Jan. 31– 1606: The British execute conspirator Guy Fawkes for his role in the failed plot to assassinate King James I on November 5 of the previous year. “Guy Fawkes Day” is still celebrated more than 400 years later, commemorating the botched plot.

1919: Baseball pioneer Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, GA. On April 15, 1947, he became the first African American to play Major League Baseball, going on to win Rookie of the Year honors at the end of the season.

1949: The first daytime soap opera on television, “These Are My Children,” began airing on WNBQ (NBC) in Chicago. Sadly, it ended just one month later, leaving viewers to wonder what became of the Henehan family and their boarding house.

Feb. 1– 1893: Thomas Edison completes the world’s first studio for filming movies in W. Orange, NJ.

1960: The “Greensboro Four” begin their “sit-in” at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, NC.

2003: Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts.

Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day)– 1653: The city of New Amsterdam was founded at the mouth of the Hudson River. It was renamed New York in 1664 when the Dutch surrendered to English troops.

1922: James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” is first published in Paris, France on his 40th birthday. Just 1,000 copies were printed initially.

1943: The Battle of Stalingrad ends with the surrender of German troops, marking a major turning point in World War II.

Feb. 3– 1883: P. T. Barnum purchases the famous elephant “Jumbo” for his circus.

1959: A small plane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashes in Grant Township, IA, killing all aboard and forever marking the date as “the day the music died.”

Feb. 4– 1789: The Electoral College meets for the first time, unanimously electing George Washington as the nation’s first president. John Adams is chosen as vice-president.

1913: Civil rights icon Rosa Parks is born in Tuskegee, AL.

2004: Social media site Facebook is launched from Mark Zuckerberg’s dormitory room at Harvard University.

Feb. 5– 1934: Baseball great and Hall of Famer Henry Aaron is born in Mobile, AL.

1969: U.S. population reaches 200 million (est.).

1981: The largest batch of Jello (7,700 gallons of pink watermelon flavor) is created in Brisbane, Australia. No information was found on how long it took to eat.

Feb. 6– 1911: Movie actor and 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan born in Tampico, IL.

1952: British King George VI dies and his daughter becomes Queen Elizabeth II, whose reign will last for more than 70 years.

1971: Astronaut Alan Shepard hits a golf ball while on the surface of the moon during Apollo 14 mission.