- 202 BC – Liu Bang is enthroned as the Emperor of China, beginning four centuries of rule by the Han dynasty.
- 1525 – Aztec king Cuauhtémoc is executed on the order of conquistador Hernán Cortés.
- 1922 – The United Kingdom ends its protectorate over Egypt through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
- 1947 – February 28 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of an estimated 30,000 civilians.
- 1953 – James Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on 25 April following publication in April’s Nature (pub. 02 April).
- 1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched but fails to achieve orbit.
- 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 Troubles: 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.
- 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 February 28 Incident in 1947.
- 1920 – Jadwiga Piłsudska, Polish soldier, pilot, and architect (died 2014).
- 1921 – Marah Halim Harahap, Indonesian military officer, Governor of North Sumatra (died 2015).
- 1924 – Robert A. Roe, American soldier and politician (died 2014).
- 1937 – Jeff Farrell, American swimmer.
- 1963 – Claudio Chiappucci, Italian cyclist.
- 1970 – Noureddine Morceli, Algerian runner.
- 1966 – Charles Bassett, American captain, engineer, and astronaut (born 1931).
- 1966 – Elliot See, American commander, engineer, and astronaut (born 1927).
- 2003 – Chris Brasher, Guyanese-English runner and journalist, co-founded the London Marathon (born 1928).