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Aaron Burr and Ronald Reagan

On February 6, 1778, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce were signed by the United States and France, signaling official recognition of the new republic. Exactly a decade later, the State of Massachusetts became the sixth in the union to ratify the new United States

Sir Robert Peel

On February 5, 1788, Robert Peel was born. He would become one of the most important of the United Kingdom’s prime ministers, ushering in some reforms that led to the liberalization of England in the 19th century. Peel is also regarded as the father of the modern British police —

First President

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States, under the new Constitution, by the U.S. Electoral College. On the same date five years later, the French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.

First President

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States, under the new Constitution, by the U.S. Electoral College. On the same date five years later, the French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.

Spain and Bagehot

On February 3, 1783, Spain recognized United States independence. Walter Bagehot (pronounced “badge-it”; pictured), famed editor of The Economist and author of Lombard Street, was born on this date in 1826.

Groundhog!

On February 2, 1887, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, celebrated the first Groundhog Day. On the same day in 1976, the Groundhog Day gale hit the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada. In 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe officially devalued the Zimbabwean dollar for the third and final time, making Z$1 trillion

Slavery Abolished

On February 1, 1835, slavery was abolished in Mauritius. Twenty-six years later, in the American Civil War, Texas seceded from the United States. On this date in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed a Joint Resolution from Congress formally submitting the proposed Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the

Corn Law

On January 31, 1849, the Corn Laws were abolished in the United Kingdom, one of the most impressive and far-reaching anti-protectionist moves of all time. “Corn” stood for all grains, including wheat, oats, barley, etc.; the free-trade agitation by John Bright and Richard Cobden was one of the main impetuses

Non-Violence … and Violent Reaction

On Jan. 30, 1948, Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, known for his non-violent, non-cooperation struggle for freedom and national independence, was assassinated by a Hindu extremist. On Jan. 30, 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home was bombed in retaliation for his work on the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On Jan. 30,

Gallatin

On January 29, 1761, Albert Gallatin was born. Gallatin served as the fourth United States Secretary of the Treasury — a post in which he served longer than any other in American history — advanced the anthropological and linguistic study of native Americans, and became the subject of a biography

Oil Deregulated

On Jan. 28, 1981, President Ronald Reagan lifted the federal government’s remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls in the United States, helping to end the 1970s energy crisis and begin the 1980s’ oil glut. The deregulatory move had been begun by Democrats in Congress, particularly Sen. Ted Kennedy, but

American Conscription Ends

On Jan. 27, 1973, President Richard Nixon’s Secretary of Defense, Melvin R. Laird, announced an end to the military draft in favor of a system of voluntary enlistment. Since 1973, the United States armed forces have been known as the All-Volunteer Force. The Selective Service System, the federal agency that

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