February 13

1955, Israel purchased four “Dead Sea Scrolls” from Syria. They were found in a cave near Wade Qumran.

1960, France tested its first atomic bomb in Algeria’s Sahara Desert.

1998, Hermann Maier, of Austria wiped out during a downhill skiing competition at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. He flew 30 feet up in the air, came down on his head and continued through two safety fences at approximately 80 mph. He walked away without any major injuries and continued to compete. He finished the Olympics winning two gold medals in the Giant Slalom and the Super-G, and continued a career of individual and team championships through 2009.

February 14

1876, Alexander Graham Bell filed for a patent for his telephone. The patent was reviewed and approved on March 7th.

1945, during WWII, the 8th Air Force began bombing Dresden, Germany.

1962, First lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave a televised White House tour.

1980, Walter Cronkite announced he would be retiring from CBS, due to the mandatory retirement age of 65. His last broadcast was on March 6, 1981. He had been broadcasting CBS Evening News since April 16, 1962, but had started working with CBS News in 1950 and had hosted other news programs before anchoring the Evening News.

February 15

1799, printed ballots were approved for voting within the state of Pennsylvania.

1933, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt escaped unharmed from an assassination attempt in Miami, Florida. The mayor of Chicago, Anton J. Cermak, was shaking hands with Roosevelt when Giuseppe Zangara shot Cermak in the chest. There has been speculation that Cermak was the intended target all along.

February 16

1804, U.S. Navy Lt. Stephen Decatur raided Tripoli Harbor and burned the grounded frigate Philadelphia so that Barbary pirates could not use her.

1878, since the U.S. stopped buying silver and minting silver coins in 1873, hard times fell on farmers, and the mining industry of the West. Missouri Congressmen Richard Bland submitted a resolution to Congress that the U.S. government would begin minting silver coins. On this date Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act and silver dollars were once again legal tender.

1923, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his financial backer, Lord Carnarvon, entered the last chamber of King Tutankhamen’s sealed tomb, in Thebes, Egypt. The last chamber contained the sarcophagus of King Tut, preserved within a set of three coffins, set inside of four gold shrines. The mummy, which was not revealed until October 1925, was buried inside of the third coffin which was composed of solid gold. Among items found within the last chamber were golden statues, an intricately carved alabaster vase and several other vessels, weapons, a chariot, jewelry, model boats, paddles and clothing.

February 17

1801, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for Thomas Jefferson to become president, when a tally of votes came up with a tie between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. The Congress was unwilling to elect Jefferson but did so after an appeal by Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson’s first term ended on a high note with a reduction of the national debt by a third, doubling the land area of the country, and a stronger Navy. He was overwhelmingly re-elected for a second term.

1865, Columbia, South Carolina was assaulted and burned by Union soldiers.

1933, the magazine Newsweek was first published.

February 18

1536, Martin Luther died in Eiselben, Germany.

1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as the president of the Confederate States in Montgomery, Alabama.

1885, Mark Twain’s, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published.

1930, part scientific research, part aerial stunt, Elm Farm Ollie is the first cow to fly in an airplane as part of the Air Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. The plane with the cow left from Bismarck, Missouri and flew approximately 72 miles to the Expo. In flight, the cow was milked, yielding six gallons of milk. The milk was packaged and parachuted to the observers on the ground. This marked the first cow in flight and the first cow milked in the air. Scientists were studying the effects of flying on animals and used this stunt to further their research efforts.

1953, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz signed a contract for $8 million to continue the “I Love Lucy” show through 1955.

February 19

1881, Kansas became the first state to outlaw alcoholic beverages.

1942, Japanese aircraft attack the city of Darwin, Australia. Also on this day, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, allowing the military to define areas of exclusion, mainly affecting Japanese people on the west coast of the U.S. but also Germans and Italians on the east coast.

1945, the invasion of Iwo Jima began with 30,000 Marines.

1985, the Coca-Cola company began selling “Cherry Coke™”. The name was changed in 2007 to “Coca-Cola Cherry”.

2002, NASA’s Mars Odyssey space probe began mapping the surface of Mars using a thermal emission imaging system.

Image’s Source: Wikipedia.org