50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in February 2017 for you to write about (and make money from)

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in February 2017 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.

For more details about how to do this, download our booklet: Ditch Your Day Job – the easiest way to make a living as a writer.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.


The Date-A-Base Book 2016The listing below is a small sample of the entries for February from The Date-A-Base Book 2017
There are 272 anniversaries for February in the book (more than five times more than are listed here). The book covers the whole of 2017 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over – and the book also explains how to get your articles published.

600 years ago (23 Feb 1417)
Birth of Pope Paul II.

300 years ago (19 Feb 1717)
Birth of David Garrick, British actor, playwright, producer and theatre manager. Manager of London’s Drury Lane Theatre for 29 years, during which time it became one of the leading theatres in Europe.

150 years ago (3 Feb 1867)
Meiji became Emperor of Japan.

150 years ago (7 Feb 1867)
Birth of Laura Ingalls Wilder, American children’s writer. Best known for her Little House series, based on her childhood in a pioneer family in the American Midwest.

150 years ago (15 Feb 1867)
Johann Strauss’s waltz The Blue Danube was performed for the first time, in Vienna, Austria.

125 years ago (15 Feb 1892)
Birth of James Forrestal, the first U.S. Secretary of Defense (1947–-49). As U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1944-–47) he directed the huge naval expansion and procurement programmes of WWII. The world’s first supercarrier (aircraft carrier) was named USS Forrestal in his honour.

125 years ago (27 Feb 1892)
Death of Louis Vuitton, French businessman. Known for his luxury luggage products.

100 years ago (3 Feb 1917)
World War I: the American cargo ship Housatonic was sunk by a German submarine in the Atlantic. The crew were ordered into the lifeboats before the torpedo was fired, and all survived. (The Housatonic was formerly the German passenger ship SS Georgia. It was interned by the USA at the outbreak of the war and sold to a U.S. company for conversion into a cargo ship.)

100 years ago (5 Feb 1917)
The U.S. Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917 (also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) on its 4th attempt, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. It banned a wide range of ‘undesirables’ from entering the country. The most controversial part of the act banned immigration from large parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands (previously only the Chinese had been banned). Parts of it were repealed in 1943 (Chinese) and 1946 (Asian Indians and Filipinos) and it was superseded by the McCarran-Walter Act in 1952 (which covered Japanese, Koreans and other Asians).

100 years ago (11 Feb 1917)
Birth of Sidney Sheldon, Tony Award-winning American novelist and screenwriter. During his TV career he created popular shows including The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart. He then became a best-selling crime/thriller novelist. His books include Master of the Game, The Other Side of Midnight and Rage of Angels.

100 years ago (12 Feb 1917)
Birth of Dom DiMaggio, (‘The Little Professor’), American baseball player (Boston Red Sox). Brother of Joe DiMaggio and Vince DiMaggio.

100 years ago (25 Feb 1917)
Birth of Anthony Burgess, British novelist, playwright, composer and literary critic . Best known for his novels A Clockwork Orange (adapted into a controversial film by Stanley Kubrick) and Earthly Powers.

80 years ago (11 Feb 1937)
The Flint (Michigan) sit-down strike against General Motors (GM) ended. This famous strike led to the formal establishment and recognition of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) trade union, and later to the unionisation of the entire U.S. car industry. (The strike had begun on 30th December 1936, and ended when GM agreed to recognise the UAW.)

75 years ago (1 Feb 1942)
Vidkun Quisling became Minister President of Nazi-occupied Norway. (This led to his conviction for treason and execution after the war in 1945.)

75 years ago (1 Feb 1942)
World War II – the Marshalls-Gilberts raids (Micronesia). The first offensive action by the U.S. Navy against Japan following the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Wake Island. Minor damage was inflicted on Japanese garrisons, but it helped raise U.S. morale. This raid led to the Battle of Midway in June.

75 years ago (8 – 15 Feb 1942)
World War II – the Battle of Singapore. Japanese victory, leading to the Japanese occupation of Singapore until September 1945. This battle included the Battle of Bukit Timah (10th – 12th February) and the Battle of Pasir Panjang (13th – 14th February) – both Japanese victories.

75 years ago (9 Feb 1942)
World War II: the Joint Chiefs of Staff was officially established in the USA.

75 years ago (9 Feb 1942)
World War II: ‘War Time’ (year-round Daylight Saving Time) went into effect in the USA. (Ended September 1945.)

75 years ago (9 Feb 1942)
World War II: soap rationing began in Britain so that supplies of fats and oils could be saved for food production.

75 years ago (17 Feb 1942)
Birth of Huey P. Newton, American political activist. Co-founder of the Black Panther Party – established following incidents of alleged police brutality and racism. Convicted of killing a police officer (later acquitted). Jailed for misappropriating public funds. (Shot dead in 1989.)

75 years ago (18 Feb – 4 Mar 1942)
World War II: the Sook Ching. Japanese forces massacred up to 100,000 Chinese in Singapore and Malaya. (The exact death toll is disputed.)

75 years ago (19 Feb 1942)
World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorising the military to relocate and intern Japanese Americans living along the Pacific coast.

75 years ago (22 Feb 1942)
World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines. He was the USA’s most experienced general and regarded as a symbol of the Allied resistance against the Japanese. If the Philippines fell, as seemed likely, he would be captured as a prisoner of war, which would benefit the Japanese. He was ordered to take command of U.S. forces in Australia instead. (He received the message on 23rd February and left the Philippines – with considerable reluctance – on 12th March, vowing to return to finish the job.)

70 years ago (7 Feb 1947)
The first of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves in Khirbat Qumran (now in the West Bank, Palestine).

70 years ago (25 Feb 1947)
Prussia was officially abolished and became part of Germany.

65 years ago (1 Feb 1952)
The British Post Office began using detector vans to track down users of unlicensed television sets.

65 years ago (6 Feb 1952)
Death of George VI, King of the United Kingdom. Succeeded by his daughter Elizabeth II.

65 years ago (17 Feb 1952)
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb and would carry out a test before the end of the year. (The test took place on 3rd October.)

50 years ago (3 Feb 1967)
Death of Joe Meek, Ivor Novello Award-winning British record producer and songwriter. He wrote songs for numerous artists. His best-remembered hit is Telstar by the Tornadoes. He also produced music for films. (Committed suicide after murdering his landlady.)

50 years ago (5 Feb 1967)
NASA launched its Lunar Orbiter 3 spacecraft to the Moon to photograph potential landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions.

50 years ago (10 Feb 1967)
The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. It clarifies the procedure for dealing with presidential succession or disability and the appointment of the Vice President.

50 years ago (18 Feb 1967)
Death of J. Robert Oppenheimer, American theoretical physicist, educator and administrator. Known as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’. Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico (1943-–45). Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey (1947-–66).

50 years ago (28 Feb 1967)
Death of Henry Luce, American magazine publishing magnate who established Time, Life, Fortune, House & Home and Sports Illustrated. Husband of the playwright and politician Clare Boothe Luce.

40 years ago (12 Feb 1977)
The Boston Computer Society was founded in Massachusetts, USA, with over 30,000 members in 40 countries, including many notable computer pioneers. Several major organisations made important product announcements at its meetings. (Disbanded 1996.)

30 years ago (26 Feb 1987)
The Tower Commission published its report on the Iran-Contra affair. It criticised U.S. President Ronald Reagan for failing to properly supervise his national security staff and not being aware of their actions.

25 years ago (7 Feb 1992)
The Maastricht Treaty was signed, establishing the European Union (with effect from 1st November 1993).

25 years ago (10 Feb 1992)
American boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington. (He served 3 years in prison.)

25 years ago (17 Feb 1992)
American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms by a court in Wisconsin. He was particularly notable for the gruesome nature of his crimes, which included cannibalism and necrophilia. (Beaten to death by a fellow inmate in November 1994.)

25 years ago (20 Feb 1992)
The English Premier League was founded, superseding the first division of the Football League.

25 years ago (20 Feb 1992)
Death of Dick York, American film and television actor. Best known for his role as Darrin Stephens in the TV sitcom Bewitched. (He was forced to quit the show due to back pain from an injury incurred while filming a movie, and spent much of his later years bedridden.)

25 years ago (25 – 26 Feb 1992)
Nagorno-Karabakh War – the Khojaly Massacre, Azerbaijan. Hundreds of civilians were killed by Armenian armed forces.

20 years ago (4 Feb 1997)
American actor and former football star O. J. Simpson was found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman at a civil trial in Santa Monica, California. (On 10th February he was ordered to pay a fine of $25 million and compensation of $8.5 million.)

20 years ago (4 Feb 1997)
Apple Computer bought Steve Jobs’ company NeXT, and Jobs returned to Apple as an adviser. Apple CEO Gil Amelio, who oversaw the purchase, was ousted in July 1997 and replaced by Jobs in September. (Jobs had been ousted from Apple, the company he co-founded, in 1985. NeXT’s operating system NeXTSTEP became the basis for Apple’s Mac OSX.)

20 years ago (21 Feb 1997)
The ‘Bridgewater Three’ were released. The 3 British men had been jailed for the 1978 murder of newspaper delivery boy Carl Bridgewater, but were released after their trial was ruled unfair. (A 4th man had also been convicted but he died in jail in 1981.)

20 years ago (22 Feb 1997)
Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland announced that they had successfully cloned a mammal for the first time: a sheep named Dolly (born 5th July 1996).

20 years ago (23 Feb 1997)
A large fire broke out on the Russian Space station Mir after an oxygen-generating canister malfunctioned.

20 years ago (26 Feb 1997)
Switzerland announced the establishment of the Swiss Humanitarian Fund (also known as the Swiss Fund for Needy Victims of the Holocaust). It distributed about £200 million ($315 million) to about 312,000 victims of the Nazi atrocities worldwide.

20 years ago (27 Feb 1997)
The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 came into effect in Britain. It banned the possession of most handguns. (All handguns were banned in February 1998 when the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 came into effect.)

20 years ago (27 Feb 1997)
Divorce was legalised in Ireland.

20 years ago (28 Feb 1997)
Ardabil earthquake, north-west Iran. More than 1,000 people were killed, 2,600 injured, and around 40,000 left homeless.


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