18 February 1688 – At a Quaker meeting in Germantown, Pa, German Mennonites penned a memorandum stating a profound opposition to Negro slavery. Quakers in Germantown, Pa., adopted the fist formal antislavery resolution in America.
1814 – The British schooner Phoenix fell to Marines of the USS Constitution.1817 – Walter Paye Lane (d.1892), Brig General (Confederate Army), was born.
1841 – The 1st continuous filibuster in US Senate began and lasting until March 11.
1842 – The House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting the Committee on Commerce to make an inquiry into the expenditures of the Lighthouse Establishment since 1816. This was to explore the possibility of cutting down on expenses, to examine the question of reorganizing the establishment and administration, and also to ascertain whether the establishment should be placed under the Topographical Bureau of the War Department.
1846 – “It having been represented to the (Navy) Department, that confusion arises from the use of the words “Larboard” and “Starboard,” in consequence of the similarity of sound, the word “Port” is hereafter to be substituted for “Larboard.” –Navy Department General Order
1850 – The city of SF was incorporated.
1861 – Jefferson F. Davis was inaugurated as the Confederacy’s provisional president at a ceremony held in Montgomery, Ala., where the Confederate constitutional convention was held. Davis was sworn in on Feb 22 in Virginia.
1864 – President Lincoln ended the blockade of Brownsville, Texas, and opened the port for trade.
1942 – The Free French submarine Surcouf (then the largest submarine in the world) is sunk in a collision with a US merchant ship.
1943 – The new American 6th Army, commanded by General Krueger, become operational in the southwest Pacific.
1943 – A US Task Group (Admiral McMorris) with 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers bombards Japanese positions on Attu Island.
1943 – Rommel took three towns in Tunisia, North Africa. The intercepted communications of an American in Cairo provided a secret ear for the Desert Fox.
1945 – All US 3rd Army units are attacking. The German Siegfried Line is broken north of Echternach by US 8th Corps while both US 12th and 20th Corps, to the south, are advancing.
1945 – US Task Force 54 and TF52 continue the preliminary bombardment of Iwo Jima.
1945 – There are new attacks by US 4th Corps (part of US 5th Army) in the area of the front just west of the Bologna-Pistoia road.
1945 – While most of US Task Force 58 is replenishing, one group of four carriers commanded by Admiral Radford attacks Haha Jima and Chichi Jima.
1951 – An enemy shore battery scored a hit on the destroyer USS Ozbourn and wounded two sailors. This was the first time a U.S. Navy ship operating in the vicinity of Wonsan had been hit by gunfire from a shore battery.
1954 – East and West Berlin dropped thousands of propaganda leaflets on each other after the end of a month long truce.
1955 – Operation Teapot begins. A series of 14 nuclear detonations to determine the effects of nuclear weapons on a variety of materials and in a variety of conditions begins with detonation Wasp. This test evaluated the effects of low altitude detonations. The total device weight was 1500 lb. Although the bomb was much heavier, the implosion system was the lightest nuclear explosive system fired up until this time.
1956 – The US lifted its arms ban and shipped tanks to Saudi Arabia.
1962 – Robert F. Kennedy said that U.S. troops would stay in Vietnam until Communism was defeated.
1968 – Three U.S. pilots who were held by the Vietnamese arrived in Washington. Today, the Vietnamese people are pressuring Hanoi to account for their own 300,000 MIAs.
1968 – Some 10,000 people in West Berlin demonstrated against US in Vietnam War.
1977 – The space shuttle Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its maiden “flight” above the Mojave Desert.
1999 - The Clinton administration warned Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to choose peace with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, or face a devastating military strike.
1999 – Iraq announces that its section of a joint oil pipeline with Syria is almost ready. The pipeline links Iraqi oil fields located near the northern city of Kirkuk to Syria’s Mediterranean terminal at Banias. A spur off the main pipeline leads to the Lebanese port at Tripoli. Under existing sanctions, Iraq needs to obtain special permission from the United Nations to export oil through Syria.
2000 – Mariano Faget (54), a 34-year US immigration officer in Miami, was reported to be a Cuban spy. Faget was found guilty of disclosing government secrets May 30.
2001 – Robert Philip Hanssen (56), senior FBI agent, was arrested for spying. He had allegedly passed information to the Russians for 15 years. It was believed that he had betrayed the construction of a tunnel under the Soviet Embassy in Washington. He pleaded guilty July 3 to avoid execution. His disclosures were later reported to have played a role in the execution or jailing of at least 3 Russians and threatened the identity of another 50 people. Hanssen was sentenced to life in prison on May 10, 2002.
2001 – The Iraqi press referred to Pres. Bush as “son of the snake” and “the new dwarf” following the Feb. 16 bombing attacks.
2003 – Saudi Arabia said it has referred 90 Saudis to trial for alleged al Qaeda links. Another 250 were reported under investigation.
2003 – Turkey asked the US to nearly double its multibillion dollar aid package as a condition for allowing U.S. troops on its soil in a war against neighboring Iraq.
2004 – President Bush praised social progress in Tunisia and welcomed its leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, as a partner in the fight against terrorism while also urging political reforms in the moderate Muslim nation in North African nation.
2004 – Scientists reported that X-rays form galaxy RX J1242-11 indicated a black hole tearing apart a star and gobbling up a share of its gaseous mass.
2005 – Indonesia welcomed efforts by the US to restore full military training ties with Jakarta, saying the time was ripe to resume links that were downgraded 13 years ago.
2005 – Libya refused to extend the deadline of the Lockerbie compensation deal in a possible bid to pressure Washington to drop it from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.