This Day in History

Shimla, Feb

Today

Today is Valentine’s Day, the feast day of St. Valentine, a priest and physician who was martyred about 270 ce in Rome, and the tradition of exchanging greetings of love on Valentine’s Day is based on the legend that Valentine had signed a letter to his jailer’s daughter, with whom he had fallen in love, “from your Valentine.”

2018

Amid scandals and corruption allegations, South African President Jacob Zuma resigned and was later replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

2005

Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim registered YouTube, a Web site for sharing videos; it would become hugely popular, with more than one billion unique users visiting the site every month.

1991

The psychological thriller The Silence of the Lambs was released in American theatres; widely regarded as a classic, it won five Academy Awards, including best picture, actor (Anthony Hopkins), actress (Jodie Foster), and director (Jonathan Demme).

1946

American dancer, choreographer, and actor Gregory Hines, a major figure in the revitalization of tap dancing in the late 20th century, was born.

1946

The first general-purpose high-speed electronic digital computer, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), was demonstrated to the public by its creators, J. Presper Eckert, Jr., and John W. Mauchly.

1929

Members of Al Capone’s gang of bootleggers massacred a rival gang run by George Moran in Chicago during the Prohibition era.

1920

With the establishment of women’s suffrage in the United States, Carrie Chapman Catt formed the League of Women Voters in Chicago.

1894

American entertainer Jack Benny, whose unusual comedic method and expert timing made him a legendary success in radio and television, was born.

1876

Alexander Graham Bell applied for a patent for the telephone.

1779

Captain James Cook was killed by Hawaiians in a dispute over the theft of a cutter.

1766

Thomas Malthus, the English economist and demographer best known for his theory that population growth will always tend to outrun the food supply and should be checked by stern limits on reproduction, is believed to have been born this day.

1760

Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Philadelphia.

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