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February 10th - This Day In History

By Edited Dec 13, 2015 0 0

February 10, 1814

The Battle of Champaubert is fought by the French under Napoleon Bonaparte against the Russian and Prussians under Russian General Olssufiev.  The French win the battle, and the several that follow over next four days, but the country still falls to the superior numbers, and Napoleon is forced to abdicate and go into exile.

February 10, 1870

Started in England in 1855, The World YWCA opens the first branch in New York on February 10, 1870.  The YWCA is the largest women’s organization in the world, and works worldwide to push for women’s leadership, justice and human rights.

HMS Dreadnought Was A Revolutionary Type Of Battleship
February 10, 1906

The HMS Dreadnaught is launched by the British Royal Navy.  The ship was the first to have its guns be all the same size, instead of a few large guns supported by a number of smaller guns.  She was the first capital, or main, ship to be powered by steam turbines, which also made her the fastest.  All around the world, other navies raced to match her and it started an arms race. 

February 10, 1942

During World War II, a Japanese submarine bombarded Midway Island on February 10, 1942. 

As an important part of the American presence in the Pacific in 1941, Midway was attacked at the same time as Pearl Harbor in 1941.  The Japanese did not take the island, and then the submarine returned and shelled it in February of 1942.  Four months later, in June of 1942, the Battle Of Midway was fought, with Japan losing four of its carriers of one of the Americans.  The Americans showed that they could take control of the Pacific from the Japanese.

The Island is mostly deserted today, and has been designated a National Wildlife Refuge.

February 10, 1962

Gary Powers, flying a U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union, was shot down by a surface to air missile on May 1, 1960.  Although the plane was equipped with a self destruct mechanism, Powers was unable to activate it and he and the plane were captured. 

Rudolf Abel was a Russian spy who worked in the United States and, among others things, was responsible for trying to obtain secrets about nuclear weapons, and transferred some of the information obtained by the Rosenbergs.  He was caught by the United States when an assistant of his turned himself then Abel in.  The assistant was being recalled to home, but fearing he would be penalized for poor performance decided to defect.

On February 10, 1962, Gary Powers and an American Student being held by the Soviets was exchanged for Soviet KGB Colonel Vilyam Fisher, also known as Rudolf Abel, in a spy swap.

February 10, 1963

The first patent in the United States is granted for a fire extinguishing system for buildings.  It is a series of pipes through the walls that would dispense the water.  The main innovation was a valve and cove outside of the building that a person with the key could turn on the system from outside if a fire occurred. 

Millstone Hill Radar Invents Science of Planetary Radar Astronomy
February 10, 1958

On February 10 and 12, 1958, a group in Massachusetts devolping a radar for the military bounces a signal off of Venus and uses digital signal processing to pick out the return signal.  They are able to measure the distance to Venus, and later then to determine the exact distance to the Sun.  In 1964 the distance of 149,600,000 kilometers (about 93,000,000 miles) is adapted as the new value of an AU, the Earth’s mean distance to the sun. 

These efforts gave rise to the new science of planetary radar astronomy.

February 10, 1961

New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller puts Niagara Falls hydroelectric project into operation on February 10, 1961.  When it went into service, it was the largest hydropower plant in the world.  It sill generates is the largest for the state of New York.  Depending on the time of day and the time of the year, between 50% and 75% of the water is diverted to generate power, then rejoins the river downstream from the waterfall.  There are currently plants on both the Canadian and American sides of the river, with plans currently underway to expand the Canadian plants.

February 1, 1967

The Twenty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States completes ratification on February 10, 1967, when Nevada becomes the 38th state to ratify it.  The bill was certified as adopted on February 23, 1967.

The Amendment declares the procedures for what happens if something happens to the president and he is unable to perform his duties.  Up to this point, it was unclear whether the Vice President would be President or just Acting President.  It also deals with the loss of the Vice President. 

The Amendment now states that if the President is removed from office, the Vice President becomes the President.  If the Vice President position is vacant, the President nominates a person who must be confirmed by a majority in both houses.

Most of the rest of the states also ratify the Amendment, but North Dakota, Georgia, and South Carolina never have.

North Korea Announces They Have Nuclear Weapons
February 10, 2005

North Korea, on February 10, 2005, cancelled talks which were aimed at stopping their nuclear wepan development programs, and declared at the same time that they had already manufactured nuclear weapns for their self defense.  They stated that they need the weapons to protect themselves from President Bush and the Americans.

Although it was known that the North Koreans had sold nuclear materials to others, including Libya, the rest of the world was unsure whether the claim of the possession of nuclear weapons was true or not.  No one ouside of the country had seen any of theier facilities showing they were able to manufacture the weapons, and they had never conducted a test. 

North Korea has since conducted two tests, and although the first was labeled bout outside observers as only partially successful, the country is now one of eight countries known to possess nuclear weapons.  Israel is thought to have them also, but they have never conducted a test and will not confirm or deny their status.

February 10, 2007

Illinois Senator Barack Obama announces his candidacy for president in a speech in Illinois.  During his speech he talked about Lincoln trying to being the nation back together, and promised universal health care by the end of his first term and Iraq troops home by March of 2008.

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