On Feb. 2, 1536, present-day Buenos Aires, Argentina, was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
In 1653, New Amsterdam — now New York City — was incorporated.
In 1887, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, held its first Groundhog Day festival.
In 1913, New York City’s rebuilt Grand Central Terminal officially opened to the public at one minute past midnight.
In 1914, Charles Chaplin made his movie debut as the comedy short “Making a Living” was released by Keystone Film Co.
In 1925, the legendary Alaska Serum Run ended as the last of a series of dog mushers brought a life-saving treatment to Nome, the scene of a diphtheria epidemic, six days after the drug left Nenana.
In 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman sent a 10-point civil rights program to Congress, where the proposals ran into fierce opposition from Southern lawmakers.
In 1980, NBC News reported the FBI had conducted a sting operation targeting members of Congress using phony Arab businessmen in what became known as “Abscam,” a codename protested by Arab-Americans.
In 1990, in a dramatic concession to South Africa’s Black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
In 2006, House Republicans elected John Boehner (BAY’-nur) of Ohio as their new majority leader to replace the indicted Tom DeLay.
In 2016, health officials reported that a person in Texas had become infected with the Zika virus through sex in the first case of the illness being transmitted within the United States.
In 2020, the Philippines reported that a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan had died in a Manila hospital from the new coronavirus; it was the first death from the virus to be recorded outside of China. Authorities in parts of China extended the Lunar New Year holiday break well into February to try to keep people at home.