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1653: New Amsterdam (New York City) was incorporated as a city.
1848: The United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
1887: The first Groundhog Day was held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
1912: Frederick Rodman Law performed what was considered the first motion-picture stunt, parachuting from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
1971: Idi Amin declared himself president of Uganda and for the next eight years headed a regime that was noted for its brutality.
1979: Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, early proponents of British punk rock, died of a drug overdose in New York City.
1980: The FBI’s undercover criminal investigation known as Abscam was revealed to the public; it resulted in the convictions of various elected officials on an assortment of bribery and corruption charges.
1990: South African President F.W. de Klerk lifted the 30-year ban on the African National Congress, resulting in the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and marking the beginning of the end of apartheid.