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February 9

  • 1920 – The Svalbard Treaty was signed, recognizing Norwegian sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, but all signatories were also given equal rights to engage in commercial activities on the islands.
  • 1950 – U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy accused the U.S. State Department of being filled with communists, sparking a period of strong anti-communist sentiment in the United States that became known as McCarthyism.
  • 1964 – English rock band The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show before a record-breaking audience, beginning a musical phenomenon known as the British Invasion.
  • 1976 – The Australian Defence Force was formed by the unification of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
  • 2001 – The American submarine USS Greeneville accidentally collided with the Ehime Maru (wreckage pictured), a Japanese training vessel operated by the Uwajima Fishery High School.

February 8

  • 1837 – Richard Mentor Johnson became the only person to be elected as Vice President of the United States by the Senate.
  • 1910 – Newspaper and magazine publisher William D. Boyce established the Boy Scouts of America, expanding the Scout Movement into the United States.
  • 1971 – Vietnam War: South Vietnamese ground troops launched an incursion into Laos to try to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail and stop communist infiltration.
  • 1979 – Denis Sassou Nguesso (pictured) was chosen as the new President of the Republic of the Congo after Joachim Yhombi-Opango was forced from power.
  • 2010 – A freak storm in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan triggered a series of at least 36 avalanches that buried over two miles (3.2 km) of road, killed at least 172 people and trapped over 2,000 travelers’.

February 7: Independence Day in Grenada (1974); Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan begins (2011)

  • 1301 – The title of Prince of Wales (badge pictured) was granted for the first time to an heir apparent to theEnglish throne, Edward of Carnarvon.
  • 1795 – The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting the ability of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to sue U.S. states in federal courts, was ratified in order to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Chisholm v. Georgia.
  • 1907 – Over 3,000 women trudged through the cold and the rutty streets of London in the Mud March, the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, to advocate for women’s suffrage.
  • 1948 – Neil Harvey became the youngest Australian to score a century in Test cricket.
  • 2009 – A series of 400 individual bushfires ignited across the Australian state of Victoria on Black Saturday, eventually resulting in 173 total deaths, the highest ever loss of life from a bushfire in Australia.

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