This week in history

February 6

  • On this day in 1952, the late Queen Elizabeth II succeeded the throne after her father King George VI’s death. This marked the beginning of her seven-decade rule.
  • Former president Ronald Reagan was born on this day in 1911.
  • Famous American baseball player Babe Ruth was born today in 1895.

February 7

  • February 7, 1964 marks the beginning of the British Invasion with the Beatles arriving in New York.
  • On this day in 2013, Mississippi became the last U.S. state to officially abolish slavery. Mississippi had initially agreed upon the Thirteenth Amendment in 1995 but had failed to make it official by submitting the necessary paperwork to the U.S. Archivist.
  • The classic Disney animated film “Pinocchio” had its world premiere on this day in 1940.
  • Grenada, an island country of the West Indies, gained its independence from the United Kingdom on this day in 1974. It was the first of the six West Indies Associated States to do so.

February 8

  • On this day in 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded for being seen as a Roman Catholic threat to the English throne.
  • The American classic film “Taxi Driver” had its world premiere on this day in 1976, where it would go on to become a critical and commercial success. This film went on to receive numerous accolades, including nominations at the 49th Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

February 9

  • The fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty abdicated on this day in 1796, being succeeded by his son Jiaqing. Jiaqing went down in history as one of the most unpopular emperors of the Qing dynasty due to his weak ruling and high taxes placed on the people.
  • On this day in 1996, German physicist Peter Armbruster and his team synthesized the chemical element Copernicium, a radioactive and artificially produced element.
  • The Battle of Guadalcanal, which marked a turning point for the Allies during the Pacific War, ended on this day in 1943 with Japan’s defeat.

February 10

  • On this day in 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is considered by many to be the greatest chess player in the history of the game, lost a three hour game to a computer. This match was the first time in which a human faced a computer in a regulated match.
  • U.S. airman Francis Gary Powers, who was convicted of espionage by the Soviet Union, was released in a prisoner exchange for jailed Soviet informant Rudolf Abel in 1962. Abel was convicted in 1957 for transpiring to transmit U.S. military secrets to the Soviet Union.
  • Famed child actress Shirley Temple died on this day in 2014 at the age of 85.
  • On this day in 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Seven Years’ War.