February 28 Events
202 BC - Liu Bang is enthroned as the Emperor of China, beginning four centuries of rule by the Han dynasty. 870 - The Fourth Council of Constantinople closes. 1246 - The siege of Jaén ends in the context of the Spanish Reconquista resulting in the Castilian takeover of the city from the Taifa of Jaen. 1525 - Aztec king Cuauhtémoc is executed on the order of conquistador Hernán Cortés. 1638 - The Scottish National Covenant is signed in Edinburgh. 1700 - Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar. 1710 - Battle of Helsingborg: 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau are decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock. This is the last time Swedish and Danish troops meet on Swedish soil. 1728 - Peshwa Bajirao I of the Maratha Empire defeats Asaf Jah I in the Battle of Palkhed. 1827 - The Baltimore and 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. 1844 - A gun on explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing six people, including two United States Cabinet members. 1847 - The Battle of the Sacramento River during the Mexican–American War is a decisive victory for the United States leading to the capture of Chihuahua. 1849 - Regular steamship service from the east to the west coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the in San Francisco Bay, four months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor. 1867 - Seventy years of Holy See–United States relations are ended by a Congressional ban on federal funding of diplomatic envoys to the Vatican and are not restored until January 10, 1984. 1870 - The Bulgarian Exarchate is established by decree of Sultan Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire. 1874 - One of the longest cases ever heard in an English court ends when the defendant is convicted of perjury for attempting to assume the identity of the heir to the Tichborne baronetcy. 1893 - The, 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. 1904 - S.L. Benfica is founded in Portugal. 1922 - The United Kingdom ends its protectorate over Egypt through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence. 1925 - The Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake strikes northeastern North America. 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 , prompting an investigation. Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition 1940 - Basketball is televised for the first time. 1942 - The heavy cruiser is sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed, along with which lost 375 men. 1947 - February 28 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of an estimated 30,000 civilians. 1948 - Christiansborg Cross-Roads shooting in the Gold Coast, when a British police officer opens fire on a march of ex-servicemen, killing three of them and sparking major riots and looting in Accra. 1953 - James 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. 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 one of the worst school bus accidents in U.S. history. 1959 - Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched but fails to achieve orbit. 1966 - A NASA T-38 Talon crashes into the McDonnell Aircraft factory while attempting a poor-visibility landing at Lambert Field, St. Louis, killing astronauts Elliot See and Charles Bassett. 1972 - China–United States relations: The United States and China sign the Shanghai Communiqué. 1975 - In London, an underground train fails to stop at Moorgate terminus station and crashes into the end of the tunnel, killing 43 people. 1980 - Andalusia approves its statute of autonomy through a referendum. 1983 - The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale. 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, 26th Prime Minister of Sweden, is assassinated in Stockholm. 1991 - The first Gulf War ends. 1993 - The 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 ATF agents and six Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff. 1995 - Former Australian Liberal party leader John Hewson resigns from the Australian parliament almost two years after losing the 1993 Australian federal election. 1997 - An earthquake in northern Iran is responsible for about 3,000 deaths. 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. 2002 - During the religious violence in Gujarat, the 97 people killed in the Naroda Patiya massacre and 69 in Gulbarg Society massacre. 2004 - Over one million Taiwanese participate in the 228 Hand-in-Hand rally form a long human chain to commemorate the February 28 Incident in 1947. 2005 - A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq kills 127. 2013 - Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope to do so since Pope Gregory XII, in 1415. Births 1119 - Emperor Xizong of Jin 1155 - Henry the Young King, son and heir of Henry II of England 1261 - Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Norway 1518 - Francis III, Duke of Brittany, Duke of Brittany 1533 - Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher and author 1535 - Cornelius Gemma, Dutch astronomer and astrologer 1552 - Jost Bürgi, Swiss mathematician and clockmaker 1612 - John Pearson, English bishop, theologian, and scholar 1627 - Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford, English soldier and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Essex 1675 - Guillaume Delisle, French cartographer 1683 - René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, French entomologist and academic 1704 - Louis Godin, French astronomer and academic 1712 - Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, French general 1724 - George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend, English field marshal and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1792 - Karl Ernst von Baer, German biologist, meteorologist, and geographer 1812 - Berthold Auerbach, German poet and author 1820 - John Tenniel, English illustrator 1833 - Alfred von Schlieffen, German field marshal 1840 - Henri Duveyrier, French explorer 1848 - Arthur Giry, French historian and academic 1851 - Samuel W. McCall, American journalist and politician, 47th Governor of Massachusetts 1858 - Tore Svennberg, Swedish actor and director 1865 - Wilfred Grenfell, English physician and missionary 1866 - Vyacheslav Ivanov, Russian poet and playwright 1873 - William McMaster Murdoch, Scottish sailor 1878 - Pierre Fatou, French mathematician and astronomer 1882 - Geraldine Farrar, American soprano and actress 1882 - José Vasconcelos, Mexican philosopher, lawyer, and politician, Mexican Secretary of Public Education 1883 - Seán Mac Diarmada, Irish rebel leader 1884 - Ants Piip, Estonian lawyer and politician, 7th Prime Minister of Estonia 1887 - William Zorach, Lithuanian-American sculptor and painter 1894 - Ben Hecht, American director, producer, and screenwriter 1895 - Marcel Pagnol, French author, playwright and director 1896 - Philip Showalter Hench, American physician and endocrinologist, Nobel Prize laureate 1898 - Zeki Rıza Sporel, Turkish footballer 1900 - Wolf Hirth, German pilot and engineer, co-founded Schempp-Hirth 1901 - Linus Pauling, American chemist and activist, Nobel Prize laureate 1903 - Vincente Minnelli, American director and screenwriter 1906 - Bugsy Siegel, American gangster 1907 - Milton Caniff, American cartoonist 1908 - Billie Bird, American actress 1909 - Stephen Spender, English author and poet 1911 - Otakar Vávra, Czech director and screenwriter 1915 - Ketti Frings, American author, playwright, and screenwriter 1915 - Peter Medawar, Brazilian-English biologist and immunologist, Nobel Prize laureate 1915 - Zero Mostel, American actor and comedian 1916 - Cesar Climaco, Filipino lawyer and politician, 10th Mayor of Zamboanga City 1917 - Ernesto Alonso, Mexican actor, director, and producer 1919 - Alfred Marshall, American businessman, founded Marshalls 1919 - Brian Urquhart, English soldier and diplomat, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations 1920 - Jadwiga Piłsudska, Polish soldier, pilot, and architect 1921 - Pierre Clostermann, French pilot, engineer, and author 1922 - Yuri Lotman, Russian-Estonian historian and scholar 1923 - Charles Durning, American soldier and actor 1924 - Uno Prii, Estonian-Canadian architect 1924 - Robert A. Roe, American soldier and politician 1925 - Harry H. Corbett, Burmese-English actor 1926 - Svetlana Alliluyeva, Russian-American author and educator 1928 - Stanley Baker, Welsh actor and producer 1928 - Tom Aldredge, American actor 1928 - Sylvia del Villard, actress, dancer, choreographer and Afro-Puerto Rican activist 1929 - Hayden Fry, American football player and coach 1929 - Frank Gehry, Canadian-American architect, designed 8 Spruce Street and Walt Disney Concert Hall 1929 - John Montague, American-Irish poet and academic 1929 - Rangaswamy Srinivasan, Indian-American physical chemist and inventor 1930 - Leon Cooper, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate 1931 - Iajuddin Ahmed, Bangladeshi academic and politician, 14th President of Bangladesh 1931 - Peter Alliss, English golfer and sportscaster 1931 - Gavin MacLeod, American actor 1931 - Len Newcombe, Welsh footballer, outside forward and scout 1931 - Dean Smith, American basketball player and coach 1932 - Don Francks, Canadian actor, singer, and jazz musician 1933 - Rein Taagepera, Estonian political scientist and politician 1934 - Willie Bobo, American Latin Jazz/Afro-Cuban jazz percussionist 1937 - Jeff Farrell, American swimmer 1938 - Foge Fazio, American football player and coach 1939 - John Fahey, American guitarist 1939 - Chögyam Trungpa, Tibetan philosopher and scholar 1939 - Daniel C. Tsui, Chinese-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate 1939 - Tommy Tune, American actor, singer, dancer, and director 1940 - Aldo Andretti, Italian-American race car driver 1940 - Mario Andretti, Italian-American race car driver 1940 - Joe South, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer 1942 - Brian Jones, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer 1942 - Dino Zoff, Italian footballer and manager 1943 - Barbara Acklin, American singer-songwriter 1943 - Hans Dijkstal, Egyptian-Dutch educator and politician, Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands 1943 - Donnie Iris, American rock singer-songwriter and guitarist 1944 - Kelly Bishop, American actress and dancer 1944 - Edward Greenspan, Canadian lawyer and author 1944 - Sepp Maier, German footballer and manager 1944 - Storm Thorgerson, English graphic designer 1945 - Mimsy Farmer, American-French actress and sculptor 1945 - Bubba Smith, American football player and actor 1945 - Linda Preiss Rothschild, American mathematician and academic 1946 - Philip Bailhache, English lawyer and politician 1946 - Robin Cook, Scottish educator and politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 1946 - Syreeta Wright, African-American singer songwriter 1947 - Stephanie Beacham, English actress 1948 - Steven Chu, American physicist and politician, 12th United States Secretary of Energy, Nobel Prize laureate 1948 - Mike Figgis, English director, screenwriter, and composer 1948 - Bernadette Peters, American actress, singer, and author 1948 - Mercedes Ruehl, American actress 1948 - Alfred Sant, Maltese politician, 11th Prime Minister of Malta 1951 - Bill Cratty, American dancer and choreographer 1951 - Debora Green, American physician convicted of murder 1953 - Ingo Hoffmann, Brazilian race car driver 1953 - Paul Krugman, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate 1953 - Ricky Steamboat, American wrestler, referee, and trainer 1954 - Brian Billick, American football player, coach, and sportscaster 1955 - Adrian Dantley, American basketball player and coach 1955 - Gilbert Gottfried, American comedian, actor, and singer 1956 - Terry Leahy, English businessman 1956 - Guy Maddin, Canadian director, screenwriter, and cinematographer 1957 - Paul Delph, American singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and producer 1957 - Ainsley Harriott, English chef and author 1957 - Ian Smith, New Zealand cricketer and sportscaster 1957 - John Turturro, American actor, director, and screenwriter 1957 - Cindy Wilson, American singer-songwriter 1958 - Manuel Torres Félix, Mexican criminal and narcotics trafficker 1958 - Natalya Estemirova, Russian journalist and activist 1958 - Jeanne Mas, Spanish-French singer-songwriter and actress 1958 - David R. Ross, Scottish historian and author 1959 - Jack Abramoff, American businessman and lobbyist 1959 - Megan McDonald, American librarian and author 1961 - Rae Dawn Chong, Canadian-American actress 1961 - Mark Latham, Australian politician 1961 - Barry McGuigan, Irish-British boxer 1962 - Gary Belcher, Australian rugby league player and sportscaster 1963 - Claudio Chiappucci, Italian cyclist 1964 - Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Uzbekistan sprinter and cyclist 1965 - Colum McCann, Irish-American author and academic 1965 - Norman Smiley, English-American wrestler and trainer 1966 - Vincent Askew, American basketball player and coach 1966 - Paulo Futre, Portuguese footballer 1966 - Archbishop Jovan VI of Ohrid 1967 - Colin Cooper, English footballer and manager 1967 - Martin Tielli, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist 1969 - Sean Farrel, English footballer, forward 1969 - Butch Leitzinger, American race car driver 1969 - Robert Sean Leonard, American actor 1969 - Patrick Monahan, American singer-songwriter and actor 1970 - Daniel Handler, American journalist, author, and accordion player 1970 - Noureddine Morceli, Algerian runner 1971 - Junya Nakano, Japanese pianist and composer 1971 - Peter Stebbings, Canadian actor and director 1972 - Rory Cochrane, American actor 1972 - Ville Haapasalo, Finnish actor and screenwriter 1973 - Eric Lindros, Canadian ice hockey player 1973 - Scott McLeod, New Zealand rugby player 1973 - Nicolas Minassian, French race car driver 1973 - Masato Tanaka, Japanese wrestler 1974 - Lee Carsley, English-Irish footballer and manager 1974 - Alexander Zickler, German footballer and manager 1975 - Mike Rucker, American football player 1976 - Ali Larter, American actress 1977 - Jason Aldean, American singer-songwriter and guitarist 1977 - Lance Hoyt, American football player and wrestler 1978 - Jeanne Cherhal, French singer-songwriter and guitarist 1978 - Benjamin Raich, Austrian skier 1978 - Jamaal Tinsley, American basketball player 1978 - Mariano Zabaleta, Argentinian tennis player 1979 - Sébastien Bourdais, French race car driver 1979 - Ivo Karlović, Croatian tennis player 1979 - Primož Peterka, Slovenian ski jumper 1980 - Pascal Bosschaart, Dutch footballer 1980 - Lucian Bute, Romanian-Canadian boxer 1980 - Christian Poulsen, Danish footballer 1980 - Tayshaun Prince, American basketball player 1981 - Brian Bannister, American baseball player and scout 1982 - Natalia Vodianova, Russian-French model and actress 1984 - Noureen DeWulf, American actress 1984 - Karolína Kurková, Czech model and actress 1985 - Tim Bresnan, English cricketer 1985 - Jelena Janković, Serbian tennis player 1985 - Diego Ribas da Cunha, Brazilian footballer 1986 - Travis Stevens, American judoka 1987 - Antonio Candreva, Italian footballer 1988 - Aroldis Chapman, Cuban baseball player 1988 - Markéta Irglová, Czech singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress 1989 - Carlos Dunlap, American football player 1989 - Charles Jenkins, American basketball player 1989 - Kevin Proctor, New Zealand rugby league player 1989 - Angelababy, Chinese actress 1990 - Takayasu Akira, Japanese sumo wrestler 1994 - Jake Bugg, English singer-songwriter and guitarist 1994 - Arkadiusz Milik, Polish footballer 1999 - Luka Dončić, Slovenian basketball player Deaths 628 - Khosrow II, Shah of Iran – Sasanian Empire 911 - Abu Abdallah al-Shi'i, Muslim Shia imam 1105 - Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse 1261 - Henry III, Duke of Brabant 1326 - Leopold I, Duke of Austria 1453 - Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine 1510 - Juan de la Cosa, Spanish cartographer and explorer 1551 - Martin Bucer, German Protestant reformer 1572 - Aegidius Tschudi, Swiss historian and author 1621 - Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany 1648 - Christian IV of Denmark 1786 - John Gwynn, English architect and engineer 1788 - Thomas Cushing, American lawyer and politician, 1st Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts 1857 - André Dumont, Belgian geologist and academic 1869 - Alphonse de Lamartine, French author and poet 1879 - Hortense Allart, Italian-French author 1891 - George Hearst, American businessman and politician 1916 - Henry James, American novelist, short writer, and critic 1925 - Friedrich Ebert, German politician, 1st President of Germany 1929 - Clemens von Pirquet, Austrian physician and immunologist 1932 - Guillaume Bigourdan, French astronomer and academic 1935 - Chiquinha Gonzaga, Brazilian pianist, composer, and conductor 1936 - Charles Nicolle, French biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate 1941 - Alfonso XIII of Spain 1942 - Karel Doorman, Dutch admiral 1959 - Maxwell Anderson, American journalist, author, and playwright 1963 - Rajendra Prasad, Indian lawyer and politician, 1st President of India 1966 - Charles Bassett, American captain, engineer, and astronaut 1966 - Elliot See, American commander, engineer, and astronaut 1967 - Henry Luce, American publisher, co-founded Time Magazine 1977 - Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, American actor and comedian 1978 - Zara Cully, American actress 1978 - Eric Frank Russell, English author 1983 - Winifred Atwell, Trinidadian pianist 1987 - Stephen Tennant, English author 1991 - Wassily Hoeffding, Finnish-American statistician and theorist 1993 - Ishirō Honda, Japanese director, producer, and screenwriter 1993 - Ruby Keeler, Canadian-American actress and dancer 1998 - Dermot Morgan, Irish comedian and actor 1998 - Arkady Shevchenko, Ukrainian diplomat 2002 - Mary Stuart, American actress and singer 2002 - Helmut Zacharias, German violinist and composer 2003 - Chris Brasher, Guyanese-English runner and journalist, co-founded the London Marathon 2003 - Fidel Sánchez Hernández, Salvadorian general and politician, President of El Salvador 2004 - Daniel J. Boorstin, American historian and librarian 2004 - Carmen Laforet, Spanish author 2004 - Andres Nuiamäe, Estonian sergeant 2005 - Chris Curtis, English singer and drummer 2006 - Owen Chamberlain, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate 2007 - Charles Forte, Baron Forte, Italian-English businessman, founded the Forte Group 2007 - Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. American historian and critic 2007 - Billy Thorpe, English-Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer 2008 - Joseph M. Juran, Romanian-American engineer and businessman 2009 - Paul Harvey, American radio host 2011 - Annie Girardot, French actress 2011 - Jane Russell, American actress and singer 2012 - Frisner Augustin, Haitian drummer and composer 2012 - Jim Green, American-Canadian educator and politician 2012 - Hal Roach, Irish comedian and author 2013 - Donald A. Glaser, American physicist and biologist, Nobel Prize laureate 2013 - Neil McCorkell, English cricketer and coach 2014 - Hugo Brandt Corstius, Dutch linguist and author 2014 - Lee Lorch, American mathematician and activist 2015 - Alex Johnson, American baseball player 2015 - Yaşar Kemal, Turkish journalist and author 2016 - George Kennedy, American actor 2017 - Pierre Pascau, Mauritian-Canadian journalist 2019 - André Previn, German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. 2020 - Joe Coulombe, founder of Trader Joe's 2020 - Freeman Dyson, British-born American physicist and mathematician 2020 - Sir Lenox Hewitt, Australian public servant Holidays and observances Christian feast day: *Abercius *Anna Julia Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright *Hilarius *Mar Abba *Oswald of Worcester *Romanus of Condat *Rufinus *February 28 Earliest day on which Rare Disease Day can fall, while February 29 is the latest; observed on the last day of February The third day of Ayyám-i-Há Día de Andalucía Kalevala Day, the day of Finnish culture. National Science Day Peace Memorial Day Teachers' Day
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