On This Day … 28 February


  • 202 BC – Liu Bang is enthroned as the Emperor of China, beginning four centuries of rule by the Han dynasty.
  • 1246 – The siege of Jaén ends in the context of the Spanish Reconquista resulting in the Castilian takeover of the city from the Taifa of Jaen.
  • 1525 – Aztec king Cuauhtémoc is executed on the order of conquistador Hernán Cortés.
  • 1710 – Battle of Helsingborg: Fourteen thousand Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau are decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock.
    • This is the last time Swedish and Danish troops meet on Swedish soil.
  • 1728 – Peshwa Bajirao I of the Maratha Empire defeats Asaf Jah I in the Battle of Palkhed.
  • 1838 – Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Quebec).
  • 1844 – A gun on USS Princeton explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing six people, including two United States Cabinet members.
  • 1847 – The Battle of the Sacramento River during the Mexican-American War is a decisive victory for the United States leading to the capture of Chihuahua.
  • 1893 – The USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the US Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, is launched.
  • 1897 – Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, is deposed by a French military force.
  • 1900 – The Second Boer War: The 118-day “Siege of Ladysmith” is lifted.
  • 1922 – The United Kingdom ends its protectorate over Egypt through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
  • 1933 – Gleichschaltung: The Reichstag Fire Decree is passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire.
  • 1935 – DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.
  • 1942 – The heavy cruiser USS Houston is sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed, along with HMAS Perth which lost 375 men.
  • 1947 – 28 February Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of an estimated 30,000 civilians.
  • 1966 – A NASA T-38 Talon crashes into the McDonnell Aircraft factory while attempting a poor-visibility landing at Lambert Field, St. Louis, killing astronauts Elliot See and Charles Bassett.
  • 1972 – China–United States relations: The United States and China sign the Shanghai Communiqué.
  • 1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale.
  • 1985 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army carries out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing nine officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.
  • 1991 – The first Gulf War ends.
  • 1997 – A Turkish military memorandum resulted with collapse of the government in Turkey.
  • 1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
  • 1998 – Kosovo War: Serbian police begin the offensive against the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo.
  • 2004 – Over one million Taiwanese participate in the 228 Hand-in-Hand rally form a 500-kilometre (310 mi) long human chain to commemorate the 28 February Incident in 1947.
  • Peace Memorial Day (Taiwan).

People (Births)

  • 1627 – Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford, English soldier and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Essex (d. 1703).
  • 1920 – Jadwiga Piłsudska, Polish soldier, pilot, and architect (d. 2014).
  • 1921 – Marah Halim Harahap, Indonesian military officer, Governor of North Sumatra (d. 2015).
  • 1924 – Robert A. Roe, American soldier and politician (d. 2014).
  • 1937 – Jeff Farrell, American swimmer.
  • 1963 – Claudio Chiappucci, Italian cyclist.
  • 1970 – Noureddine Morceli, Algerian runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 1966 – Charles Bassett, American captain, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1931).
  • 1966 – Elliot See, American commander, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1927).
  • 2003 – Chris Brasher, Guyanese-English runner and journalist, co-founded the London Marathon (b. 1928).
  • 2003 – Fidel Sánchez Hernández, Salvadorian general and politician, President of El Salvador (b. 1917).
  • 2004 – Andres Nuiamäe, Estonian sergeant (b. 1982).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.