February 1 is the 32nd day of the year. There are 334 days remaining until the end of the year.
February 1 is National Freedom Day in the United States.
February 1 is the start of Black History Month in the United States and Canada.
February 1 is the started of LGBT History Month in the United Kingdom.
- 1587 – The 2nd Colony of Roanoke Island was established by the English.
- 1709 – Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
- 1790 – In New York City, the Supreme Court of the United States convened for the first time.
- 1861 – Texas seceded from the United States.
- 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- 1898 - Leila Alice Denmark is an American pediatrician and medical researcher who co-developed the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. She was once the oldest practicing pediatrician in the world, until she retired in May 2001 at the age of 103. She is one of the rare supercentenarian known for reasons other than longevity. At age 113 years, 334 days, she is currently the fifth oldest living person in the world and the fourth oldest living person in the US. On 27 November 2011, at age 113 years 299 days, she became one of the 100 oldest people ever.
- 1942 – Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States, began broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.
- 1960 – Four Black students staged the first of the Greensboro (North Carolina) sit-ins at a lunch counter.
- 1996 – The Communications Decency Act was passed by the US Congress.
- 1998 – Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne became the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral.
- 2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
- 2009 – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the first openly gay head of state in the modern world.