1899 - A band of Filipinos fire on some crew members of the U.S.S. Bennington, giving the impression to Washington that the Americans are getting nervous and restless under the harassment of the guerrilla patriots of the people of the Southeast Asian archipelago; the Philippine-American War began months earlier on February 4, 1899 as the emerging turn-of-the-century imperialist power had decided to forcibly annex the Philippines (in context, along with Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guano islands, American Samoa, etc.).
1933 - The Nazi Party wins 44 percent of the German vote in what will be the country's last democratic polls until after World War II; the victory will enable the party of future dictator Adolf Hitler to join with the Nationalists to gain a slender majority in the Reichstag, the German parliamentary body.
1953 - Josef Stalin, long-time dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, dies from what Communist officials will ascribe to natural illness; there will be rumors, however, that the 73-year-old leader responsible for mass killings during his campaigns of political purging was murdered in a conspiracy that aimed to prevent him from plunging the Soviet Union into a war its people were in no position to fight.
1956 - The United States Supreme Court declares that racial segregation in the university setting is illegal; the ruling, which upholds an earlier ruling that has quashed the "separate but equal" segregation principle practiced in US schools, colleges and universities for decades, marks a significant victory for the civil rights movement in America.