Famous birthdays, deaths and events of February 28
1155 - Henry the Young King, son of Henry II of England (d. 1183) 1261 - Margaret of Scotland, queen of Norway (d. 1283) 1409 - Elisabeth II of Bohemia, (d. 1442) 1533 - Michel de Montaigne, French writer (d. 1592) 1552 - Joost Bürgi, Swiss clockmaker (d. 1632) 1724 - George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend 1812 - Berthold Auerbach, German poet and author (d. 1882) 1820 - John Tenniel, English illustrator (d. 1914) 1824 - Blondin, French tightrope walker (d. 1897) 1865 - Wilfred Grenfell, medical missionary (d. 1940) 1878 - Artur Kapp, Estonian composer (d. 1952) 1882 - Geraldine Farrar, American soprano (d. 1967) 1882 - José Vasconcelos, Mexican writer (d. 1959) 1882 - Pádraic Ó Conaire, Irish writer (d. 1928) 1894 - Ben Hecht, American playwright (d. 1964) 1895 - Marcel Pagnol, French novelist 1900 - Wolfram Hirth, German pilot (d. 1959) 1903 - Vincente Minnelli, American film director (d. 1986) 1906 - Bugsy Siegel, American gangster (d. 1947) 1908 - Billie Bird, American actress (d. 2002) 1909 - Stephen Spender, English poet (d. 1995) 1912 - Clara Petacci, Italian mistress of Benito Mussolini (d. 1945) 1915 - Ketti Frings, American Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter 1915 - Zero Mostel, American actor (d. 1977) 1921 - Pierre Clostermann, French World War II pilot (d. 2006) 1923 - Charles Durning, American actor 1925 - Harry H Corbett, English actor (d. 1982) 1926 - Svetlana Alliluyeva, Soviet defector 1929 - John Montague, Irish poet 1929 - Joseph Rouleau, French Canadian bass opera singer 1930 - Bruce Dawe, Australian poet 1930 - Gavin MacLeod, American actor 1932 - Don Francks, Canadian actor 1933 - Robert Grondelaers, Belgian cyclist (d.1989) 1933 - Miro Steržaj, Slovenian 9-pin bowler 1939 - Tommy Tune, American dancer 1940 - Mario Andretti, Italian-American race car driver and one-time F1 world champion 1940 - Joe South, American singer 1942 - Frank Bonner, American actor 1942 - Brian Jones, English musician (The Rolling Stones) (d. 1969) 1942 - Dino Zoff, Italian footballer 1943 - Barbara Acklin, American soul singer (d. 1998) 1943 - Charles Bernstein, American composer 1944 - Kelly Bishop, American actress 1944 - Sepp Maier, German footballer 1945 - Bubba Smith, American football player and actor 1947 - Stephanie Beacham, English actress 1948 - Mike Figgis, English director 1948 - Bernadette Peters, American actress and singer 1948 - Mercedes Ruehl, American actress 1951 - Bill Cratty, American modern dancer and choreographer (d. 1998) 1952 - William Finn, American composer 1953 - Ingo Hoffmann, Brazilian racing driver 1953 - Ricky Steamboat, American professional wrestler 1955 - Gilbert Gottfried, American comedian 1956 - Adrian Dantley, American basketball player 1956 - Jimmy Nicholl, Canadian-born Northern Irish footballer 1957 - Paul Delph, American musician and producer (d. 1996) 1957 - Ainsley Harriott, British celebrity chef 1957 - John Turturro, American actor 1957 - Cindy Wilson, American singer (The B-52's) 1958 - Jeanne Mas, French singer and actress 1960 - Dorothy Stratten, Canadian actress (d. 1980) 1961 - Rae Dawn Chong, Canadian actress 1961 - René Simard, French Canadian singer and TV host 1961 - Eric Bachelart, Belgian racing driver 1963 - Claudio Chiappucci, Italian cyclist 1964 - Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Uzbekistan cyclist 1966 - Paulo Futre, Portuguese footballer 1967 - Colin Cooper, English footballer 1968 - Stéphan Lebeau, Canadian ice hockey player 1969 - Butch Leitzinger, American race car driver 1969 - Robert Sean Leonard, American actor 1969 - Tor Øivind Ødegaard, Norwegian track runner 1969 - Patrick Monahan, American singer (Train) 1970 - Daniel Handler, American writer 1970 - Noureddine Morceli, Algerian athlete 1971 - Tristan Louis, American writer 1971 - Junya Nakano, Japanese composer 1971 - Peter Stebbings, Canadian actor 1972 - Rory Cochrane, American actor 1973 - Eric Lindros, Canadian ice hockey player 1973 - Nicolas Minassian, French racing driver 1973 - Masato Tanaka, Japanese professional wrestler 1974 - Lee Carsley, Irish footballer 1975 - Mike Rucker, American football player 1976 - Ali Larter, American actress and model 1976 - Adam Pine, Australian swimmer 1976 - Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Canadian actor 1977 - Jason Aldean, American country singer 1978 - Jeanne Cherhal, French Singer-songwriter 1978 - Benjamin Raich, Austrian Olympic skier 1978 - Jamaal Tinsley, American basketball player 1978 - Mariano Zabaleta, Argentine tennis player 1979 - Sébastien Bourdais, French racing driver 1979 - Ivo Karlović, Croatian tennis player 1979 - Primož Peterka, Slovenian ski jumper 1980 - Pascal Bosschaart, Dutch footballer 1980 - Lucian Bute, Romanian-born Quebec boxer 1980 - Piotr Giza, Polish footballer 1980 - Tayshaun Prince, American basketball player 1981 - Brian Bannister, American baseball player 1981 - Florent Serra, French tennis player 1982 - Natalia Vodianova, Russian supermodel 1984 - Ben Fagan, American musician and reality show contestant 1984 - Karolína Kurková, Czech supermodel 1985 - Fefe Dobson, Canadian singer 1985 - Jelena Janković, Serbian tennis player 1987 - Kerrea Gilbert, English footballer 1988 - Markéta Irglová, Czech songwriter and actress 1989 - Zhang Liyin, Chinese R&B singer 1991 - Sarah Bolger, Irish actress
1453 - Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine (b. 1400) 1485 - Niclas, Graf von Abensberg 1525 - Cuauhtémoc, Aztec ruler 1869 - Alphonse de Lamartine, French writer and poet (b. 1790) 1916 - Henry James, American writer (b. 1843) 1925 - Friedrich Ebert, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1871) 1935 - Chiquinha Gonzaga, Brazilian composer (b. 1847). 1936 - Charles Nicolle, French bacteriologist 1959 - Maxwell Anderson, American playwright and film writer (b. 1888) 1966 - Jonathan Hale, Canadian-born actor (b. 1891) 1967 - Henry Luce, American publisher (b. 1898) 1974 - Bobby Bloom, American singer/songwriter (b. 1946) 1977 - Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, American actor (b. 1905) 1978 - Philip Ahn, American actor (b. 1905) 1978 - Zara Cully, American actress (b. 1892) 1978 - Eric Frank Russell, English author (b. 1905) 1979 - Paul Alverdes, German writer (b. 1897) 1985 - David Byron, English singer (Uriah Heep) (b. 1947) 1985 - Ray Ellington, English singer (b. 1916) 1986 - Laura Z. Hobson, American novelist (b. 1900) 1991 - Reinhard Bendix, German sociologist (b. 1916) 1991 - Wassily Hoeffding, American statistician (b. 1914) 1993 - Ishiro Honda, Japanese film director (b. 1911) 1993 - Ruby Keeler, Canadian actress and dancer (b. 1910) 1998 - Dermot Morgan, Irish actor and comedian (b. 1952) 1999 - Christine Glanville, British Puppeteer (. 1924) 2002 - Mary Stuart, American actress (b. 1926) 2002 - Helmut Zacharias, German violinist (b. 1920) 2003 - Chris Brasher, English athlete (b. 1928) 2003 - Roger Michael Needham, British cryptographer (b. 1935) 2004 - Carmen Laforet, famed Spanish novelist 2007 - Baron Charles Forte, Italian-born hotelier (b. 1908) 2007 - Billy Thorpe, Australian musician (Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs) (b. 1946) 2008 - Mike Smith, English musician (The Dave Clark Five) (b. 1943) 2009 - Tom Sturdivant, 78, American baseball player (New York Yankees). 2009 - Geoffrey Smith, 80, British gardening expert and presenter. 2009 - Al Lewis, 84, American television host. 2009 - Paul Harvey, 90, American radio broadcaster. 2011 - Jane Russell, American actress (b. 1921)
364 - Valentinian I becomes Roman Emperor. 870 - The Fourth Council of Constantinople closes. 1638 - The Scottish National Covenant is signed in Edinburgh. 1700 - Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar. 1710 - In the Battle of Helsingborg, 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau are decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock. 1784 - John Wesley charters the Methodist Church. 1787 - The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh is granted. 1827 - The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight. 1838 - Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Québec) 1844 - A gun on USS Princeton explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing 8 United States Cabinet members and several others. 1849 - Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 21 days after leaving New York Harbor. 1850 - The University of Utah opens in Salt Lake City, Utah. 1854 - The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin. 1861 - Colorado is organized as a United States territory. 1870 - The Bulgarian Exarchate is established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire. 1883 - The first vaudeville theater opens in Boston, Massachusetts. 1885 - The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone. (American Bell would later merge with its subsidiary.) 1897 - Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, is deposed by a French military force. 1900 - The Second Boer War: The 118-day "Siege of Ladysmith" is lifted. 1922 - The United Kingdom accepts the independence of Egypt. 1933 - Gleichschaltung: The Reichstag Fire Decree is passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire. 1935 - Nylon is invented by Wallace Carothers. 1939 - The first issue of Serbian weekly magazine Politikin zabavnik is published. 1939 - The erroneous word "Dord" is discovered in the Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation. 1940 - Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden). 1942 - The heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30) is sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed. 1947 - 228 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives. 1953 - James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April Nature (pub. April 2). 1972 - The Asama-Sanso incident ends in Japan. 1972 - Sino-American relations: The United States and People's Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué. 1974 - After seven years, the United States and Egypt re-establish diplomatic relations. 1975 - A major tube train crash at Moorgate station, London kills 43 people. 1983 - The final episode of M*A*S*H is broadcast in the USA, becoming the most watched television episode in history, with 106–125 million viewers in the U.S. (estimate varies by source). 1985 - The Provisional Irish Republican Army carries out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing nine officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day. 1986 - Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden, is assassinated in Stockholm. 1991 - The first Gulf War ends. 1993 - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group's leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff. 1995 - Denver International Airport officially opens in Denver, Colorado to replace Stapleton International Airport 1997 - The North Hollywood shootout takes place. 1998 - First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace. 1998 - Kosovo War: Serbian police begin the offensive against the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo. 2001 - The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington. 2001 - Six passengers and four railway staff are killed and a further 82 people suffer serious injuries in the Selby rail crash. 2004 - Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947 2005 - Lebanon's pro-Syrian prime minister, Omar Karami, resigns amid large anti-Syria street demonstrations in Beirut. 2005 - A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq kills 127. 2007 - Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft. 2008 - Former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra is arrested on corruption charges upon returning to Thailand after months of exile. 2013 - Benedict XVI resigns as Pope, the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.