February 20, 2014 / 20 Adar I 5774
Received this from a friend? Subscribe .===
- 362 – Athanasius returns to Alexandria.
- 1245 – Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after confessing to torture and forgery.
- 1543 – Battle of Wayna Daga – A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeats a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.
- 1613 – Mikhail I is unanimously elected Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.
- 1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.
- 1808 – Without a previous declaration of war, Russian troops cross the border to Sweden at Abborfors in eastern Finland, thus beginning the Finnish war, in which Sweden will lose the eastern half of the country (i.e. Finland) to Russia.
- 1828 – Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.
- 1842 – John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
- 1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.
- 1878 – The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
- 1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
- 1918 – The last Carolina Parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
- 1919 – German socialist Kurt Eisner is assassinated. His death results in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich, Germany.
- 1925 – The New Yorker publishes its first issue.
- 1947 – In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.
- 1952 – The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to "set the people free".
- 1958 – The peace symbol, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom.
- 1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.
- 1972 – President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
- 1986 – The Legend of Zelda, the first game of The Legend of Zelda series, was released in Japan on the Famicom Disk System.
- 1995 – Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
- 1484 – Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg (d. 1535)
- 1556 – Sethus Calvisius, German astronomer, composer, and theorist (d. 1615)
- 1621 – Rebecca Nurse, English-American victim of the Salem witch trials (d. 1692)
- 1821 – Charles Scribner I, American publisher, founded Charles Scribner's Sons (d. 1871)
- 1865 – John Haden Badley, English educator and author, founded the Bedales School (d. 1967)
- 1903 – Scrapper Blackwell, American guitarist and singer (d. 1962)
- 1903 – Anaïs Nin, French-American author (d. 1977)
- 1907 – W. H. Auden, English-American poet (d. 1973)
- 1910 – Douglas Bader, English pilot (d. 1982)
- 1925 – Sam Peckinpah, American director and screenwriter (d. 1984)
- 1927 – Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer, founded Givenchy
- 1933 – Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 2003)
- 1946 – Alan Rickman, English actor
- 1951 – Vince Welnick, American keyboard player (The Grateful Dead, The Tubes, and Missing Man Formation) (d. 2006)
- 1955 – Kelsey Grammer, American actor, singer, director, and producer
- 1958 – Mary Chapin Carpenter, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1979 – Jennifer Love Hewitt, American actress, singer, and producer
- 2001 – Isabella Acres, American actress