History: February 1, 2019


The US Supreme Court convenes for the first time.

John Jay sits as the Chief Justice.

He was accompanied by five associate justices, including John Rutledge and John Blair.


Texas secedes from the Union, against the wishes of governor Sam Houston.

Houston sat in the state house as the legislature voted to withdraw from the Union.

He later refused to pledge an oath to the confederacy, and was replaced by his lieutenant governor.


The Oxford English Dictionary premieres.

It was considered then and remains the most comprehensive and accurate index of the English language.

For those wondering if something is an official world in the English lexicon, consult the OED.

The first edition was assembled by the Philological Society of London. They sought a dictionary to cover all of English since 1150 A.D.

The final product took another 40 years to finish, weighing in at 400,000 words and 10 volumes.

The official OED provides a chronology of the history of words — the word “set” takes 60,000 words to explain its definitions and history.


Richard Nixon announces his candidacy for president, nine months before the election.

By contrast, Democrats have already announced they’re running, 22 months before the 2020 elections.

Nixon had previously lost to JFK in the 1960 election.

Since then he had also lost a run for governor of California.

He chose Maryland governor Spiro Agnew as his running mate.

Nixon and Democrat Hubert Humphrey nearly tied the popular vote, but Nixon won the electoral college in a blowout, 301-191.


Following the Columbia shuttle disaster, George W Bush speaks to the country.

The president highlighted the importance of space travel despite the risks.

The next shuttle mission would not be until 2005, with the launch of Discovery.