On February 19:
197 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus defeated usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, the bloodiest battle between Roman armies.
1473 Nicolaus Copernicus, mathematician and astronomer, was born.
1594 Having already inherited the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth through his mother Catherine Jagellonica of Poland, Sigismund III of the House of Vasa was crowned King of Sweden, succeeding his father John III of Sweden.
1600 – The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodeed in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America.
1674 – England and the Netherlands signed the Peace of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfered the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it was renamed New York.
1743 Luigi Boccherini, Italian composer, was born.
1807 Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr was arrested for treason and confined to Fort Stoddert.
1819 British explorer William Smith discovered the South Shetland Islands, and claimed them in the name of King George III.
1847 – The first group of rescuers reached the Donner Party who had been snowbound. Some of the party resorted to cannabilism to survive.
The Donner Party Memorial
1861 Serfdom as abolished in Russia.
1878 The phonograph was patented by Thomas Edison.
1884 The Enigma tornado outbreak.
1895 Diego Mazquiarán, Spanish matador, was born.
1924 Lee Marvin, American actor, was born.
1936 Sam Myers, American musician and songwriter, was born.
1938 Twenty men and one woman were drowned when a sudden cloudburst sent a wall of water surging through a public works camp at Kopuawhara, near Mahia. This was New Zealand’s deadliest 20th-century flood.
1940 Smokey Robinson, American singer, was born.
1942 Nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attacked Darwin killing 243 people.
1942 –President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the executive order 9066′, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese-Americans to Japanese internment camps.
1943 Battle of the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia began.
1945 Battle of Iwo Jima – about 30,000 United States Marines landed on Iwo Jima.
1947 Tim Shadbolt, mayor of Invercargill, New Zealand, was born.
1949 – Ezra Pound was awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.
1952 Amy Tan, American novelist, was born.
1953 Georgia approved the first literature censorship board in the United States.
1958 Helen Fielding, English writer, was born.
1959 – The United Kingdom granted Cyprus its independence.
1960 Andrew, Duke of York, was born.
1963 – The publication of Betty Friedan‘s The Feminine Mystique launched the reawakening of the Feminist Movement in the United States as women’s organisations and consciousness-raising groups spread.
1972 The Asama-Sansō hostage standoff begins in Japan.
1976 Executive Order 9066 was rescinded by President Gerald R. Ford’s Proclamation 4417
1978 Egyptian forces raid Larnaca International Airport, in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking situation, without authorisation from the Republic of Cyprus authorities. The Cypriot National Guard and Police forces kill 15 Egyptian commandos and destroy the Egyptian C-130 transport plane in open combat.
1985 William J. Schroeder became the first Artificial heart recipient to leave hospital.
1985 – Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 crashed into Mount Oiz in Spain, killing 148.
1986 Akkaraipattu massacre, massacre of 80 Tamil farm workers by the Sri Lankan Army in the eastern province of Sri Lanka.
1986 – The Soviet Union launched its Mir spacecraft.
1999 – President Bill Clinton issued a posthumous pardon for U.S. Army Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper.
2001 An Oklahoma City bombing museum was dedicated at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
2002 – NASA’s Mars Odyssey space probe started to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
2001 Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a “lifetime of service to humanity”.
2007 – Three Salvadoran deputies to the Central American Parliament and their driver were murdered in Guatemala.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia