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History of the World

By Mark Andrews

Feb. 7: ON THIS DATE in 1812, author Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England. In 1964, The Beatles began their first American tour as they arrived at New York's Kennedy International Airport.

Feb. 8: ON THIS DATE in 1904, the Russo-Japanese War began. In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

Feb. 9: ON THIS DATE in 1861, the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis president and Alexander H. Stephens vice president. In 1943, the World War II battle of Guadalcanal ended with an American victory over Japanese forces in the Pacific.

Feb. 10: ON THIS DATE in 1763, France ceded Canada to England under the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French and Indian War. In 1962, the Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for Rudolph Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States.

Feb. 11: ON THIS DATE in 1809, Robert Fulton patented the steamboat. In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement during World War II.

( Mark Andrews can be reached via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)