Today in History – February 2

1349 – By this date, at least 200 people a day were being buried in London as a result of the Black Death.

1653 – New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) was incorporated.

1709 – Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, which inspired Daniel Defoe’s adventure book Robinson Crusoe.

1848 – The first ship load of Chinese immigrants arrived in San Francisco.

1850 – Brigham Young declared war on Timpanogos in the Battle at Fort Utah.

1876 – The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball was formed.

1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day was observed.

1892 – The bottle cap was patented by William Painter.

1900 – Six cities, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis, agreed to form baseball’s American League.

1901 – Queen Victoria’s funeral took place in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, England.

1913 – Grand Central Terminal opened in New York City.

1922 – Ulysses by James Joyce was published.

1925 – Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reached Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, which inspired the Iditarod race.

1933 – Two days after becoming chancellor, Adolf Hitler dissolved the German Reichstag (Parliament).

1934 – The Export-Import Bank of the United States was incorporated.

1935 – Leonarde Keeler administered polygraph tests to two murder suspects, the first time polygraph evidence was admitted in U.S. courts.

1940 – Frank Sinatra’s singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra).

1942 – Los Angeles Times urged security measures against Japanese-Americans.

1942 – US auto factories switched from commercial to war production.

1943 – World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad came to an end when Soviet troops accepted the surrender of the last organized German troops in the city.

1948 – President Harry Truman urged congress to adopt a civil rights program.

1950 – First broadcast of “What’s My Line” on CBS.

1952 – B.B. King’s “3 O’Clock Blues” hit #1 on the US Billboard’s R&B hit parade and became his first national hit.

1954 – President Eisenhower announced the detonation of the world’s first hydrogen bomb (tested in 1952).

1956 – The Coasters signed with Atlantic Records.  Their hit songs include “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown,” “Along Came Jones,” and “Poison Ivy.”

1959 – Buddy Holly’s last performance.

1962 – 8 of 9 planets aligned for the first time in 400 years.

1964 – G.I. Joe debuted as a popular American boy’s toy.

1973 – “Midnight Special” rock music show debuted on NBC.

1974 – Barbra Streisand had her first #1 hit, “The Way We Were”.

1980 – Reports surfaced that the FBI was targeting allegedly corrupt Congressmen in the Abscam operation.

1987 – After the 1986 People Power Revolution, the Philippines enacted a new constitution.

1992 – IRS and Willie Nelson settled on $9M tax bill (of $16.7M).

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