On February 1, 1587, Queen Elizabeth I of England signs the warrant of execution for Mary, Queen of Scots.
On February 1, 1789, Vietnamese forces drive Chinese troops from the Vietnamese capital of Thang Long.
On February 1, 1790, The Supreme Court of the United States convenes in New York City for its first session, Chief Justice John Jay presiding.
On February 1, 1861, Texas becomes the seventh state to secede from the Union over slavery, doing so despite the objections of its governor, Sam Houston, who predicts an “ignoble defeat” for the South.
On February 1, 1862, American writer Julia Ward Howe’s patriotic song “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is published in the Atlantic Monthly.
On February 1, 1937, thirteen men, accused of colluding with the exiled Leon Trotsky to overthrow Stalin, are executed in Moscow. Trotsky denied having links with the men and accused Stalin of staging the trials in order to cling to power.