Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 2021. There are 318 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 16, 1959, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba a month and a-half after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
On this date:
In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee ended as some 12,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered; Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory earned him the moniker “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
In 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City.
In 1945, American troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II.
In 1948, N-B-C T-V began airing its first nightly newscast, “The Camel Newsreel Theatre,” which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels.
In 1960, the nuclear-powered radar picket submarine USS Triton departed New London, Conn., on the first submerged circumnavigation by a vessel.
In 1961, the United States launched the Explorer 9 satellite.
In 1968, the nation’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama, as the speaker of the Alabama House, Rankin Fite, placed a call from the mayor’s office in City Hall to a red telephone at the police station (also located in City Hall) that was answered by U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill.
In 1996, eleven people were killed in a fiery collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a Maryland commuter train in Silver Spring, Md.
In 1998, a China Airlines Airbus A300 trying to land in fog near Taipei, Taiwan, crashed, killing all 196 people on board, plus seven on the ground.
In 2001, the United States and Britain staged air strikes against radar stations and air defense command centers in Iraq.
In 2006, Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko beat world champion Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland by 27.12 points to win the gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
In 2019, the Vatican announced that former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who served as archbishop of Washington, D.C., had been found guilty by the Vatican of sex abuse and had been defrocked; McCarrick was the highest-ranking churchman and the first cardinal to face that punishment as the church dealt with clerical sex abuse.
Ten years ago: Bookstore chain Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it would close nearly a third of its stores. (Borders closed all of its remaining stores in Sept. 2011.) Huge crowds called for a political overhaul in Bahrain, and leaders appeared to shift tactics after attempts to crush the uprising stoked protesters’ rage.
Five years ago: Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93, died in Cairo. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s courtroom chair was draped in black to mark his death, a tradition dating to the 19th century. The Czech Museum of Music presented a cantata, “A Salute to the Recuperating Ophelia,” a rare piece of music written in three parts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Salieri and an unknown composer, Cornetti, that was considered lost for more than 200 years. CJ the German shorthaired pointer won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.
One year ago: Hundreds of Americans from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan took charter flights home, as Japan announced that another 70 coronavirus infections had been confirmed on the ship. The Chinese province of Hubei, the epicenter of the virus, announced that vehicle traffic would be banned, with some exceptions. Anthony Davis made a game-ending free throw to give Team LeBron a 157-155 win over Team Giannis in the revamped NBA All-Star Game.
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz/pop singer-actor Peggy King is 91. Actor William Katt is 70. Actor LeVar Burton is 64. Actor-rapper Ice-T is 63. Actor Lisa Loring is 63. International Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe is 62. Rock musician Andy Taylor is 60. Rock musician Dave Lombardo (Slayer) is 56. Actor Sarah Clarke is 50. Olympic gold medal runner Cathy Freeman is 48. Actor Mahershala Ali is 47. Singer Sam Salter is 46. Electronic dance music artist Bassnectar is 43. Rapper Lupe Fiasco is 39. Actor Chloe Wepper is 35. Pop-rock singer Ryan Follese (FAHL’-eh-say) (Hot Chelle (SHEL) Rae) is 34. Rock musician Danielle Haim (HYM) is 32. Actor Elizabeth Olsen is 32. Actor Mike Weinberg is 28.
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