Happy Valentine's Day! Today is St. Valentine's Day, the feast day of two Christian martyrs named Valentine: one a priest and physician, the other the Bishop of Terni. Both are purported to have been beheaded on this day. The custom of sending handmade 'valentines' to one's beloved became popular during the 17th century and was first commercialized in the United States in the 1840s.
2,000 Jews are burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.
The deposed Richard II is murdered in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.
Maximilian II, brother of the Emperor Charles V, is recognized as the future king of Bohemia.
American Loyalists are defeated by Patriots at Kettle Creek, Ga.
The Spanish fleet is destroyed by the British under Admiral Jervis (with Nelson in support) at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, off Portugal.
James Polk becomes the first U.S. President to be photographed in office by Matthew Brady.
Oregon is admitted as the thirty-third state.
Esther Morris becomes the world's first female justice of the peace.
Rival inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both apply for patents for the telephone.
General Roberts invades South Africa's Orange Free State with 20,000 British troops.
The "Missouri Kid" is captured in Kansas.
Arizona becomes the 48th state in the Union.
Kaiser Wilhelm II invites the U.S. Ambassador to Berlin in order to confer on the war.
Warsaw demonstrators protest the transfer of Polish territory to the Ukraine.
Thomas Watson founds International Business Machines Corp.
Chicago gang war between Al Capone and George "Bugs" Moran culminates with several Moran confederates being gunned down in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
Germany launches the battleship Bismarck.
Britain announces that all merchant ships will be armed.
Japanese paratroopers attack Sumatra. Aidan MacCarthy's RAF unit flew to Palembang, in eastern Sumatra, where 30 Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed A-28 Hudson bombers were waiting.
800 Allied aircraft firebomb the German city of Dresden. Smaller followup bombing raids last until April with a total death toll of between 35,000 to 130,000 civilians.
The siege of Budapest ends as the Soviets take the city. Only 785 German and Hungarian soldiers managed to escape.
The United States charges the Soviet Union with interning up to 14 million in labor camps.
A Jewish couple loses their fight to adopt Catholic twins as the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rule on state law.
The Georgia state senate outlaws interracial athletics.
Malcolm X's home is firebombed. No injuries are reported.
Moscow publicizes a new five-year plan geared to expanding consumer production.
The United States and Hanoi set up a group to channel reconstruction aid directly to Hanoi.
Armed guerrillas attack the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Vietnamese troops surround the main Khmer Rouge base at Phnom Malai.
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini charges that Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, is blasphemous and issues an edict (fatwa) calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie.