1503 – Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman Islands.
1676 – Bacon’s Rebellion, which pits frontiersmen against the government, began.
1768 – The imprisonment of the journalist John Wilkes as an outlaw provoked violence in London. Wilkes was returned to parliament as a member for Middlesex.
1773 – The English Parliament passed the Tea Act, which taxed all tea in the U.S. colonies.
1774 – Louis XVI ascended the throne of France.
1775 – Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold led an attack on the British Fort Ticonderoga and captured it from the British.
1796 – Napoleon Bonaparte won a brilliant victory against the Austrians at Lodi bridge in Italy.
1857 – The first war for independence of India began.
1865 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irvinville, GA.
1933 – The Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
1940 – Germany invaded Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
1941 – England’s House of Commons was destroyed by a German air raid.
1941 – Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission.
1942 – U.S. forces in the Philippines began to surrender to the Japanese.
1943 – U.S. troops invaded Attu in the Aleutian Islands to expel the Japanese.
1960 – The U.S.S. Triton completed the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip started on February 16.
1968 – Preliminary Vietnam peace talks began in Paris.
1986 – Navy Lt. Commander Donnie Cochran became the first black pilot to fly with the Blue Angels team.
1994 – Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s first black president.
2001 – Boeing Co. announced that it would be moving its headquarters to Chicago, IL.