King George V (front left) and a group of officials inspect a British munitions factory in 1917.

This Year in History

Our Selections From February

All year, we've been highlighting historical news events—and Foreign Affairs articles about those events—as part of our "This Day in History" series. Here are our collected selections for February.

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1

February 1, 1951: UN Condemns China for Aggression

The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning the People’s Republic of China for sending hundreds of thousands of troops into North Korea to fight U.S. forces during the Korean War. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

2

February 2, 1943: Nazis Surrender at Stalingrad

Facing dwindling supplies, a cruel Russian winter, and an unbreakable Soviet defense, German soldiers raise the white flag. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

3

February 3, 1978: Sadat Visits Washington

Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat arrives in Washington, D.C. for talks on the Middle East peace process with U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

4

February 4, 1980: Syria Withdraws From Beirut

During the Lebanese Civil War, Syria pulls its peacekeeping force out of the capital. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

5

February 5, 1994: Sarajevo Massacre

A mortor shell is sent into Sarajevo's Markale market, killing 68 people and wounding over 100. The attack was initially blamed on the Bosnian government, then later traced to the Bosnian Serb Army. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

6

February 6, 1922: Washington Naval Treaty Signed

The agreement sought to prevent an arms race by limiting naval construction among the major countries that won World War I. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

7

February 7, 1978: Ethiopia Launches Counterattack Against Somalia

During the Battle of the Ogaden, Ethiopia assaults the Somalis from two sides and recaptures Jijiga after two days of fighting. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

8

February 8, 1942: Battle of Singapore Begins

During World War II, the Japanese land on Singapore, a British stronghold at the time, and capture it after a week of fighting. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

9

February 9, 1922: Creation of the World War Foreign Debt Commission

U.S. Congress authorizes the establishment of a commission to renegotiate the $11 billion in debts owed by the United Kingdom and France over War War I. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

10

February 10, 1962: U.S.-Soviet Spy Exchange

The Soviet Union hands over American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, who was captured 21 months earlier, in return for Rudolph Ivanovich Abel, a Soviet spy. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

11

February 11, 1945: Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin Sign the Yalta Agreement

The big three agree that they will demand an unconditional surrender from Germany. They also begin post-war planning. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

12

February 12, 2002: Yucca Mountain Chosen as the U.S. Nuclear Waste Repository

The U.S. Congress approves the site as a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and other high level radioactive waste. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

13

February 13, 2008: Australia Issues an Apology to Its Indigenous Peoples

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologizes to indigenous Australians for past mistreatment. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

14

February 14, 1919: Polish-Soviet War Begins

Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine battle the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic for an area that today, makes up Ukraine and parts of Belarus. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

15

February 15, 2011: Protests Erupt in Benghazi

The Libyan people call for the resignation of leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

16

February 16, 1989: Arab Cooperation Council Established

After being left out of the Gulf Cooperation Council, North Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt form the ACC, a four-country economic trading bloc. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

17

February 17, 1972: Nixon Departs for Historic Trip to China

U.S. President Richard Nixon exclaims before a farewell crowd of roughly 8,000 that the purpose of the trip is to normalize relations with Beijing and bring about "a much safer world." Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

18

February 18, 1943: Members of White Rose Arrested

The Gestapo arrests the members of the Germance resistance movement, White Rose. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

19

February 19, 1945: U.S. Marines Invade Iwo Jima

The goal is to capture the island and use it to stage attacks again Japan, just over 600 miles away. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

20

February 20, 1944: During WWII, "Big Week" Begins

As part of the European bombing campaign, the U.S. Strategic Air Forces attacks the Third Reich to defeat the Luftwaffe. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

21

February 21, 1972: Richard Nixon Visits China

It was the first time a U.S. president had visited China. The week-long meeting ended with a pledge to work towards normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

22

February 22, 1946: George Kennan Sends "Long Telegram"

His 5,500-word telegram to the U.S. State Department, which he sent while serving as deputy head of the U.S. mission in Moscow, helped form the foundation of U.S. containment policy. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

23

February 23, 1944: Stalin Deports Chechens

Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin accuses the Chechens of collaborating with the fascists and deports them en masse to Siberia and the northern regions of Kazakhstan. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

24

February 24, 1917: Zimmerman Telegram Released

The United Kingdom shares with the United States a coded telegram written by German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann proposing a Mexican-German alliance in case the United States entered War World I. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

25

February 25, 1948: Communist Party Takes Control in Czechoslovakia

And the party leader Klement Gottwald becomes the premier. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

26

February 26, 1993: Attack on the World Trade Center

A truck bomb explodes below the North Tower of New York City's World Trade Center. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

27

February 27, 1900: British Labor Party Is Founded

The center-left political party grew out of the nineteenth-century socialist parties and the trade union movement. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

28

February 28, 1961: JFK Names Kissinger Special Advisor

Henry Kissinger was a young professor at Harvard at the time and John F. Kennedy brought him to the White House to serve as an advisor on foreign policy. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

29

February 29, 1956: Pakistan Adopts New Constitution

Pakistan's Constituent Assembly adopted a new constitution, which was nine years in the making. It went into force on March 23, 1956. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

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