Month summary: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh started a state visit to Ethiopia, Kassa was crowned Emperor Tewodros II, Ahmed Grañ (Ahmed the left-handed) died at the Battle of Zantara, a massacre was carried out by fascist Italy in Addis Ababa , University College of Addis Ababa was officially opened, Laureate Tsegaye Gebre Medhin and patriot Alula Abanega died.
01 FEBRUARY 1965 Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa embarking on an eight day state visit to Ethiopia on this day.
The Queen and Duke were greeted by Emeror Haileselassie and a large group of schoolchildren at the airport and spent most of the afternoon travelling through the streets of Addis Ababa in a horse-drawn carriage waving to cheering crowds. The royal tour of Ethiopia was concluded on 8 February.
08 FEBRUARY 1855: Kassa was crowned Emperor Tewodros II. He was Ethiopia's emperor from 1855 to 1868.
08 FEBRUARY 1543: Death of Ahmed Grañ (Ahmed the Left-handed) at the Battle of Zantara. Emperor Galawdewos of Ethiopia was able to regain his kingdom following the death of Ahmed Grañ.
16 FEBRUARY 1897: Alula Abanega died on this day. Alula Abanega was the commoner who joined forces with Ethiopia’s ruling elite taking extraordinary leadership roles. He particularly worked with Emperor Yohannes IV and Emperor Minilik to fight some of the country’s toughest battles against Italy and Briton as well as Ethiopia’s opponents of the time in parts of the Sudan and Egypt. He is largely credited with being a heroic figure tirelessly defending his country from foreign aggression, and also with being the strategist during the Battle of Adwa when Ethiopia defeated the Italians under the leadership of Emperor Minilik.
He also fought an internal battle with those who wanted to take his leadership position and is said to have been a man of wisdom exercising tolerance with a determination not to succumb to attempts to bring him down. Alula Abanega, a distinguished warrior who contributed to the force that has kept Ethiopia independent, died on 16 February 1897 at the age of 70 of a wound he sustained during an internal battle with his opponents.
Erected in 1982 in Northern Ethiopia, a giant statue of Alula Abanega stands tall to honour him and to keep his great Ethiopian spirit alive.
19 FEBRUARY 1937: Three days of massacre, starting on 19 February 1937, was carried out by fascist Italy in Addis Ababa. During the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, an attempt to kill the ruthless Italian general Rodolfo Graziani was made. In reprisal, the fascists carried out three days of massacre in Addis Ababa in which hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians were shot dead, beheaded or disembowelled.
The internationally banned mustard gas was used against civilian Ethiopians and thousands of women and children were gassed to death. Houses were set alight and all types of fascist brutality used without any restrain. In 1996, Italy admitted to have killed 275,000 Ethiopians during its unsuccessful attempt to colonize Ethiopia.
25 FEBRUARY 2006: Laureate Tsegaye Gebre Medhin died on this day at the age of 69. Tsegaye Gebre Medhin was one of Africa's leading poets, playwrights and intellectuals who wrote an extensive list of original literatures and translated some of Shakespeare's greatest works from English to Amharic. He is most known for his own distinctive style of poetry and some of his poem books have been used in high schools in Ethiopia as Amharic textbooks.
27 FEBRUARY 1950: University College of Addis Ababa was officially opened. It was renamed Haile Selassie I University in 1962 and then Addis Ababa University in 1975.