On February 5, 1988, federal grand juries in Florida announce indictments of Panama military strongman General Manuel Noriega and 16 associates on drug smuggling and money laundering charges. Noriega, the de facto dictator of Panama since 1983, was charged with smuggling marijuana into the United States, laundering millions of U.S. dollars, and assisting Colombia's Medellin drug cartel in trafficking cocaine to America. The Panamanian leader denied the charges and threatened expulsion of the 10,000 U.S. service personnel and their families stationed around the Panama Canal.
On February 4, 1974, Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old granddaughter of publishing icon William Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from her Berkeley, California apartment. Stephen Weed, Hearst's fiancé, was beaten unconscious by the two abductors. Soon, a ransom demand came from the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a radical activist group led by Donald DeFreeze.
On February 3, 1889, outlaw Belle Starr is killed when an unknown assailant fatally shoots the infamous "Bandit Queen" with two shotgun blasts from behind. As with the lives of other famous outlaws like Billy the Kid and Jesse James, fanciful accounts printed in newspapers and dime novels made Belle Starr's harsh and violent life appear far more romantic than it actually was.
On February 1, 1908, King Carlos I of Portugal and his eldest son, Luis Filipe, are assassinated by revolutionaries while riding in an open carriage through the streets of Lisbon. Carlos ascended to the Portuguese throne in 1889 after the death of his father, King Louis I.
On January 31, 1606, Guy Fawkes, a chief conspirator in the plot to blow up the British Parliament building, jumps to his death moments before his execution for treason in London. On the eve of a general parliamentary session scheduled for November 5, 1605, Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes lurking in a cellar of the Parliament building.
On January 30, 1835, Andrew Jackson becomes the first American president to experience an assassination attempt. Richard Lawrence, an unemployed house painter, approached Jackson as he left a congressional funeral held in the House chamber of the Capitol building and shot at him, but his gun misfired.
On January 29, 1979, Brenda Spencer kills two men and wounds nine children as they enter the Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. Spencer blazed away with rifle shots from her home directly across the street from the school. After 20 minutes of shooting, police surrounded Spencer's home for six hours before she surrendered. Asked for some explanation for the attack, Spencer allegedly said, "I just don't like Mondays. I did this because it's a way to cheer up the day. Nobody likes Mondays."