1500 - The Battle of Hemmingstedt.
1600 - The philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned alive at Campo de' Fiori in Rome for heresy.
1621 - Myles Standish is appointed as first commander of Plymouth colony.
1753 - In Sweden February 17 is followed by March 1 as the country moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
1801 - An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.
1809 - Miami University is chartered by the State of Ohio.
1814 - The Battle of Mormans.
1819 - The United States House of Representatives passes the Missouri Compromise.
1854 - The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Orange Free State.
1864 - American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley becomes the first submarine to engage and sink a warship, the USS;Housatonic.
1865 - American Civil War: Columbia, South Carolina is burned as Confederate forces flee from advancing Union forces.
1867 - The first ship passes through the Suez Canal.
1871 - The victorious Prussian Army parades though Paris, France after the end of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
1904 - Madama Butterfly receives its premiere at La Scala in Milan.
1913 - The Armory Show opens in New York City, displaying works of artists who are to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century.
1924 - In Miami, Florida, Johnny Weissmuller sets a new world record in the 100-yard freestyle swimming competition with a time of 52-2/5 seconds.
1925 - Harold Ross and Jane Grant found The New Yorker magazine; the debut issue is dated February 21, 1925.
1933 - Newsweek magazine is published for the first time.
1933 - The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States.
1944 - World War II: Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins. The battle ends in an American victory on February 22.
1944 - World War II: Operation Hailstone begins. U.S. naval air, surface, and submarine attack against Truk (Chuuk), Japan's main base in the central Pacific, in support of the Eniwetok invasion.
1947 - The Voice of America begins to transmit radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union.
1957 - A fire at a home for the elderly in Warrenton, Missouri kills 72 people.
1958 - Pope Pius XII declares Saint Clare of Assisi (1193~1253) the patron saint of television.
1959 - Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.
1962 - A storm kills more than 300 people in Hamburg, West Germany.
1964 - In Wesberry v. Sanders the Supreme Court of the United States rules that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population.
1964 - Gabonese president Leon M'ba is toppled by a coup and his archrival, Jean-Hilaire Aubame, is installed in his place.
1965 - Project Ranger: The Ranger 8 probe launches on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. The Mare Tranquillitatis or "Sea of Tranquility" would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
1968 - In Springfield, Massachusetts the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opens.
1972 - Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceed those of Ford Model-T.
1974 - Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, buzzes the White House with a stolen helicopter.
1978 - The Troubles: A Provisional IRA incendiary bomb is detonated at the La Mon restaraunt, near Belfast, killing 12 and seriously injuring 30.
1979 - The Sino-Vietnamese War begins.
1992 - A court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin sentences serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to life in prison.
1995 - Colin Ferguson is convicted of six counts of murder for the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings and later receives a 200+ year sentence.
1995 - The Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador ends on a cease-fire brokered by the UN.
1996 - In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world champion Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match.
1996 - NASA's Discovery Program begins as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifts off on the first mission ever to orbit and land upon an asteroid, 433 Eros.
2003 - The London Congestion Charge scheme begins.
2006 - A massive mudslide occurs in Southern Leyte, Philippines; the official death toll is set at 1,126.
2008 - Kosovo declares independence.