February 1

1790

The Supreme Court of the United States convened for the first time, in New York City.

1862

Julia Ward Howe's poem "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was published in the Atlantic Monthly.

1884

The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary A–Ant, was published.

1946

A press conference announced the first electronic digital computer, ENIAC, was held at the University of Pennsylvania.

1960

Four black college students began a series of sit-ins at a white-only lunch counter in Woolworth’s, Greensboro, N.C.

1968

During the Vietnam War, a Viet Cong officer was executed with a pistol shot to the head by Saigon's police chief and the image captured in a famous news photograph.

1979

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Tehran after 15 years of exile.

2003

The space shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it tried to reenter the Earth's atmosphere after a sixteen-day mission in space. All seven members of the crew were lost.

2004

Janet Jackson's famous "wardrobe malfunction" occurred at Super Bowl XXXVIII.

2009

Johanna Sigurdardottir takes office as Iceland's first female prime minister.

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