohio is Iroquois for "fine river."
1790 First U.S. Census Congress authorizes the counting of U.S. inhabitants. It was completed in August, showing a population of 3.9 million.
1788 The U.S. State of Franklin The U.S. state ceases to exist. It had been created in 1784 when East Tennessee declared itself an independent state. However, Congress denied its legitimacy.
1781 American Revolution Ratification of the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union" by the states is completed.
1780 Slavery Act of the Pennsylvania legislature provided for the gradual emancipation of slaves.
1778 First execution of woman by American courts Joshua Spooner is murdered by three men in Massachusetts. His wife, Bathsheba, was hanged the following July for her part in the conspiracy.
1753 Gregorian calendar is adopted by Sweden Today's date would have been February 18.
1700 Gregorian calendar is adopted by Denmark and Norway Today's date would have been February 19.
1692 First Salem Witch Trial Sarah Good and a female slave are convicted of witchcraft and sent to jail. Sarah was later hanged. In the following months 19 others would be executed for witchcraft.
1682 Gregorian calendar is adopted by Strassburg, Germany Today's date would have been February 19.
1954 Ron Howard American actor. TV: The Andy Griffith Show (Opie) and Happy Days (Richie). Film director: Splash (1984), Cocoon (1985), Apollo 13 (1995), and A Beautiful Mind (2001, best director Oscar).
1954 Catherine Bach American actress. TV: The Dukes of Hazzard (Daisy Duke).
1947 Alan Thicke Canadian-born actor. TV: Growing Pains (Jason Seaver) and Animal Crack-Ups (host).
1946 Lana Wood American actress, Natalie Wood's sister. Film: Diamonds Are Forever (1971, Plenty O'Toole).
1944 Roger Daltrey British singer, with The Who. Music: My Generation (1965) and Pinball Wizard (1969).
1944 Dirk Benedict American actor. TV: The A-Team (Faceman).
1935 Robert Conrad (Conrad Robert Falk), American actor. TV: The Wild Wild West (secret agent West) and Baa Baa Black Sheep (Pappy Boyington).
1929 Georgi Markov d. 1978 Bulgarian dissident. While waiting at a bus stop, he was stabbed with an umbrella that inserted a ricin-filled pellet. He died several days later. It is believed that the KGB was behind the assassination.
1927 Harry Belafonte American singer, Tony-Emmy-winning actor, the "King of Calypso." He was the first black to win an Emmy (1960). Music: Banana Boat Song (aka Day-Oh, 1956).
1926 Pete Rozelle d. 1996 American football executive, NFL commissioner (1960-89). He created the Super Bowl (1966) and presided over the merger with the AFL.
1924 Donald "Deke" Slayton d. 1993 American astronaut, one of NASA's original seven Project Mercury astronauts (1959). He made his only space flight on the Apollo-Soyuz mission (1975).
1922 William Maxwell Gaines d. 1992 American comic-book publisher. Comic books: Mad Magazine.
1917 Dinah Shore d. 1994 (Frances Rose Shore), American singer, Emmy-winning TV personality. She won a total of 10 Emmy awards, more than any other performer.
1914 Ralph Waldo Ellison d. 1994 American author. Writings: Invisible Man (1952, winner of the National Book Award, it chronicled a black man's humiliations in the South and Harlem).
1909 David Niven d. 1983 British Oscar-winning actor. Film: Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and The Pink Panther (1964).
1904 Paul Hartman d. 1973 American actor. TV: The Andy Griffith Show (Emmett the fix-it man).
1904 Glenn Miller d. 1944 American bandleader. His was the world's most popular dance band of the time. Music: Moonlight Serenade (1939) and Chattanooga Choo Choo (1941).
1895 Lionel Atwill d. 1946 British horror actor. Film: Doctor X (1932) and The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933).
1848 Augustus Saint-Gaudens d. 1907 Irish-born sculptor, regarded as America's greatest sculptor.
1819 Alexander Melville Bell d. 1905 American teacher, inventor of visual speech for the hearing impaired.
1794 William Jenkins Worth d. 1849 American general, for whom Fort Worth, Texas is named.
1991 Edwin Herbert Land b. 1909 American inventor. He created the Polaroid instant camera, developed Polaroid lenses, and founded the Polaroid Corp. (1937).
1988 Joe Besser b. 1907 American comedian, member of the 3-Stooges. He replaced Shemp after his death in 1955.
1984 Jackie Coogan b. 1914 American actor, one of the Little Rascals. TV: The Addams Family (Uncle Fester). At age seven he starred with Charlie Chaplin in The Kid (1921), and was one of the highest-paid actors of his time.
1980 Emmett Littleton Ashford b. 1916 American baseball umpire. He was the first black major-league umpire (1965, American League). Source: Famous First Facts
1965 Brace Beemer b. 1903 American radio actor. Radio: The announcer for The Lone Ranger from its first broadcast in 1933. When the voice of the Lone Ranger, Earle Graser died in a car accident, Beemer took over the role until the end of the series in 1954.
1950 Alfred Korzybski b. 1879 American scientist, pioneer in the study of semantics, founded the Institute of General Semantics (1938) in Chicago.
1895 Pauline Musters b. 1876 Dutch dwarf, world's shortest adult. She was 24 inches tall at age 19. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1892 William Woods Holden b. 1818 American politician, governor of North Carolina (1865, 1868-71), first U.S. governor to be removed from office by impeachment (1871). Although before the Civil War he favored expanding slavery, after the war his attempts to control the Ku Klux Klan using military force lead to his impeachment.
965 Leo VIII b. ???? Italian religious leader, 131st Pope (963-965).
492 Saint Felix III b. ???? Italian religious leader, 48th Pope (483-492).