On This Day … 14 February


  • 748 – Abbasid Revolution: The Hashimi rebels under Abu Muslim Khorasani take Merv, capital of the Umayyad province Khorasan, marking the consolidation of the Abbasid revolt.
  • 1400 – Richard II of England dies, most probably from starvation, in Pontefract Castle, on the orders of Henry Bolingbroke.
  • 1530 – Spanish conquistadores, led by Nuño de Guzmán, overthrow and execute Tangaxuan II, the last independent monarch of the Tarascan state in present-day central Mexico.
  • 1655 – the Mapuches launch coordinated attacks against the Spanish in Chile beginning the Mapuche uprising of 1655.
  • 1778 – The United States flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte renders a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.
  • 1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Kettle Creek is fought in Georgia.
  • 1797 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Cape St. Vincent: John Jervis, (later 1st Earl of St Vincent) and Horatio Nelson (later 1st Viscount Nelson) lead the British Royal Navy to victory over a Spanish fleet in action near Gibraltar.
  • 1804 – Karađorđe leads the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1831 – Ras Marye of Yejju marches into Tigray and defeats and kills Dejazmach Sabagadis in the Battle of Debre Abbay.
  • 1879 – The War of the Pacific breaks out when the Chilean Army occupies the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta.
  • 1900 – British forces begin the Battle of the Tugela Heights in an effort to lift the Siege of Ladysmith.
  • 1912 – The U.S. Navy commissions its first class of diesel-powered submarines.
  • 1919 – The Polish–Soviet War begins.
  • 1942 – Battle of Pasir Panjang contributes to the fall of Singapore.
  • 1943 – World War II: Rostov-on-Don, Russia is liberated.
  • 1943 – World War II: Tunisia Campaign: General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim’s Fifth Panzer Army launches a concerted attack against Allied positions in Tunisia.
  • 1944 – World War II: In the Action of 14 February 1944, a Royal Navy submarine sinks a German-controlled Italian submarine in the Strait of Malacca.
  • 1945 – World War II: On the first day of the bombing of Dresden, the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces begin fire-bombing Dresden.
  • 1945 – World War II: Navigational error leads to the mistaken bombing of Prague, Czechoslovakia by an American squadron of B-17s assisting in the Soviet’s Vistula–Oder Offensive.
  • 1945 – World War II: Mostar is liberated by Yugoslav partisans
  • 1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia aboard the USS Quincy, officially beginning US-Saudi diplomatic relations.

People (Births)

  • 1763 – Jean Victor Marie Moreau, French general (d. 1813).
  • 1824 – Winfield Scott Hancock, American general and politician (d. 1886).
  • 1846 – Julian Scott, American soldier and drummer, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1901).
  • 1892 – Radola Gajda, Czech commander and politician (d. 1948).
  • 1895 – Wilhelm Burgdorf, German general (d. 1945).
  • 1916 – Marcel Bigeard, French general (d. 2010).
  • 1928 – Vicente T. Blaz, American general and politician (d. 2014).
  • 1960 – Philip Jones, English admiral.

People (Deaths)

  • 945 – Lian Chongyu, Chinese general.
  • 1779 – James Cook, English captain, cartographer, and explorer (b. 1728).
  • 1831 – Vicente Guerrero, Mexican general and politician, 2nd President of Mexico (b. 1782).
  • 1870 – St. John Richardson Liddell, American general (b. 1815).
  • 1891 – William Tecumseh Sherman, American general (b. 1820).
  • 1942 – Adnan Saidi, Malayan lieutenant (b. 1915).
  • 1979 – Adolph Dubs, American lieutenant and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Afghanistan (b. 1920).
  • 2016 – Eric Lubbock, 4th Baron Avebury, English lieutenant, engineer, and politician (b. 1928).

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