On This Day … 19 February [2023]


  • 197 – Emperor Septimius Severus defeats usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, the bloodiest battle between Roman armies.
  • 1649 – The Second Battle of Guararapes takes place, effectively ending Dutch colonisation efforts in Brazil.
  • 1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War.
    • A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England.
  • 1714 – Great Northern War: The battle of Napue between Sweden and Russia is fought in Isokyrö, Ostrobothnia.
  • 1807 – Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama and confined to Fort Stoddert.
  • 1819 – British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands and claims them in the name of King George III.
  • 1836 – King William IV signs Letters Patent establishing the Province of South Australia.
  • 1846 – In Austin, Texas the newly formed Texas state government is officially installed.
    • The Republic of Texas government officially transfers power to the State of Texas government following the annexation of Texas by the United States.
  • 1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph (aka gramophone or record player).
  • 1913 – Pedro Lascuráin becomes President of Mexico for 45 minutes; this is the shortest term to date of any person as president of any country.
  • 1915 – World War I: The first naval attack on the Dardanelles begins when a strong Anglo-French task force bombards Ottoman artillery along the coast of Gallipoli.
  • 1942 – World War II: Nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attack the northern Australian city of Darwin, killing 243 people.
  • 1942 – World War II: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps.
  • 1943 – World War II: Battle of Kasserine Pass in Tunisia begins.
  • 1945 – World War II: Battle of Iwo Jima: About 30,000 US Marines land on the island of Iwo Jima.
  • 1948 – The Conference of Youth and Students of Southeast Asia Fighting for Freedom and Independence convenes in Calcutta.
  • 1954 – Transfer of Crimea: The Soviet Politburo of the Soviet Union orders the transfer of the Crimean Oblast from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.
  • 1959 – The United Kingdom grants Cyprus independence, which is formally proclaimed on 16 August 1960.
  • 1965 – Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and a communist spy of the North Vietnamese Viet Minh, along with Generals Lâm Văn Phát and Trần Thiện Khiêm, all Catholics, attempt a coup against the military junta of the Buddhist Nguyễn Khánh (refer to Vietnam War).
  • 1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald Ford’s Proclamation 4417.
  • 1978 – Egyptian forces raid Larnaca International Airport in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking, without authorisation from the Republic of Cyprus authorities.
    • The Cypriot National Guard and Police forces kill 15 Egyptian commandos and destroy the Egyptian C-130 transport plane in open combat.
  • 1986 – Akkaraipattu massacre: the Sri Lankan Army massacres 80 Tamil farm workers in eastern Sri Lanka.
  • 2003 – An Ilyushin Il-76 military aircraft crashes near Kerman, Iran, killing 275.
  • Armed Forces Day (Mexico)
  • Commemoration of Vasil Levski (Bulgaria)

People (Births)

  • 1630 – Shivaji, Indian warrior-king and the founder of Maratha Empire
  • 1798 – Allan MacNab, Canadian soldier, lawyer, and politician, Premier of Canada West (d. 1862)
  • 1872 – Johan Pitka, Estonian admiral (d. 1944)
  • 1880 – Álvaro Obregón, Mexican general and politician, 39th President of Mexico (d. 1928)
  • 1932 – Joseph P. Kerwin, American captain, physician, and astronaut

People (Deaths)

  • 1408 – Thomas Bardolf, 5th Baron Bardolf, English rebel
  • 1709 – Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shōgun (b. 1646)
  • 1936 – Billy Mitchell, American general and pilot (b. 1879)
  • 1945 – John Basilone, American sergeant, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1916)
  • 1957 – Maurice Garin, Italian-French cyclist (b. 1871)
  • 1959 – Willard Miller, American sailor, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1877)
  • 1977 – Anthony Crosland, English captain and politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (b. 1918)
  • 2011 – Ollie Matson, American sprinter and football player (b. 1930)
  • 2014 – Dale Gardner, American captain and astronaut (b. 1948)

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