February 2nd in History

This day in historyFebruary 2 is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 332 days remaining until the end of the year (333 in leap years).



In 506,  Alaric II, eighth king of the Visigoths promulgates the Breviary of Alaric (Breviarium Alaricianum or Lex Romana Visigothorum), a collection of “Roman law“.

In 865,  The Battle of the Morcuera took place in the context of the Spanish Reconquista. The battle took place at Hoz de la Morcuera near Miranda de Ebro. The battle pitted the Christian forces of Castile and Asturias under Rodrigo of Castile against the forces of the Emirate of Cordoba under Muhammad I of Córdoba resulting in a decisive Cordoban victory.

In 962,  Translatio imperii: Pope John XII crowns Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, the first Holy Roman Emperor in nearly 40 years.

In 1032,  Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor becomes King of Burgundy.

In 1141, The Battle of Lincoln, at which Stephen, King of England is defeated and captured by the allies of Empress Matilda.

In 1207,  Terra Mariana, comprising present-day Estonia and Latvia, is established.

In 1461,  Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross is fought in Herefordshire, England.

In 1536,  Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 1542,  Portuguese forces under Christovão da Gama capture a Muslim-occupied hill fort in northern Ethiopia in the Battle of Baçente.

In 1653,  New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated.

George Walton.jpgIn 1804,  George Walton, American politician, signer of the United States Declaration of Independence (b. 1749) dies. He signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia and also served as the second Chief Executive of that state. He was born in Virginia. His parents died when he was an infant, resulting in his adoption by an uncle with whom he entered apprenticeship as a carpenter. Walton was a studious young man, but his uncle actively discouraged all study, believing a studious boy to be an idle one. Walton continued studying and once his apprenticeship ended, he moved to Savannah, Georgia, in 1769 to study law under a Mr. Young, and was admitted to the bar in 1774. His brother was John Walton. He became an advocate of the patriot cause and was elected Secretary of the Georgia Provincial Congress and became president of the Council of Safety. He was elected to the Continental Congress, a position he held until the end of 1778. He was commissioned a Colonel of the First Regiment of the Georgia Militia. He was put in the battalion of General Robert Howe. During the Battle of Savannah, Walton was involved in the defense of the city. However a slave showed the British, led by Colonel Campbell, a path to the rear of the city, by which they were able to take the city, attacking from the front and the rear. Walton was injured in the battle and taken prisoner. He was freed through a prisoner exchange in 1779. Soon after this in October 1779, Walton was elected Governor of Georgia, a position he held for only two months. In November 1795, he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Jackson. Walton only served in that position from November 16, 1795, to February 20, 1796, until a successor, Josiah Tattnall, was officially elected.

In 1848,  Mexican–American War: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed.

In 1848,  California Gold Rush: The first ship with Chinese immigrants arrives in San Francisco.

In 1868,  Pro-Imperial forces captured Osaka Castle from the Tokugawa shogunate and burned it to the ground.

In 1876,  The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball is formed.

In 1887,  In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.

In 1899,  The Australian Premiers’ Conference held in Melbourne decides to locate Australia’s capital city, Canberra, between Sydney and Melbourne.

In 1901,  Funeral of Queen Victoria.

In 1913,  Grand Central Terminal is opened in New York City.

In 1920,  The Tartu Peace Treaty is signed between Estonia and Russia.

In 1920,  France occupies Memel.

In 1922,  Ulysses by James Joyce is published.

In 1925,  Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

In 1933,  Working as maids, the sisters Christine and Lea Papin murder their employer’s wife and daughter in Le Mans, France. The case is the subject of a number of French films and plays.

In 1934,  The Export-Import Bank of the United States is incorporated.

In 1935,  Leonarde Keeler tests the first polygraph machine.

In 1943,  World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad comes to conclusion as Soviet troops accept the surrender of 91,000 remnants of the Axis forces.

In 1945,  Alfred Delp, German priest (b. 1907) is executed. He was a German Jesuit priest and a philosopher of the German Resistance. Part of the inner Kreisau Circle resistance group, he is considered a significant figure in Catholic resistance to Nazism. Implicated in the failed 1944 July Plot to overthrow the Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler, Delp was arrested, and sentenced to death. He was executed in 1945. After the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler failed, a special Gestapo commission arrested and interrogated all known members of the Resistance. Delp was arrested in Munich on 28 July 1944 (eight days after Claus von Stauffenberg‘s attempt on Hitler‘s life), although he was not directly involved in the plot. He was transferred to Tegel Prison in Berlin. While in prison, he secretly began to say Mass and wrote letters, reflections on Advent, on Christmas, and other spiritual subjects, which were smuggled out of the prison before his trial. On December 8, 1944, Delp received a visitor, Franz von Tattenbach SJ, sent by Rösch, to make his final vows to the Jesuit Order. This was supposedly forbidden, but the attending policemen did not understand what was going on. Delp wrote on the same day, It was too much, what a fulfillment, I prayed for it so much, I gave my life away. My chains are now without any meaning, because God found me worthy of the “Vincula amoris” (chains of love). He was tried, together with Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, Franz Sperr, and Eugen Gerstenmaier, before the People’s Court (Volksgerichtshof) on 9–11 January 1945, with Roland Freisler presiding. Alfred Delp, Helmuth von Moltke, and Franz Sperr were sentenced to death by hanging for high treason and treason. The court had dropped the charge against Delp of cognizance of the July 20 plot, but his dedication to the Kreisau Circle, his work as a Jesuit priest, and his Christian-social worldview were enough to seal his fate as a victim of the Nazi “system of justice”.

In 1957,   Iskander Mirza of Pakistan lays the foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage.

In 1966,  Pakistan suggests a six-point agenda with Kashmir after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

Borris Karloff still.jpgIn 1969,  Boris Karloff, English actor (b. 1887) dies. William Henry Pratt (23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969), better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor. Karloff is best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939), which resulted in his immense popularity. His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss‘s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). He also had a memorable role in the original Scarface (1932).

In 1971,  Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda.

In 1971,  The international Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands is signed in Ramsar, Mazandaran, Iran.

In 1972,  The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest at Bloody Sunday.

In 1974,  The F-16 Fighting Falcon flies for the first time.

In 1976,  The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada.

In 1980,  Reports surface that the FBI is targeting allegedly corrupt Congressmen in the Abscam operation.

In 1982,  February 1982 Hama massacre: the government of Syria attacks the town of Hama.

In 1987,  After the 1986 People Power Revolution, the Philippines enacts a new constitution.

In 1988,  Auntie Anne’s is founded by Anne F. Beiler in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

In 1989,  Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet armoured column leaves Kabul.

In 1990,  Apartheid: F. W. de Klerk announces the unbanning of the African National Congress and promises to release Nelson Mandela.

Gene kelly.jpgIn 1996,  Gene Kelly, American actor, singer, dancer, and director (b. 1912) dies. He was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer, and choreographer. Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen. Although he is known today for his performances in An American in Paris (1951) and Singin’ in the Rain (1952), he was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from the mid-1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences. Kelly was the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors (1982), and from the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute; in 1999, the American Film Institute also numbered him 15th in their Greatest Male Stars of All Time list.

In 2000,  First digital cinema projection in Europe (Paris) realized by Philippe Binant with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments.

In 2004,  Swiss tennis player Roger Federer becomes the No. 1 ranked men’s singles player, a position he will hold for a record 237 weeks.

Max-schmeling.jpgIn 2005,  Max Schmeling, German boxer (b. 1905) dies at 99.  was a German boxer who was heavyweight champion of the world between 1930 and 1932. His two fights with Joe Louis in 1936 and 1938 were worldwide cultural events because of their national associations. Starting his professional career in 1924, Schmeling came to the United States in 1928 and, after a ninth-round technical knockout of Johnny Risko, became a sensation. He became the first to win the heavyweight championship (at that time vacant) by disqualification in 1930, after opponent Jack Sharkey knocked him down with a low blow in the fourth round. A rematch in 1932 saw Sharkey gaining the title from Schmeling by a controversial fifteen-round split decision. In 1933, Schmeling lost to Max Baer by a tenth-round TKO. The loss left people believing that Schmeling was past his prime. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party took over control in Germany, and Schmeling came to be viewed as a ‘Nazi puppet.’ In 1936, Schmeling knocked out American rising star Joe Louis, placing him as the number one contender for Jim Braddock‘s title, but Louis got the fight and knocked Braddock out to win the championship in 1937. Schmeling finally got a chance to regain his title in 1938, but Louis knocked him out in one round. During World War II, Schmeling served with the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) as an elite paratrooper (Fallschirmjäger). After the war, Schmeling mounted a comeback, but retired permanently in 1948. After retiring from boxing, Schmeling worked for The Coca-Cola Company. Schmeling became friends with Louis, and their friendship lasted until the latter’s death in 1981. Schmeling died in 2005 aged 99, a sporting icon in his native Germany. Long after the Second World War, some evidence arose that Schmeling had risked his own life to save the lives of two Jewish children in 1938. In 2003, Schmeling was ranked 55 on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

In 2007,  The worst flooding in Indonesia in 300 years begins.

In 2012, The ferry MV Rabaul Queen sinks off the coast of Papua New Guinea near the Finschhafen District, with an estimated 300 people missing

In 2015, Members from the Jackson-Madison County NAACP made a presentation showing their support for body cameras for Jackson police officers. Dan Hoyt, political action chair, said that Ferguson, Mo., and Jackson are similar cities and that it is easy to see how the unrest in Ferguson could happen here. “These body-worn cameras won’t solve all of our problems,” Hoyt said. “Crime will still happen. What they will do is improve the interaction between the police and community.” Interim Police Chief Julian Wiser was not present at Tuesday’s meeting, but has previously told The Jackson Sun that the department is looking at purchasing the cameras, priced from $500-$1,000, but that they won’t be available until April because they are still in production.

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