History Of 20 February
1673 – The first recorded wine auction took place in London.
1792 – U.S. President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act that created the U.S. Post Office.
1809 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was greater than that of any individual state.
1815 – The USS Constitution, under Captain Charles Stewart, fought the British ships Cyane and Levant. The Constitution captures both but lost the Levant after encountering a British squadron. The Constitution and the Cyane returned to New York safely on May 15, 1815. The Cyane was purchased and became the USS Cyane.
1839 – The U.S. Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.
1872 – Luther Crowell received a patent for a machine that manufactured paper bags.
1872 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.
1872 – Silas Noble and J.P. Cooley patented the toothpick manufacturing machine.
1873 – The University of California got its first Medical School.
1880 – The American Bell Company was incorporated.
1901 – The first territorial legislature of Hawaii convened.
1921 – The motion picture “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” was released starring Rudolph Valentino.
1931 – The U.S. Congress allowed California to build the Oakland Bay Bridge.
1933 – The U.S. House of Representatives completed congressional action on the amendment to repeal Prohibition.
1944 – “Big Week” began as U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers during World War II.
1952 – Emmett L. Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball. He was authorized to be a substitute in the Southwestern International League.
1952 – “The African Queen” opened at the Capitol Theatre in New York City.
1958 – Racing jockey Eddie Arcaro got win number 4,000, as he rode the winner at Santa Anita race track in Southern California.
1962 – John Glenn made space history when he orbited the world three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes. He was the first American to orbit the Earth. He was aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule. Glenn witnessed the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter while in flight.
1965 – Ranger 8 crashed on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of its surface.
1987 – After 11 years, David Hartman left ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
1987 – A bomb exploded in a computer store in Salt Lake City, UT. The blast was blamed on the Unabomber.
1993 – Two ten-year-old boys were charged by police in Liverpool, England, in the abduction and death of a toddler. The two boys were later convicted.
1998 – American Tara Lipinski, at age 15, became the youngest gold medalist in Winter Olympics history when she won the ladies’ figure skating title at Nagano, Japan.
2001 – FBI Agent Robert Phillip Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for the Russians for 15 years.
2002 – In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire raced through a train killing at least 370 people and injuring at least 65.
2003 – In West Warwick, RI, 100 people were killed and more than 230 were injured when a fire destroyed the nightclub The Station. The fire started with sparks from a pyrotechnic display being used by Jack Russel’s Great White. Ty Longley, the guitarist for the band, was one of the victims in the fire.
2008 – The U.S. Navy destroyed an inoperable spy satellite with a missile from the USS Lake Erie.
2015 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average set a record high when it closed above 18,100.
Celebrating Birthday Today
- 1981 – Tony Hibbert, English footballer
- 1981 – Fred Jackson, American football player
- 1982 – Jason Hirsh, American baseball player
- 1983 – Jose Morales, Puerto Rican-American baseball player
- 1983 – Justin Verlander, American baseball player
- 1984 – Brian McCann, American baseball player
- 1984 – Trevor Noah, South African comedian, actor, and television host
- 1984 – Ramzee Robinson, American football player
- 1985 – Ryan Sweeney, American baseball player
- 1985 – Julia Volkova, Russian singer and actress
- 1985 – TJ Kirk, American YouTube personality and podcast host
- 1987 – Luke Burgess, English rugby league player
- 1987 – Miles Teller, American actor
- 1988 – Kealoha Pilares, American football player
- 1988 – Ki Bo-bae, South Korean archer
- 1988 – Rihanna, Barbadian-American singer-songwriter and actress
- 1988 – Jiah Khan, Indian singer, and actress (d. 2013)
- 1989 – Daly Cherry-Evans, Australian rugby league player
- 1990 – Ciro Immobile, Italian footballer
- 1991 – Hidilyn Diaz, Filipino weightlifter
- 1991 – Giovanni Kyeremateng, Italian footballer
- 1991 – Angelique van der Meer, a Dutch tennis player
- 1991 – Antonio Pedroza, English-Mexican footballer
- 1991 – Jocelyn Rae, English-Scottish tennis player
- 1992 – Kyle Turner, Australian rugby league player
- 1994 – Elseid Hysaj, Albanian footballer