This Day in History — February 2
On this day, 1842, Reverend Lester Davy establishes Clarendon College in Jamaica.

Today is the 33rd day of 2023. There are 332 days left in the year.


1990: South African President F W de Klerk lifts the 30-year ban on the African National Congress, resulting in the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and marking the beginning of the end of apartheid.


1349: At least 200 people a day were being buried in London as a result of the Black Death.

1535: The Argentine city of Buenos Aires is founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.

1653: New Amsterdam, with a population of 800, gains a city charter from the Dutch and is later renamed New York.

1802: The first leopard is exhibited in Boston in the US for a 25 cent admission per person.

1808: A French force occupies Rome after Pope Pius VII refuses to recognise the Kingdom of Naples and join an alliance against Britain.

1842: Reverend Lester Davy establishes Clarendon College in Jamaica.

1848: Mexico signs the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending a US invasion and ceding Texas, New Mexico and California to the United States, receiving US$15 million in return. The frist shipload of Chinese immigrants arrive in San Francisco.

1852: James Oliver invents the removable tempered steel plow blade.

1870: American writer of Huckleberry Finn, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (pen name Mark Twain), marries Olivia Langdon in Elmira, New York.

1872: Holland sells trading posts on the African Gold Coast to Britain.

1892: The longest boxing match under modern rules lasts for 77 rounds in Nameoki, Illinois, between Harry Sharpe and Frank Crosby.

1892: The bottle cap is patented by William Painter.

1901: The Female Army Nurse Corps is established as a permanent organisation. The US Congress passes the Army Reorganization Act, placing the minimum number of men under arms at 58,000.

1912: Frederick Rodman Law performs what is considered the first motion picture stunt, parachuting from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

1919: Monarchy is proclaimed in Portugal.

1920: Estonia declares its independence from Russia.

1923: Ethyl gasoline is first marketed in Dayton, Ohio.

1924: Caliphate is abolished by Turkey's National Assembly.

1925: Dogsleds reach Nome with emergency diphtheria serum after a 1000 kilometre journey.

1933: Two days after becoming chancellor, Adolf Hitler dissolves the German Reichstag (Parliament). Hermann Goering bans Communist meetings/demonstrations in Germany.

1934: Dutch Roman Catholic bishops warn against fascism and Nazism.

1935: Leonarde Keeler first uses his polygraph machine on criminals later convicted of assault on its findings in Portage, Wisconsin.

1942: US auto factories switch from commercial to war production.

1943: German troops surrender to Russians in Stalingrad after losing 200,000 men.

1952: BB King's 3 O'Clock Blues hits number one on the US Billboard's R&B hit parade — his first national hit.

1954: The Nutcracker ballet, choreographed by George Balanchine with Maria Tallchief as the Sugar Plum Fairy, opens in New York and establishes its popularity in the US.

1971: Idi Amin assumes power and declares himself president of Uganda following a coup that ousted President Milton Obote; for the next eight years he heads a regime noted for its brutality.

1974: Barbra Streisand has her first number one hit, The Way We Were.

1979: Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, early proponents of British punk rock, dies of a drug overdose in New York City.

1980: Reports surface that the FBI had conducted a sting operation targeting members of US Congress using phony Arab businessmen in what became known as Abscam, a code name protested by Arab-Americans.

1991: An earthquake jolts Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing at least 109 people and injuring more than 350.

1992: Serbian officials and a Serb leader agree to support a UN peace plan for Croatia.

1995: The leaders of Israel, Jordan, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Egypt sit down together for the first time in Cairo in an attempt to revive Israel's troubled accord with Palestinians.

1999: Hugo Chavez takes office as Venezuela's president, seven years after he tried to overthrow the Government in a military coup.

2000: The two Libyan defendants charged in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, plead innocent at a pre-trial hearing in a Scottish court; the blast killed 270 people.

2006: Foreign aid workers and journalists start leaving the Gaza Strip after masked Palestinian gunmen, incensed by cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in European newspapers, surround an EU office and threaten to attack Europeans.

2007: A UN envoy unveils a long-awaited plan for Kosovo, recommending internationally supervised statehood for the contested province; the plan is quickly rejected by Serbian President Boris Tadic.

2009: Moammar Gadhafi of Libya is elected as leader of the African Union.

2011: A massive cyclone strikes north-eastern Australia — the most powerful storm to hit the area in nearly a century.

2012: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which relies solely on Russia to take US crews to the space station, says it still has confidence in the quality of Russia's manned rockets despite an embarrassing series of glitches and failures in Moscow's space programme.

2013: French President Francois Hollande bathes in the cheers and accolades of thousands of people in Timbuktu, making a triumphant stop six days after French forces parachuted in to liberate Mali's fabled city from the radical Islamists occupying it.

2014: Thousands of protesters seeking the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych hold their largest gatherings in Kiev's central square. American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who fully inhabited the characters he played and was renowned for his scene-stealing work in supporting roles, dies of a heroin overdose in New York City.

2017: Declaring that religious freedom is "under threat", US President Donald Trump vows to repeal a rarely enforced Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule that says pastors who endorse candidates from the pulpit risk losing their tax-exempt status. Using a backhoe to smash through a barricade of water-filled footlockers, police storm Delaware's largest prison, ending a nearly 20-hour hostage stand-off with inmates; one hostage, a guard, is killed.


Eleanor (Nell) Gwyn, English actress (1651-1687); James Joyce, Irish author (1882-1941); Jussi Bjoerling, Swedish tenor (1911-1960); Abba Eban, Israeli ambassador, foreign minister and author (1915-2002); Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former French president (1926-2020); Graham Nash, British pop singer (1942- ); Farrah Fawcett, US actress-model (1947-2009); Shakira, Latin singer (1977- )

— AP/ Jamaica Observer

William Painter patents the bottle cap on this day, 1892.

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