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Today in History - Feb. 19

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

BC-History-Feb 19, Adv19,0613


For release Monday, Feb. 19

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2007. There are 315 days left in the year. This is Presidents’ Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 19, 1945, during World War II, some 30,000 U.S. Marines began landing on Iwo Jima, where they commenced a month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.

On this date:

In 1803, Congress voted to accept Ohio’s borders and constitution.

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr, accused of treason, was arrested in the Mississippi Territory, in present-day Alabama. (Burr was acquitted at trial.)

In 1846, the Texas state government was formally installed in Austin, with J. Pinckney Henderson taking the oath of office as governor.

In 1878, Thomas Edison received a U.S. patent for “an improvement in phonograph or speaking machines.”

In 1881, Kansas prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages.

In 1942, President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals living in the United States.

In 1942, Japanese warplanes, attacking in two waves, raided the Australian city of Darwin; at least 243 people were killed.

In 1959, an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus its independence.

In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved an international treaty outlawing genocide, 37 years after the pact had first been submitted for ratification.

In 1996, baseball showman Charlie O. Finley died in Chicago at age 77.

Ten years ago: Deng Xiaoping, the last of China’s major Communist revolutionaries, died. Detroit’s daily newspapers accepted a back-to-work offer from employees who’d been on strike for 19 months, but the strikers charged the conditions for return amounted to a lockout.

Five years ago: President Bush opened a two-day visit to South Korea. Peru’s justice minister ruled out a presidential pardon for Lori Berenson after the Supreme Court confirmed the American woman’s 20-year sentence for aiding leftist rebels. In Salt Lake City, a win by bobsledders Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers gave the United States 21 medals in the Winter Games; Flowers became the first black athlete ever to strike gold at the Winter Olympics.

One year ago: A gas explosion in northern Mexico killed 65 miners. Israel halted the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money to the Palestinians after Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament. Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500. The East rallied from 21 points down for a 122-120 victory over the West in the NBA All-Star Game.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Smokey Robinson is 67. Singer Bobby Rogers (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) is 67. Actress Carlin Glynn is 67. Singer Lou Christie is 64. Actor Michael Nader is 62. Rock musician Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) is 59. Author Amy Tan is 55. Actor Jeff Daniels is 52. Rock singer-musician Dave Wakeling is 51. Talk show host Lorianne Crook is 50. Britain’s Prince Andrew is 47. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Hana Mandlikova is 45. Singer Seal is 44. Country musician Ralph McCauley (Wild Horses) is

43. Actress Justine Bateman is 41. Actor Benicio Del Toro is 40. Rock musician Daniel Adair is 32. Pop singer-actress Haylie Duff is 22.

Thought for Today: “I can never give a ’yes’ or a ’no.’ I don’t believe everything in life can be settled by a monosyllable.” — Betty Smith, American author (1904-1972).