A Leap Year Lookback: February's Defining Moments


As February comes to a close in this leap year, it's the perfect time to reflect on the significant historical events that have occurred during this month. February has played host to a myriad of transformative moments across science, politics, and social justice, each leaving an indelible mark on the tapestry of our global society. Let's take a moment to revisit some of these pivotal February events, exploring their enduring influence on the world we live in today. Join us in a journey through history as we spotlight these significant milestones, offering insights and resources for those keen to further explore their historical significance and lasting impact.

  • The Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (February 6, 1840): A pivotal moment in New Zealand's history, marking the agreement between the British Crown and Māori chiefs, establishing British law in New Zealand. This day is commemorated as Waitangi Day. For more details, the New Zealand History website (nzhistory.govt.nz) provides comprehensive coverage.
  • The Execution of the Romanov Family (February 1917): The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II amidst the February Revolution marked the end of the Romanov dynasty and led to the eventual rise of the Soviet Union. Sheila Fitzpatrick's "The Russian Revolution" offers a detailed account of this period.
  • Pluto's Discovery (February 18, 1930): The discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory expanded our understanding of the solar system. The observatory's official website (lowell.edu) and NASA's Solar System Exploration pages offer detailed insights into Pluto and its discovery.
  • The Discovery of the Structure of DNA (February 28, 1953): James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix structure of DNA, a fundamental breakthrough in biology. Watson's book, "The Double Helix", provides a personal account of this discovery.
  • The Iranian Revolution (February 11, 1979): The overthrow of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and the establishment of an Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Khomeini marked a significant shift in Middle East politics. Ervand Abrahamian's "A History of Modern Iran" provides a scholarly perspective on the revolution.
  • Pioneers of Brain Stimulation and the Advent of TMS (February 1985): At the forefront of this revolutionary technology were Prof. Tony Barker, Dr. Reza Jalinous, who along with their colleagues, showcased the first successful demonstration of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This significant leap forward laid the foundation for a new chapter in brain research and treatment, enabling profound insights into brain function, diagnostics for neurological disorders, and therapeutic interventions for conditions like depression.

Photo credit to Dr. Reza Jalinous of Jaltron LLC, who specializes in the custom design of non-standard coils and accessories for magnetic stimulator.

  • The Release of Nelson Mandela (February 11, 1990): Mandela's release after 27 years of imprisonment was a significant step towards ending apartheid in South Africa. His life and the struggle against apartheid are documented in depth in Mandela's autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom".
  • The Signing of the Kyoto Protocol (February 16, 2005): An international treaty that commits its parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The United Nations Climate Change website (unfccc.int) offers official documents and details about the protocol's impact and current status.

Reader Advisory: The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes. We encourage readers to critically assess and evaluate the content presented here. While efforts have been made to ensure accuracy and reliability, readers should exercise their own discretion and judgment in interpreting and applying this information. It's important to consider the context and consult additional sources when necessary, as the article may not encompass all perspectives or the latest developments in the field.

Items marked with* are investigational devices and for research use only. CAUTION - Investigational Device. Limited by Federal (or United States) law to investigational use.