This Day in History - February 7

February 7

457 – After the death of Emperor Marcian, Aspar, the army general, proclaims Leo, a Thracian officer, Emperor of the East

1238 – The Mongols burn the Russian city of Vladimir

1301 – Edward of Caernarion aka Edward II, becomes the first English Prince of Wales

1477 – English statesman and writer who will later be executed for refusing to accept Henry VIII as head of the Church, Sir Thomas More, is born

1668 – England, the Netherlands and Sweden form an alliance directed against Louis XIV of France

1775 – Benjamin Franklin publishes An Imaginary Speech in defense of American courage, that was called into question by an unnamed officer to Parliament

1783 – The Siege of Gibraltar is lifted

1795 – The 11th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified

1804 – Farm equipment manufacturer John Deere, is born

1812 – Prolific English novelist Charles Dickens is born

1812 – An earthquake, in a series of earthquakes, causes a fluvial tsunami in the Mississippi River, forcing the river to run backward for several hours.  This series of quakes were the most powerful in US history, knocking people off their feet and making many feel nauseated from the rolling of the earth. An 8.8-magnitude quake that will follow on the 7th, will ring church bells in Boston, thousands of miles away, create whirlpools suddenly and waterfalls will develop instantly.  Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee and Big Lake at the Arkansas-Missouri border were formed.  It is believed 1,000 died-the low death count only attributed to the fact that the area was sparsely inhabited at the time

1818 – The first successful US educational magazine, Academician, begins publication in New York City

1837 – Scottish lexicographer and editor Sir James Murray is born

1842 – Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia, Ras Ali Alula, defeats warlord Wube Haile Maryam of Semien at the Battle of Debre Tabor

1855 – Writer of the cowboy life, Charles Siringo, is born

1856 – The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the first piece of legislation anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of secret ballot.  The act is known as the Electoral Act of 1856

1862 – Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of Rebel forces in the West, orders 15,000 reinforcements to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River

1867 – Author Laura Ingalls Wilder is born

1881 – Albert McKenzie pleads guilty to a misdemeanor count of embezzlement in Alameda County, California. He had originally been charged with a felony, but rather than going to trial, the prosecution and defendant agreed to a plea bargain-a practice that was becoming increasingly popular in American courts

1882 – American pugilist John Sullivan becomes the last of the bare-knuckle world heavyweight champions when he defeats Patty Ryan in Mississippi City

1885 – Novelist Sinclair Lewis is born

1898 – French writer Emile Zola is put on trial for libel due to his newspaper editorial attacking the French army over the Dreyfus Affair

1904 – A fire, fed by strong winds, engulfs a large portion of Baltimore, Maryland, destroying over 1,500 buildings and damaging some 1,000 more

1905 – Swedish physiologist Ulf Svante von Euler-Chelpin is born

1906 – Soviet aircraft designer and businessman Oleg Antonov is born

1913 – In Gallipoli, the Turks lose 5,000 men doing battle with the Bulgarian Army

1914 – The silent film Kid Auto Races at Venice, premieres in theaters featuring Charlie Chaplin in his first appearance as the “Little Tramp”

1915 – Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg moves in on the Russians at Masurian Lakes during a blinding snowstorm

1926 – Negro History Week, started by Carter Woodson, is observed for the first time

1928 – The US signs an arbitration treaty with France

1931 – George Putnam and Amelia Earhart are married

1938 – Automotive industry pioneer Harvey Samuel Firestone dies

1944 – The Germans launch a second attack against the Allied forces at Anzio, Italy

1950 – The US recognizes Vietnam under the leadership of Emperor Bao Dai whereas the Soviet Union recognizes Ho Chi Minh

1959 – American baseball player Nap Lajoie dies

1962 – Yemen and English actor and comedian Eddie Izzard is born

1962 – American singer, songwriter and guitarist Garth Brooks is born

1963 – The Mona Lisa is put on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

1964 – The Beatles are greeted by 25,000 fans upon their arrival in the US at JFK Airport

1965 – US jets hit Dong Hoi guerrilla base in reprisal for the Viet Cong raids

1968 – North Vietnamese use 11 Soviet-built light tanks to overrun the US Special Forces camp at Lang Vei at the end of an 18-hour siege

1968 – Claire Josephs is found dead in her home in Bromley, England with her throat slashed and severed to her spine.  Authorities use forensic evidence to determine the killer, a practice that is becoming increasingly common.  Roger Payne, a recent acquaintance made by Claire and her husband, Bernard, was found to be the killer, due to fibers found on his clothing and in his car that matched Claire’s dress

1970 – Pete Maravich of the Louisiana State University basketball team, scores 69 points in a game against Alabama, setting a Division I record that would stand for 21 years

1971 – Operation Dewey Canyon II, the operation to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail and advance to Tchepone in Laos to destroy the North Vietnamese supply dumps, ends

1971 – Women in Switzerland are granted suffrage

1974 – Grenada wins independence from Britain

1978 – Ethiopia forms a counter attack against Somalia

1978 – American actor, model and producer Ashton Kutcher is born

1979 – Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor known as the “Angel of Death” who performed medical experiments at the Auschwitz death camps, dies

1983 – Iran opens an invasion in the southeast of Iraq

1984 – Navy Captain Bruce McCandless becomes the first human being to fly untethered in space when he leaves space shuttle Challenger and maneuvers freely using a rocket pack he designed.  McCandless orbited Earth in tangent with the shuttle at speeds greater than 17,500 mph and flew up to 320 feet away from the shuttle

1986 – President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier fled Haiti as a popular uprising broke out to overthrow his regime

1986 – Senegalese historian, physicist and anthropologist Cheikh Anta Diop dies

1990 – The Central Committee of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party agrees to support President Mikhail Gorbachev’s suggestion that the party give up its 70-year monopoly of political power

1991 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide is sworn in as the first democratically elected president of Haiti

1991 – The IRA launches an unsuccessful mortar attack on 10 Downing Street during a cabinet meeting in an effort to assassinate Prime Minister John Major and his War Cabinet

1992 – The nations of Western Europe unite in economic cooperation, after centuries of conflict, with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty of European Union.  This treaty called for economic integration, common foreign and security policies, cooperation between police and other authorities relating to crime, terrorism and immigration.  It also established a single European currency to be known as the “euro”

1994 – Polish composer and conductor Witold Lutoslawski dies

1999 – King Hussein bin Talal, of Jordan dies and his son, Prince Abdallah bin Hussein, ascends to the throne

2002 – President George W. Bush announces his plan to federally fund faith-based initiatives

2005 – Ellen MacArthur breaks the speed record for sailing solo around the world-71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds

2009 – The Black Saturday bushfires kill 173 in Australia and were the worst natural disaster in Australian history

2015 – American coach and basketball player Dean Smith dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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