1760 Cherokee Indians held hostage at Fort St. George are killed in revenge for Indian attacks on frontier settlements.
1804 US Navy lieutenant Steven Decatur leads a small group of sailors into Tripoli harbor and burns the USS Philadelphia, captured earlier by Barbary pirates.
1862 Fort Donelson, Tennessee, falls to Grant’s Federal forces, but not before Nathan Bedford Forrest escapes.
1865 Columbia, South Carolina, surrenders to Federal troops.
1923 Bessie Smith makes her first recording "Down Hearted Blues."
1934 Thousands of Socialists battle Communists at a rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
1937 Dupont patents a new thread, nylon, which will replace silk in a number of products and reduce costs.
1940 The British destroyer HMS Cossack rescues British seamen from a German prison ship, the Altmark, in a Norwegian fjord.
1942 Tojo outlines Japan’s war aims to the Diet, referring to "new order of coexistence" in East Asia.
1945 American paratroopers land on Corregidor, in a campaign to liberate the Philippines.
1951 Stalin contends the U.N. is becoming the weapon of aggressive war.
1952 The FBI arrests 10 members of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.
1957 A U.S. flag flies over an outpost in Wilkes Land, Antarctica.
1959 Fidel Castro takes the oath as Cuban premier in Havana.
1965 Four persons are held in a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument.
1966 The World Council of Churches being held in Geneva, urges immediate peace in Vietnam.
1978 China and Japan sign a $20 billion trade pact, which is the most important move since the 1972 resumption of diplomatic ties.
Born on February 16
1620 Frederick William, founder of Brandenburg-Prussia.
1838 Henry Adams, U.S. historian, son and grandson of the presidents.
1852 Charles Taze Russell, founder of the International Bible Students Association which later became the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
1845 Quinton Hogg, English philanthropist.
1886 Van Wyck Brooks, biographer, critic and literary historian.
1903 Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist and radio comedian.
1904 George Kennan, U.S. diplomat and historian.
1944 Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (The Sportswriter, Independence Day).