Today's highlight in history:
On Feb. 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to
orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Project Mercury's Friendship 7
On this date:
In 1790, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died.
In 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the U.S.
In 1809, the Supreme Court ruled that no state legislature could
annul the judgments or determine the jurisdictions of federal
In 1839, Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.
In 1862, William Wallace Lincoln, the 11-year-old son of President
Abraham Lincoln and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, died at the White
House, apparently of typhoid fever.
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act
which excluded "idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics,
insane persons" from being admitted to the United States.
In 1938, Anthony Eden resigned as British foreign secretary
following Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's decision to negotiate
with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers began raiding German
aircraft manufacturing centers in a series of attacks that became
known as "Big Week."
In 1965, the Ranger 8 spacecraft crashed on the moon, as planned,
after sending back thousands of pictures of the lunar surface.
In 1971, the National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado
erroneously ordered U.S. radio and TV stations off the air; some
stations heeded the alert, which was not lifted for about 40
In 1987, a bomb left by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski exploded behind a
computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring store owner
Gary Wright. Soviet authorities released Jewish activist Josef
In 2003, fire broke out during a rock concert at The Station
nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., killing 100 people and injuring
about 200 others.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush visited Korea's
demilitarized zone, where he peered at the North, a country he'd
described as being part of an "axis of evil." A Cairo-to-Luxor
passenger train caught fire, killing some 360 people. At the Salt
Lake City Winter Olympics, Jim Shea won the men's skeleton race,
finishing the two runs at Utah Olympic Park in one minute, 41.96
seconds. (The victory was the culmination of an emotional two months
for Shea, whose 91-year-old grandfather, Olympic gold medal
speedskater Jack Shea, had died four weeks earlier.) American
speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno won the 1,500 meters after South Korean
Kim Dong-sung, who'd crossed the finish line ahead of him, was
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Five years ago: In a victory for President George W. Bush, a
divided federal appeals court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees
could not use the U.S. court system to challenge their indefinite
imprisonment. In New Orleans, thousands of hurricane-weary residents
joined with rowdy visitors to celebrate the second Mardi Gras since
One year ago: Security forces loyal to Libya's Moammar
Gadhafi unleashed heavy gunfire as thousands marched in the
rebellious eastern city of Benghazi, cutting down mourners trying to
bury victims. Twenty-year-old Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in
only his second Sprint Cup start. Kobe Bryant won his record-tying
fourth All-Star game MVP award, scoring 37 points and propelling the
West to a 148-143 victory over the East in the NBA All-Star game.
Today's birthdays: Fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt is 88.
Author-screenwriter Richard Matheson is 86. Actor Sidney Poitier is
85. Racing Hall of Famer Bobby Unser is 78. Actress Marj Dusay is
76. Jazz-soul singer Nancy Wilson is 75. Racing Hall of Famer Roger
Penske is 75. Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is 71. Hockey
Hall-of-Famer Phil Esposito is 70. Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell, R-Ky., is 70. Movie director Mike Leigh is 69. Actress
Brenda Blethyn is 66. Actress Sandy Duncan is 66. Rock musician J.
Geils is 66. Actor Peter Strauss is 65. Rock
singer-musician-producer Walter Becker (Steely Dan) is 62. Former
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is 61. Country singer Kathie
Baillie is 61. Actor John Voldstad is 61. Newspaper heiress Patricia
Hearst is 58. Actor Anthony Stewart Head is 58. Country singer
Leland Martin is 55. Actor James Wilby is 54. Rock musician
Sebastian Steinberg is 53. Comedian Joel Hodgson (HAHD'-suhn) is 52.
Basketball Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley is 49. Rock musician Ian
Brown (Stone Roses) is 49. Actor Willie Garson is 48. Actor French
Stewart is 48. Actor Ron Eldard is 47. Model Cindy Crawford is 46.
Actor Andrew Shue is 45. Actress Lili Taylor is 45. Singer Brian
Littrell is 37. Actress Lauren Ambrose is 34. Actor Jay Hernandez is
34. Country musician Coy Bowles is 33. Actress Majandra Delfino is
31. Singer-musician Chris Thile (THEE'-lee) is 31. Actor Jake
Richardson is 27. Singer Rihanna is 24.
Thought for today: "Life begets life. Energy creates energy.
It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich." -- Sarah
Bernhardt, French actress (1844-1923)
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