February 9th in History

This day in historyFebruary 9 is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 325 days remaining until the end of the year (326 in leap years).



In 474,  Zeno crowned as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1555,  Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper is burned at the stake.

In 1621,  Gregory XV becomes Pope, the last Pope elected by acclamation.

In 1654,  The Capture of Fort Rocher takes place during the Anglo-Spanish War.

In 1775,  American Revolutionary War: The British Parliament declares Massachusetts in rebellion.

In 1777,  Seth Pomeroy, American gunsmith and soldier (b. 1706) dies when General George Washington asked for support in New Jersey in 1777, Pomeroy marched with his militia unit. He fell ill on the march and died in Peekskill, New York. He is buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard, in an unmarked grave. The churchyard is now part of Hillside Cemetery. He was an American gunsmith and soldier from Northampton, Massachusetts. His military service included the French and Indian War and the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. He fought as a private soldier in the Battle of Bunker Hill, but was later appointed a major general in the Massachusetts militia.

In 1788,  The Habsburg Empire joins the Russo-Turkish War in the Russian camp.

In 1825,  After no presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes in the election of 1824, the United States House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams President of the United States.

In 1849,  New Roman Republic established

In 1861, Tennesseans voted against calling a convention to consider secession. In February 1861, 54 percent of the state’s voters voted against sending delegates to a secession convention, defeating the proposal for a State Convention by a vote of 69,675 to 57,798. If a State Convention had been held, it would have been very heavily pro-Union. 88,803 votes were cast for Unionist candidates and 22,749 votes were cast for Secession candidates.

In 1861,  American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected the Provisional President of the Confederate States of America by the Confederate convention at Montgomery, Alabama.

In 1870,  President Ulysses S. Grant signs a joint resolution of Congress establishing the U.S. Weather Bureau.

In 1889,  President Grover Cleveland signs a bill elevating the United States Department of Agriculture to a Cabinet-level agency.

In 1895,  William G. Morgan creates a game called Mintonette, which soon comes to be referred to as volleyball.

In 1900,  The Davis Cup competition is established.

In 1904,  Russo-Japanese War: Battle of Port Arthur concludes.

Paul Laurence Dunbar circa 1890.jpgIn 1906,  Paul Laurence Dunbar, American poet (b. 1872) dies. He was an poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had been slaves in Kentucky before the American Civil War, Dunbar started to write as a child and was elected president of his class in high school. He published his first poems at the age of 16 in a Dayton newspaper. Much of his more popular work in his lifetime was written in the Negro dialect associated with the antebellum South. His work was praised by William Dean Howells, a leading critic associated with the Atlantic Monthly, and Dunbar was one of the first black American writers to establish a national reputation. He wrote the lyrics for the musical comedy, In Dahomey (1903), the first all black musical produced on Broadway; the musical also toured in the United States and the United Kingdom.

In 1913,  A group of meteors is visible across much of the eastern seaboard of North and South America, leading astronomers to conclude the source had been a small, short-lived natural satellite of the Earth.

In 1920,  Under the terms of the Svalbard Treaty, international diplomacy recognizes Norwegian sovereignty over Arctic archipelago Svalbard, and designates it as demilitarized.

In 1922,  Brazil becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.

In 1934,  The Balkan Entente is formed.

In 1942,  World War II: Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war.

In 1942,  Year-round Daylight saving time is re-instated in the United States as a wartime measure to help conserve energy resources.

In 1943,  World War II: Allied authorities declare Guadalcanal secure after Imperial Japan evacuates its remaining forces from the island, ending the Battle of Guadalcanal.

In 1945,  World War II: The Battle of the AtlanticHMS Venturer sinks U-864 off the coast of Fedje, Norway, in a rare instance of submarine-to-submarine combat.

In 1945,  World War II: A force of Allied aircraft unsuccessfully attacked a German destroyer in Førdefjorden, Norway.

In 1950,  Second Red Scare: Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses the United States Department of State of being filled with Communists.

In 1951,  Korean War: Geochang massacre

Eddy Duchin

In 1951,  Eddy Duchin, American pianist (b. 1910) dies. He was an American popular pianist and bandleader of the 1930s and 1940s, famous for his engaging onstage personality, his elegant piano style, and his fight against leukemia. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Bessarabian Jewish immigrants, Tillie (née Baron) (1885–March 21, 1962) and Frank Duchin (June 2, 1885–?). He was originally a pharmacist before turning full-time to music and beginning his new career with Leo Reisman’s orchestra at the Central Park Casino in New York, an elegant nightclub where he became hugely popular in his own right and eventually became the Reisman orchestra’s leader by 1932. He became widely popular thanks to regular radio broadcasts that boosted his record sales, and he was one of the earliest pianists to lead a commercially successful large band.

In 1959,  The R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile, becomes operational at Plesetsk, USSR.

In 1964,  The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a “record-busting” audience of 73 million viewers.

In 1965,  Vietnam War: The first United States combat troops are sent to South Vietnam.


SophieTucker “One Interesting Lady”

In 1966,  Sophie Tucker, Russian-American actress and singer (b. 1884) dies. She was a Russian-born American singer, comedian, actress, and radio personality. Known for her stentorian delivery of comical and risqué songs, she was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century. She was widely known by the nickname “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas.”

In 1969,  First test flight of the Boeing 747.

In 1969,  George “Gabby” Hayes, American actor (b. 1885) passes. He was an American radio, film, and television actor. He was best known for his numerous appearances in Western films as the colorful sidekick to the leading man. Born  in Stannards, New York to Elizabeth Morrison and Clark Hayes, and the nephew of George F. Morrison, vice president of General Electric.  He played semi-professional baseball while in high school, then ran away from home in 1902, at 17. He joined a stock company, apparently traveled for a time with a circus, and became a successful vaudevillian. Hayes married Olive E. Ireland, daughter of a New Jersey glass finisher, on March 4, 1914. She joined him in vaudeville, performing under the name Dorothy Earle (not to be confused with film actress/writer Dorothy Earle). Hayes had become so successful that by 1928 he was able, at age 43, to retire to a home on Long Island in Baldwin, New York. He lost all his savings the next year in the 1929 stock-market crash. Dorothy Earle convinced Hayes to try his luck in films, and the couple moved to Los Angeles. They remained together until her death on July 5, 1957. The couple had no children. On his move to Los Angeles, according to later interviews, Hayes had a chance meeting with producer Trem Carr, who liked his look and gave him thirty roles over the next six years. In his early career, Hayes was cast in a variety of roles, including villains, and occasionally played two roles in a single film. He found a niche in the growing genre of western films, many of which were series with recurring characters. Ironically, Hayes would admit he had never been a big fan of westerns. Hayes, in real life an intelligent, well groomed and articulate man, was cast as a grizzled codger who uttered phrases like “consarn it,” “yer durn tootin,” “dadgumit,” “durn persnickety female,” and “young whippersnapper.” Following his wife’s death in 1957, he lived in and managed a ten-unit apartment building he owned in North Hollywood, California. In early 1969, he entered Saint Joseph Hospital in Burbank, California, for treatment of cardiovascular disease. He died there on February 9, 1969, at the age of eighty-three. George “Gabby” Hayes was interred in the Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

In 1971,  The Sylmar earthquake hits the San Fernando Valley area of California.

In 1971,  Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1971,  Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned Moon landing.

In 1973,  Biju Patnaik of the Pragati Legislature Party is elected leader of the opposition in the state assembly in Odisha, India.

In 1975,  The Soyuz 17 Soviet spacecraft returns to Earth.

In 1991,  Voters in Lithuania vote for independence.

In 1995,  David Wayne, American actor (b. 1914) dies.

In 1996,  The Provisional Irish Republican Army declares the end to its 18-month ceasefire and explodes a large bomb in London’s Canary Wharf.

In 2001,  The American submarine USS Greeneville accidentally strikes and sinks the Ehime-Maru, a Japanese training vessel operated by the Uwajima Fishery High School.

In 2009, First winter ascent of Makalu by Simone Moro and Denis Urubko.

In 2013, A 6.9 magnitude earthquake strikes southwest Colombia causing major disruption to the region and injuring at least 15 people.

In 2015, Some Alabama counties began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday, the day a federal judge’s overturning of the state’s gay marriage ban took effect. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the state’s request to stay the judge’s ruling pending its appeal. Still, in 50 of the state’s 67 counties, however, probate judges — who grant marriage licenses in Alabama — denied licenses to gay couples, after State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered probate judges not to grant gay couples licenses. [The New York Times]

In 2016, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former business executive Carly Fiorina are ending their campaigns for the 2016 Republican nomination, narrowing the field of rivals facing businessman Donald Trump for the right to compete in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

In 2016, The Ferguson, Missouri, City Council unanimously approved a consent agreement on police and court reforms negotiated with the Justice Department, but proposed amendments extending deadlines and capping the city’s costs. The Justice Department conducted an investigation following the fatal shooting of black teen Michael Brown by a white officer, and found racial bias in policing and municipal courts. A Justice Department official said the vote was “unfortunate” because it will delay “the essential work to bring constitutional policing to the city.” Either way it is the 2nd step in federalizing the Police.

In 2016,  Two passenger trains collided in the German town of Bad Aibling in the state of Bavaria. Twelve people died, and 85 others were injured.

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