2002 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
1985 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave hospital.
1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald Ford's Proclamation 4417.
1963 – The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique reawakens the feminist movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness raising groups spread.
1960 – China successfully launches the T-7, its first sounding rocket.
1953 – Censorship: Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.
1949 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.
1945 – World War II: Battle of Iwo Jima: About 30,000 United States Marines land on the island of Iwo Jima.
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.
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.
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.
1884 – More than sixty tornadoes strike the Southern United States, one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.
1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.
1859 – Daniel E. Sickles, a New York Congressman, is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity. This is the first time this defense is successfully used in the United States.
1847 – The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party.
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.
1819 – British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands and claims them in the name of King George III.
1807 – Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama and confined to Fort Stoddert.
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, and it is renamed New York.
2001 – David Mazouz, American actor. He had several guest roles before joining Fox's TV series Touch (2012–13), for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award, and portrayed young Bruce Wayne in Fox's Gotham, based on the DC Comics secret identity of the superhero Batman.
1993 – Victoria Justice, American actress, singer, and dancer. Justice has also appeared in the films The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (2010), Fun Size (2012), The First Time (2012) and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (2015).
1991 – Trevor Bayne, American race car driver. He last competed part-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 6 Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing.
1986 – Michael Schwimer, American baseball player. Michael Fredarick Schwimer (born February 19, 1986) is an American businessperson and former professional baseball relief pitcher.
1985 – Haylie Duff, American actress and singer. Haylie Katherine Duff (born February 19, 1985) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, television host, writer, and fashion designer.
1984 – Chris Richardson, American singer-songwriter, was the fifth-place finalist on the sixth season of American Idol.
1983 – Ryan Whitney, American ice hockey player. Whitney (born February 19, 1983) is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman.
1981 – Beth Ditto, American singer, was born on February 19, 1981. She is known by her stage name Beth Ditto and is an American singer-songwriter, most notable for her work with the indie rock band Gossip.
1980 – Dwight Freeney, American football player. Dwight Jason Freeney (born February 19, 1980) is a former American football defensive end who played 16 seasons in the National Football League (NFL).
1979 – Steve Cherundolo, American soccer player and manager, was most recently an assistant coach for the United States men's national soccer team. He was the captain of Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga, where he spent his entire club career.
1978 – Immortal Technique, Peruvian-American rapper. Most of his lyrics focus on controversial issues in global politics, from a radical left-wing perspective.
1977 – Andrew Ross Sorkin, American journalist and author. He is also the founder and editor of DealBook, a financial news service published by The New York Times.
1975 – Daewon Song, South Korean-American skateboarder, co-founded Almost Skateboards. Song was named the 2006 "Skater of the Year" by Thrasher magazine, an award that is widely considered to be one of the most significant honors in skateboarding.
1972 – Francine Fournier, American wrestler and manager. Francine Meeks (née Francine Fournier; born February 19, 1972), known by the mononym Francine, is an American semi-retired professional wrestling valet and occasional professional wrestler.
1971 – Jeff Kinney, American author and illustrator. Jeffrey Patrick Kinney (born February 19, 1971) is an American author and cartoonist, best known for the children's book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
1969 – Burton C. Bell, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Burton Christopher Bell (born February 19, 1969) is an American musician and vocalist.
1968 – Prince Markie Dee, American rapper and actor. Mark Anthony Morales (born February 19, 1968), better known by the stage name Prince Markie Dee, is an American rapper, songwriter, producer, and radio personality of Puerto Rican descent.
1967 – Benicio del Toro, Puerto Rican-American actor, director, and producer. Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sánchez (born February 19, 1967) is a Puerto Rican actor and producer of Spanish descent.
1966 – Eduardo Xol, American designer and author. Eduardo Torres Xol (born February 19, 1966) is a Mexican-American actor, singer, television personality, designer, entertainer, social activist and businessman.
1966 – Justine Bateman, American actress and producer. Five Minutes, the film short she wrote, directed, and produced, premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
1965 – Clark Hunt, American businessman. Clark Knobel Hunt (born February 19, 1965) is part owner, chairman and CEO of the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs and a founding investor-owner in Major League Soccer.
1965 – Jon Fishman, American drummer, was named after him. He is credited with co-writing nineteen Phish songs, eight with a solo credit.
1964 – Doug Aldrich, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. John in 1998 and has played previously with the bands Whitesnake, Dio, Lion, Hurricane, House of Lords, Bad Moon Rising and Revolution Saints.
1964 – Jonathan Lethem, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. In 1999, Lethem published Motherless Brooklyn, a National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel that achieved mainstream success.
1963 – Jessica Tuck, American actress. Jessica Tuck (born February 19, 1963) is an American actress, best known for her performances on television as Megan Gordon Harrison on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, Gillian Gray in the CBS drama series Judging Amy, and as Nan Flanagan on the HBO series True Blood.
1959 – Roger Goodell, American businessman. Roger Stokoe Goodell (born February 19, 1959) is an American businessman who is currently the Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL).
1958 – Tommy Cairo, American wrestler. He is the former co-owner of the New Jersey-based Force One Pro Wrestling promotion and school.
1956 – Kathleen Beller, American actress, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Promises in the Dark (1979) and was well known for her role as Kirby Anders on the prime time soap opera Dynasty. She had a small role in The Godfather Part II, and a featured role in The Betsy.
1956 – Peter Holsapple, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Peter Livingston Holsapple (born February 19, 1956) is an American musician, who formed, along with Chris Stamey, the dB's, a jangle-pop band from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
1956 – Roderick MacKinnon, American biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. He is a professor of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics at Rockefeller University who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Peter Agre in 2003 for his work on the structure and operation of ion channels.
1955 – Jeff Daniels, American actor and playwright. Jeffrey Warren Daniels (born February 19, 1955) is an American actor, musician, and playwright whose career includes roles in films, stage productions, and television, for which he has won two Emmy Awards and received several Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Tony Award nominations.
1954 – Michael Gira, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. He is also the founder of Young God Records.
1952 – Amy Tan, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. Amy Tan (born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and the Chinese-American experience.
1949 – Danielle Bunten Berry, American game designer and programmer (d. 1998), was an American game designer and programmer, known for the 1983 game M.U.L.E. (one of the first influential multiplayer games), and 1984's The Seven Cities of Gold.
1949 – William Messner-Loebs, American author and illustrator. William Francis Messner-Loebs (/ˈmɛsnər ˈloʊbz/; born William Francis Loebs, Jr., February 19, 1949) is an American comics artist and writer from Michigan, also known as Bill Loebs and Bill Messner-Loebs.
1948 – Mark Andes, American singer-songwriter and bass player. Mark Andes (born February 19, 1948) is an American musician, known for his work as a bassist with Canned Heat, Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, Firefall, Heart, and Mirabal.
1947 – Jackie Curtis, American actress and playwright (d. 1985), was an American actor, writer, singer, and Warhol Superstar.
1946 – Karen Silkwood, American technician and activist (d. 1974), was an American chemical technician and labor union activist known for raising concerns about corporate practices related to health and safety in a nuclear facility.
1944 – Les Hinton, English-American journalist and businessman. Leslie Frank Hinton (born 19 February 1944) is a British-American journalist, writer and business executive whose career with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation spanned more than fifty years.
1943 – Homer Hickam, American author and engineer. Homer Hadley Hickam Jr. (born February 19, 1943) is an American author, Vietnam veteran, and a former NASA engineer who trained the first Japanese astronauts.
1943 – Lou Christie, American singer-songwriter. Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco (born February 19, 1943), known professionally as Lou Christie, is an American singer-songwriter best known for three separate strings of pop hits in the 1960s, including his 1966 hit "Lightnin' Strikes.”
1942 – Paul Krause, American football player and politician. He led the league with 12 interceptions as a rookie before going on to set the NFL career interceptions record with 81 (which he picked off from 45 different quarterbacks) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
1942 – Will Provine, American biologist, historian, and academic (d. 2015), was an American historian of science and of evolutionary biology and population genetics. He was the Andrew H. and James S.
1941 – David Gross, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. David Jonathan Gross (/ɡroʊs/; born February 19, 1941) is an American theoretical physicist and string theorist.
1940 – Bobby Rogers, American singer-songwriter (d. 2013), was an American musician and tenor singer, best known as a member of Motown vocal group the Miracles from 1956 until his death on March 3, 2013, in Southfield, Michigan. He was inducted, in 2012, as a member of the Miracles to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1940 – Smokey Robinson, American singer-songwriter and producer (The Miracles). Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as "the Five Chimes" until 1972, when he announced a retirement from the group to focus on his role as Motown's vice president.
1939 – Erin Pizzey, English activist and author, founded Refuge. Erin Patria Margaret Pizzey (born 19 February 1939) is an English family care activist and a novelist.
1937 – Terry Carr, American author and educator (d. 1987), was an American science fiction fan, author, editor, and writing instructor.
1936 – Frederick Seidel, American poet. Frederick Seidel (born February 19, 1936) is an American poet.
1936 – Sam Myers, American singer-songwriter (d. 2006), was an American blues musician and songwriter. He was an accompanist on dozens of recordings by blues artists over five decades.
1935 – Dave Niehaus, American sportscaster (d. 2010). He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the American League's Seattle Mariners from their inaugural season in 1977 until his death after the 2010 season.
1932 – Joseph P. Kerwin, American captain, physician, and astronaut. Joseph Peter Kerwin, (born February 19, 1932), (Capt, USN, Ret.), is an American physician and former NASA astronaut, who served as Science Pilot for the Skylab 2 mission from May 25–June 22, 1973.
1930 – John Frankenheimer, American director and producer (d. 2002), was an American film and television director known for social dramas and action/suspense films. Among his credits were Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), The Train (1965), Seconds (1966), Grand Prix (1966), French Connection II (1975), Black Sunday (1977), and Ronin (1998).
1924 – Lee Marvin, American actor (d. 1987), was an American film and television actor.
1920 – C. Z. Guest, American actress, fashion designer, and author (d. 2003). Z." Guest (née Cochrane; February 19, 1920 – November 8, 2003) was an American stage actress, author, columnist, horsewoman, fashion designer, and socialite who achieved a degree of fame as a fashion icon.
1917 – Carson McCullers, American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and essayist (d. 1967), was an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, and poet. Her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts in a small town of the Southern United States.
1916 – Eddie Arcaro, American jockey and sportscaster (d. 1997). Triple Crown series:Kentucky Derby (5)Preakness Stakes (6)Belmont Stakes (6)
1912 – Dorothy Janis, American actress (d. 2010), was an American silent film actress.
1911 – Merle Oberon, Indian-American actress (d. 1979), was a Eurasian actress who began her film career in British films as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). After her success in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), she travelled to the United States to make films for Samuel Goldwyn.
1904 – Elisabeth Welch, American-English singer and actress (d. 2003), was an American singer, actress, and entertainer, whose career spanned seven decades. Her best-known songs were "Stormy Weather", "Love for Sale" and "Far Away in Shanty Town".
1902 – Kay Boyle, American novelist, short story writer, and educator (d. 1992), was an American novelist, short story writer, educator, and political activist. She was a Guggenheim Fellows and O.
1897 – Alma Rubens, American actress (d. 1931), was an American film actress and stage performer.
1895 – Louis Calhern, American actor (d. 1956), was an American stage and screen actor. For portraying Oliver Wendell Holmes in the film The Magnificent Yankee (1950), he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
1800 – Émilie Gamelin, Canadian nun and social worker, founded the Sisters of Providence (d. 1851), was a French Canadian social worker and Roman Catholic religious sister. She is best known as the founder of the Sisters of Providence of Montreal.
2016 – Harper Lee, American author (b. 1926)
2015 – Harold Johnson, American boxer (b. 1928)
2015 – Harris Wittels, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1984)
2014 – Dale Gardner, American captain and astronaut (b. 1948)
2013 – Armen Alchian, American economist and academic (b. 1914)
2013 – Donald Richie, American-Japanese author and critic (b. 1924)
2013 – Robert Coleman Richardson, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1937)
2012 – Ruth Barcan Marcus, American philosopher and logician (b. 1921)
2011 – Ollie Matson, American sprinter and football player (b. 1930)
2007 – Celia Franca, English-Canadian dancer and director, founded the National Ballet of Canada (b. 1921)
2007 – Janet Blair, American actress and singer (b. 1921)
2003 – Johnny Paycheck, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1938)
2001 – Stanley Kramer, American director and producer (b. 1913)
1998 – Grandpa Jones, American singer-songwriter and banjo player (b. 1913)
1997 – Leo Rosten, Polish-American author and academic (b. 1908)
1996 – Charlie Finley, American businessman (b. 1918)
1992 – Tojo Yamamoto, American wrestler and manager (b. 1927)
1988 – André Frédéric Cournand, French-American physician and physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1895)
1983 – Alice White, American actress (b. 1904)
1972 – Lee Morgan, American trumpet player and composer (b. 1938)
1969 – Madge Blake, American actress (b. 1899)
1962 – Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek-American pathologist, invented the Pap smear (b. 1883)
1959 – Willard Miller, American sailor, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1877)
1945 – John Basilone, American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1916)
1936 – Billy Mitchell, American general and pilot (b. 1879)
1928 – George Howard Earle, Jr., American lawyer and businessman (b. 1856)
1672 – Charles Chauncy, English-American minister, theologian, and academic (b. 1592)