1835: In Mauritius, slavery is officially abolished. To make up for the loss of cheap labor, a variety of indentured servants were used in the sugar fields, including people from Africa, China and Malay. However, indentured servants from India supplied most of the needed labor.
1861: The State of Texas secedes from the U.S.
1865: The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is signed by United States President Abraham Lincoln.
1884: The Oxford English Dictionary’s first volume is published on this day.
1893: Construction on the Black Maria is officially finished on this day in West Orange, New Jersey. It was the first motion picture studio and was started by Thomas A. Edison.
1897: In Seoul, South Korea, the Shinhan Bank opens its door. It’s the oldest bank in that country.
1918: The Gregorian Calendar is officially adopted by Russia.
1924: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is officially recognized by the United Kingdom on this day.
1942: The United States Navy begins the Marshalls Gilberts raids. It’s the first attacks against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater of War during WWII by the U.S.
1942: The Voice of America begins broadcasting in parts of Europe and Asia controlled by Axis Powers.
1960: 4 African-American students conduct the very first sit-in at a lunch counter located in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1968: Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém is publicly executed by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan. The entire incident is photographed and videotaped by Eddie Adams.
Famous Birthdays on February 1
American director John Ford is born in 1894.
English journalist and author, Denise Robins is born in 1897.
American actor Clark Gable is born in 1901.
American poet, novelist and playwright, Langston Hughes is born in 1902.
American humorist and screenwriter, S.J. Perelman is born in 1904.
American singer-songwriter and actress, Lisa Marie Presley is born in 1968.
English singer-songwriter and actor, Harry Styles is born in 1994.