[In this early colour photograph we see, seated from left, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Russian Premier Joseph Stalin during a photo call at the Yalta Conference. The representatives of the so-called Big Three are here joined by the Royal Navy's Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal (both standing behind Churchill) and the US Navy's Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy (standing behind Roosevelt). The stated purpose of the Yalta Conference was to to discuss the re-establishment of nations conquered by Germany.]
211 CE - Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.
708 CE - Pope Sisinnius died; he was succeeded by Constantine, who ascended to the papal throne on April 25th.
960 CE - The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song initiated China's Song Dynasty, which would last more than three centuries.
1789 - George Washington was unanimously 'elected' the first President of the United States; he remains the only President to receive 100% of the Electoral College votes, which he did twice - the second time was on the same day in 1792.
1794 - Slavery was outlawed in all French territories and possessions, apparently.
1810 - The Royal Navy seized Guadeloupe from the French; British occupation would last until 1816, although for fifteen months from March 1813 the island was officially the property of Sweden (although it would remain under British administration).
1825 - The Ohio Legislature authorized the construction of both the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.
1859 - The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.
1861 - The Confederate States of America was formed in Montgomery, Alabama.
1899 - The Philippine-American War is traditionally held to have begun.
1945 - The Yalta Conference began. The meeting of Allied leaders at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea would last until February 11th; it was preceded by the Tehran Conference and followed by the Potsdam Conference.
1948 - Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) declared its independence within the British Commonwealth.
1957 - The USS Nautilus (SSN-571) - the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, launched by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower in January 1954 - logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne's 1869 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
1969 - Yasser Arafat assumed the chairmanship of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
1980 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini named Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.
1991 - The Baseball Hall of Fame voted to ban Pete Rose from induction.
1992 - Hugo Chávez Frías led a coup against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
1999 - Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela.
2004 - Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
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