February 2

1536

The city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Mendoza.

1709

Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, was rescued after four years alone on an island off the coast of Chile.

1848

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, was signed. In the treaty, Mexico ceded to the United States a huge portion of what is today the American West and Southwest, including California and New Mexico.

1870

The Cardiff Giant was revealed to be a hoax.

1876

The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs was formed.

1887

The first gathering at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsatawney, Pa. to wait for the groundhog's shadow occurred.

1922

James Joyce's Ulysses was published.

1943

Nazi troops surrendered in the World War II Battle of Stalingrad.

1971

Idi Amin became dictator of Uganda.

1980

The Abscam scandal was revealed.

1990

South African President F. W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.

2003

Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel stepped down after 13 years.

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