This day in history (Feb. 14)

Staff Writer

748 – Abbasid Revolution: The Hashimi rebels under Abu Muslim Khorasani take Merv, capital of the Umayyad province Khorasan, marking the consolidation of the Abbasid revolt.
842 – Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German languages.
1014 – Pope Benedict VIII crowns Henry of Bavaria, King of Germany and of Italy, as Holy Roman Emperor.
1076 – Pope Gregory VII excommunicates Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor.
1349 – Several hundred Jews are burned to death by mobs while the remaining Jews are forcibly removed from Strasbourg.
1400 – Richard II of England dies, most probably from starvation, in Pontefract Castle, on the orders of Henry Bolingbroke.
1556 – Thomas Cranmer is declared a heretic.
1778 – The United States flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte renders a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.
1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Kettle Creek is fought in Georgia.
1779 – James Cook is killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii.
1797 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Cape St. Vincent: John Jervis, (later 1st Earl of St Vincent) and Horatio Nelson (later 1st Viscount Nelson) lead the British Royal Navy to victory over a Spanish fleet in action near Gibraltar.
1804 – Karađorđe leads the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire.
1831 – Ras Marye of Yejju marches into Tigray and defeats and kills Dejazmach Sabagadis in the Battle of Debre Abbay.
1835 – The original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in the Latter Day Saint movement, is formed in Kirtland, Ohio.
1849 – In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.
1852 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, the first hospital in England to provide in-patient beds specifically for children, is founded in London.
1855 – Texas is linked by telegraph to the rest of the United States, with the completion of a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas.
1859 – Oregon is admitted as the 33rd U.S. state.
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for the telephone, as does Elisha Gray.
1879 – The War of the Pacific breaks out when Chilean armed forces occupy the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta.
1899 – Voting machines are approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections.
1900 – Second Boer War: In South Africa, 20,000 British troops invade the Orange Free State.
1903 – The United States Department of Commerce and Labor is established (later split into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor).
1912 – Arizona is admitted as the 48th U.S. state.
1912 – In Groton, Connecticut, the first diesel-powered submarine is commissioned.
1918 – The Soviet Union adopts the Gregorian calendar (on 1 February according to the Julian calendar).
1919 – The Polish–Soviet War begins.
1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago.
1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company changes its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
1929 – Saint Valentine's Day Massacre: Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone's gang, are murdered in Chicago.
1942 – Battle of Pasir Panjang contributes to the fall of Singapore.
1943 – World War II: Rostov-on-Don, Russia is liberated.
1943 – World War II: Tunisia Campaign: General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim's Fifth Panzer Army launches a concerted attack against Allied positions in Tunisia.
1944 – World War II: Anti-Japanese revolt on Java.
1945 – World War II: On the first day of the bombing of Dresden, the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces begin fire-bombing Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony.
1945 – World War II: Navigational error leads to the mistaken bombing of Prague, Czechoslovakia by an American squadron of B-17s assisting in the Soviet's Vistula–Oder Offensive.
1945 – World War II: Mostar is liberated by Yugoslav partisans.
1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia aboard the USS Quincy, officially beginning U.S.-Saudi diplomatic relations.
1946 – The Bank of England is nationalized.
1949 – The Knesset (Israeli parliament) convenes for the first time.
1949 – The Asbestos Strike begins in Canada. The strike marks the beginning of the Quiet Revolution in Quebec.
1950 – Chinese Civil War: The National Revolutionary Army instigates the unsuccessful Battle of Tianquan against the People's Liberation Army.
1956 – The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union begins in Moscow. On the last night of the meeting, Premier Nikita Khrushchev condemns Joseph Stalin's crimes in a secret speech.
1961 – Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California.
1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House.
1966 – Australian currency is decimalised.
1970 – The iconic live album Live at Leeds by The Who is recorded.
1979 – In Kabul, Setami Milli militants kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.
1981 – Stardust fire: A fire in a Dublin nightclub kills 48 people
1983 – United American Bank of Knoxville, Tennessee collapses. Its president, Jake Butcher, is later convicted of fraud.
1989 – Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
1989 – Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issues a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.
1990 – Ninety-two people are killed when Indian Airlines Flight 605 crashes in Bangalore, India.
1990 – The Voyager 1 spacecraft takes the photograph of planet Earth later become famous as Pale Blue Dot.
1998 – An oil tanker train collides with a freight train in Yaoundé, Cameroon, spilling fuel oil. One person scavenging the oil created a massive explosion which kills 120.
2000 – The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker enters orbit around asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid.
2004 – In a suburb of Moscow, Russia, the roof of the Transvaal water park collapses, killing more than 25 people, and wounding more than 100 others.
2005 – Lebanese self-made billionaire and business tycoon Rafic Hariri is killed, along with 21 others, when explosives, equivalent of around 1,000 kg of TNT, are detonated as his motorcade drove near the St. George Hotel in Beirut.
2005 – Seven people are killed and 151 wounded in a series of bombings by suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants that hit the Philippines' Makati financial district in Metro Manila, Davao City, and General Santos City.
2005 – YouTube is launched by a group of college students, eventually becoming the largest video sharing website in the world and a main source for viral videos.
2008 – Northern Illinois University shooting: A gunman opened fire in a lecture hall of the DeKalb County, Illinois university resulting in six fatalities (including gunman) and 21 injuries.
2011 – As a part of Arab Spring, the Bahraini uprising, a series of demonstrations, amounting to a sustained campaign of civil resistance, in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain begins with a 'Day of Rage'.
2013 – Steam for Linux is released, beginning the expansion of Valve's game service onto the free and open-source platform.
2015 – Two people are killed in shootings at a free-speech seminar and at a synagogue service in Copenhagen.

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