1784 – John Wesley charters the Methodist Church.
John Wesley was an Anglican divine and theologian who, with his brother Charles Wesley and fellow cleric George Whitefield, is credited with the foundation of the evangelical movement known as Methodism. His work and writings also played a leading role in the development of the Holiness movement and Pentecostalism.
1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
1844 – A gun on USS Princeton explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.The Princeton’s reputation in the Navy never recovered from a devastating incident early in her service.
On February 28, 1844, during a Potomac River pleasure cruise and demonstration of her two heavy guns for dignitaries, one of the guns exploded and killed Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer, and other high-ranking U.S. federal officials. President John Tyler barely escaped death in the incident.
1849 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, four months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor.
February 28 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay. The California leaves New York Harbor on October 6, 1848, rounds Cape Horn at the tip of South America, and arrives at San Francisco, California after the 4 month 21 day journey.
1883 – The first vaudeville theater opens in Boston
Benjamin Franklin Keith, “the father” of American Vaudeville.
1883 established his own museum in Boston featuring “Baby Alice the Midget Wonder” and other acts. His success in this endeavor allowed Keith to build the Bijou Theatre. The Bijou, a lavishly appointed, state-of-the-art, fireproof theatre, set the standard for the shape of things to come. At the Bijou, Keith established a “fixed policy of cleanliness and order.” He strictly forbade the use of vulgarity or coarse material in his acts “so the that the house and the entertainment would directly appeal to the support of women and children.
1940 – Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden).
Back on February 28, 1940, W2XBS broadcast a men’s basketball doubleheader from Madison Square Garden. Fordham took on the University of Pittsburgh in the first game followed by a matchup between New York University and Georgetown University. Not many people watched the game as it was estimated that fewer than 400 television sets existed in New York City back then, when a top-of-the-line set, a Clifton, sold for about $600.
The game didn’t go well for the Rams, who fell to the Panthers, 57-37, and the fact that it was televised was hardly news, not even getting a mention in The Ram’s coverage of the game. But many years later, no one can imagine television without college basketball.
1954 – The first color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public.
The first color system was developed by John Logie Baird in 1928. It used mechanical techniques. In the early 1940s, CBS pioneered a system which transmitted an image in each of the three primary colors sequentially. A wheel with segments of red, green, and blue rotated in front of the camera, while a similar wheel rotated in front of the television screen, synchronized to the one at the camera. The system was simple and produced excellent pictures, though it had many drawbacks, including low resolution, flicker, and most signifcant, it wasn’t compatible with existing black and white broadcasting.
1958 – A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunges down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork River. The driver and 26 children die in what remains one of the worst school bus accidents in U.S. history.
1958 floyd county bus crash darkest days in eastern Kentucky’s history
On a cold and cloudy morning, after a period of heavy rains and thaw, a Floyd County school bus loaded with 48 elementary and high school students bound for school in Prestonsburg, Kentucky on U.S. Route 23 struck the rear of a wrecker truck and plunged down an embankment and into the swollen waters of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, where it was swept downstream and submerged.
22 children escaped the bus in the first few minutes as it became fully submerged in the raging flood stage waters and made it safely out of the river. However, 26 other children and the bus driver drowned. National Guard and other authorities and agencies responded. The bus was finally located by Navy divers, and removed from the river 53 hours later.
1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched. It failed to achieve orbit.
Discoverer 1, the first of a series of US satellites that were part of the Corona reconnaissance satellite program, launched on February 28, 1959.
While Discoverer 1 was a prototype KH-1 (Key Hole 1) spy satellite, it did not contain a camera or a film capsule as later such satellites did.
Discoverer 1 launched on a Thor-Agena rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and became the first man-made object ever put into a polar orbit. NASA reports that while difficulty was encountered receiving signals after launch, the satellite broadcast intermittently later in the flight.
1975 – In London an underground train fails to stop at Moorgate terminus station and crashes into the end of the tunnel, killing 43 people.
FEBRUARY 28, 1975: Forty-two Tube passengers were killed after their train failed to stop at Moorgate station in the worst ever crash on the London Underground on this day in 1975.
Driver Leslie Newson, 56, also died after ploughing – without any apparent reason – into a wall at the terminus of the Highbury branch of the Northern Line at 8.46am.
The force of the 30mph crash was so immense that it caused three carriages to completely crumble up and sever passengers’ limbs with twisted shards of steel.
A total of 74 people were hurt on the train, which was later found to have had no faults and appeared to speed up as it entered the station at the peak of rush hour.
1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs Final Episode #TBT, with almost almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale.
1991 – The first Gulf War ends.
Alternate title: Gulf War
Iraq WarWorld War IIYom Kippur WarArab LeagueOrganization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)Arab Bank for Economic Development in AfricaOrganization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC)World War I
Persian Gulf War, also called Gulf War, (1990–91), international conflict that was triggered by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Iraq’s leader, Ṣaddām Ḥussein, ordered the invasion and occupation of Kuwait with the apparent aim of acquiring that nation’s large oil reserves, canceling a large debt Iraq owed Kuwait, and expanding Iraqi power in the region.
1993 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
On February 28, 1993, a gunfight erupted soon after federal law enforcement agents raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in an attempt to investigate allegations of illegal weapons and child abuse. When the smoke cleared, four agents and six members of the religious sect were dead. Following a 51-day standoff, the authorities launched a new assault, this time with tear gas. Their plan backfired, however, when an out-of-control blaze, likely started by the Branch Davidians themselves, burned the complex down and claimed at least 75 lives, including those of 25 children. On the 20th anniversary of this tragic siege, take a look at where the key players are now. http://www.history.com/news/waco-20-years-later-where-are-they-now
1997 – An earthquake in northern Iran is responsible for about 3,000 deaths.
The earthquake occurred at 12:57 UTC (4:27 p.m. Iran Standard Time) and lasted for 15 seconds. At least 1,100 people were killed, 2,600 injured, 36,000 homeless, 12,000 houses damaged or destroyed and 160,000 livestock killed in the Ardabil area of northwestern Iran. Severe damage was observed to roads, electrical power lines, communications and water distribution systems around Ardabil. Hospitals and other medical buildings were overflowing with patients as a result of the earthquake. More than 83 villages experienced some form of damage.
1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.
The burst had multiple peaks in its light curve and lasted approximately 80 seconds. Peculiarities in the light curve of GRB 970228 suggested that a supernova may have occurred as well.
1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveillance aircraft. It was initially designed by Ryan Aeronautical (now part of Northrop Grumman), and known as Tier II+ during development. In role and operational design, the Global Hawk is similar to the Lockheed U-2.
The RQ-4 provides a broad overview and systematic surveillance using high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and long-range electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (100,000 km2) of terrain a day.
2001 – The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington.
The Nisqually earthquake (also commonly referred to as “The Ash Wednesday Quake”) was an intraslab earthquake, occurring at 10:54 am PST (18:54 UTC) on February 28, 2001. One of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington state history, it measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale and lasted approximately 45 seconds. The epicenter of the earthquake was Anderson Island, about 17 km (11 mi) northeast of Olympia.
The focus was at a depth of 52 km (32 mi). Tremors were felt as far away as Scio, Oregon, across the border in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and 175 mi (282 km) east in Pasco, Washington. There were also reports that it was felt as far away as Spokane, Washington and Sandpoint, Idaho
2004 – Over one million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (310 mi) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947
The 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally (Chinese: 228百萬人手牽手護台灣; Pinyin: 228 Bǎiwànrén Shǒuqiān Shǒuhù Táiwān; meaning literally “228, one million people hand-in-hand to protect Taiwan” – 228 standing for February 28) was a demonstration in the form of a human chain held in Taiwan on February 28, 2004, the 57th anniversary of the 2/28 Incident.
Approximately two million (estimation ranged from 1.9 to 2.3 million depending on the reporting media) Taiwanese formed a 500-kilometer (310 mi) long human chain, from the harbor at Keelung, Taiwan’s northernmost city, to its southern tip at Eluanbi, Pingtung County to commemorate the 228 Incident, to call for peace, and to protest the deployment of missiles by the People’s Republic of China aimed at Taiwan along the mainland coast.
2005 – A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq kills 127.
The Al Hillah bombing killed 127 people, chiefly men lining up to join the Iraqi police forces, at the recruiting centre on February 28, 2005 in Al Hillah, Iraq.
February 28 – 127 Iraqis are killed by a suicide car bomb outside a medical center in Hilla, south of Baghdad. The bomber, who later turned out to be a U.S. educated Jordanian lawyer from al Qaeda targeted a large crowd of mainly teachers and police recruits outside a health clinic. It was the deadliest single blast in Iraq’s history.
2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church becoming the first pope to do so since 1415.
LONDON — Citing failing strength of “mind and body,” Pope Benedict XVI stunned his closest aides and more than 1 billion Catholics by resigning on Monday, becoming the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years and ending the tenure of a formidable theologian who preached a gospel of conservative faith to a fast-changing world.
In keeping with his reputation as a traditionalist, Pope Benedict delivered his resignation — effective Feb. 28 — in Latin, to a private church body in Vatican City. “I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” he said. “For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of Saint Peter.”