On February 19:
1473 Nicolaus Copernicus, mathematician and astronomer, was born (d. 1543).
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.
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 (d. 1805).
1807 Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr was arrested for treason and confined to Fort Stoddert.
1847 – The first group of rescuers reached the Donner Party who had been snowbound. Some of the party resorted to cannabilism to survive.
1861 Serfdom was abolished in Russia.
1884 The Enigma tornado outbreak.
1895 Diego Mazquiarán, Spanish matador, was born ( d. 1940 ).
1924 Lee Marvin, American actor, was born (d. 1987).
1936 Sam Myers, American musician and songwriter, was born (d. 2006).
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.
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.
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 Prince 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 began 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1976 Executive Order 9066 was rescinded by President Gerald R. Ford’s Proclamation 4417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 – Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 crashed into Mount Oiz in Spain, killing 148.
1986 – The Soviet Union launched its Mir spacecraft.
2001 An Oklahoma City bombing museum was dedicated at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
2001 Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a “lifetime of service to humanity”.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia