• On Feb. 20, 1792, President George Washington signs legislation renewing the United States Post Office as a cabinet department led by the postmaster general, guaranteeing inexpensive delivery of all newspapers, stipulating the right to privacy and granting Congress the ability to expand postal service to new areas.
• On Feb. 21, 1885, the Washington Monument, built in honor of America’s revolutionary hero and first president, is dedicated in Washington, D.C. Three years later it was opened to the public, who could climb to the top of the monument by stairs or elevator. By District of Columbia law, it remains the tallest building in the nation’s capital.
• On Feb. 18, 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the winners of the first Academy Awards, which were printed on the back page of the academy’s newsletter. A few days later, Variety published the information — on page seven.
• On Feb. 19, 1945, the U.S. Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima is launched. When the American flag was finally raised atop Mount Suribachi, the image was captured in a famous photograph that later won the Pulitzer Prize.
• On Feb. 15, 1965, in accordance with a formal proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II of England, a new Canadian national flag is raised in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. The search for a new national flag began in 1925.
• On Feb. 17, 1972, the 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line, breaking a four-decade record held by the Ford Motor Company’s iconic Model T. The VW Beetle dates back to 1930s Germany.
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