February 20


1673 - The first recorded wine auction took place in London.

1792 - U.S. President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act that created the U.S. Post Office.

1809 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was greater than that of any individual state.

1815 - The USS Constitution, under Captain Charles Stewart fought the British ships Cyane and Levant. The Constitution captures both, but lost the Levant after encountering a British squadron. The Constitution and the Cyane returned to New York safely on May 15, 1815. The Cyane was purchased and became the USS Cyane.

1839 - The U.S. Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.

1872 - Luther Crowell received a patent for a machine that manufactured paper bags.

1872 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.

1872 - Silas Noble and J.P. Cooley patented the toothpick manufacturing machine.

1873 - The University of California got its first Medical School.

1880 - The American Bell Company was incorporated.

1901 - The first territorial legislature of Hawaii convened.

1921 - The motion picture "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" was released starring Rudolph Valentino.

1931 - The U.S. Congress allowed California to build the Oakland Bay Bridge.

1933 - The U.S. House of Representatives completed congressional action on the amendment to repeal Prohibition.

1944 - "Big Week" began as U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers during World War II.

1952 - Emmett L. Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball. He was authorized to be a substitute in the Southwestern International League.

1952 - "The African Queen" opened at the Capitol Theatre in New York City.

1958 - Racing jockey Eddie Arcaro got win number 4,000, as he rode the winner at Santa Anita race track in Southern California.

1962 - John Glenn made space history when he orbited the world three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes. He was the first American to orbit the Earth. He was aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule. Glenn witnessed the Devil's Cigarette Lighter while in flight.

1965 - Ranger 8 crashed on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of its surface.

1987 - After 11 years, David Hartman left ABC’s "Good Morning America."

1987 - A bomb exploded in a computer store in Salt Lake City, UT. The blast was blamed on the Unabomber.

1993 - Two ten-year-old boys were charged by police in Liverpool, England, in the abduction and death of a toddler. The two boys were later convicted.

1998 - American Tara Lipinski, at age 15, became the youngest gold medalist in winter Olympics history when she won the ladies' figure skating title at Nagano, Japan.

2001 - FBI Agent Robert Phillip Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for the Russians for 15 years.

2002 - In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire raced through a train killing at least 370 people and injuring at least 65.

2003 - In West Warwick, RI, 100 people were killed and more than 230 were injured when fire destroyed the nightclub The Station. The fire started with sparks from a pyrotechnic display being used by Jack Russel's Great White. Ty Longley, guitarist for the band, was one of the victims in the fire.

2008 - The U.S. Navy destroyed an inoperable spy satellite with a missile from the USS Lake Erie.

2015 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average set a record high when it closed above 18,100.

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