Today in History: Feb. 21

An American flag flies over the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The famous bronze U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial overlooking Washington that depicts Marines raising the American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II has begun turning green with age but now will be restored with a $5.37 million gift. Philanthropist David Rubenstein announced Wednesday that he will give the National Park Foundation the funds needed to wash, wax and restore the memorial and its plaza and landscaping. Improvements are also planned for the memorial's signage and access for handicapped visitors. The project will also restore the memorial's engravings to be much brighter. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
In 1945, during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea was sunk by kamikazes with the loss of 318 men. An American flag flies over the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, April 29, 2015. .(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (AP)
Black Muslim leader Malcolm X holds up a paper for the crowd to see during a Black Muslim rally in New York City on Aug. 6, 1963. (AP Photo)
In 1965, black Muslim leader and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned; all were eventually paroled.) Black Muslim leader Malcolm X holds up a paper for the crowd to see during a Black Muslim rally in New York City on Aug. 6, 1963. He was assassinated inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York on this day in 1965 by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned; all were eventually paroled.)(AP Photo) (AP)
This artist rendering shows the scene in U.S. District Court Saturday, March 9, 1974 when Judge John J. Sirica, foreground, faced the seven men being arraigned on charges stemming from their allegd involvement in the Watergate affair. They are, from left: John D. Ehrlichman, former presidential aid; H.R. Haldman, former White House chief staff; Godon C. Strachan, former aide to Haldeman; Kenneth W. Parkinson, a lawyer retained by the committee to re-elect the president; Charles W. Colson, former special White House counsel; former Attorney Gen. John N. Mitchell; and Robert C. Marcian, former head of internal security at the Justice Department. The drawing is courtesy of ABC artist Frieda Reiter. (AP Photo)
In 1975, former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up (each ended up serving a year and a-half). This artist rendering shows the scene in U.S. District Court Saturday, March 9, 1974 when Judge John J. Sirica, foreground, faced the seven men being arraigned on charges stemming from their allegd involvement in the Watergate affair. They are, from left: John D. Ehrlichman, former presidential aid; H.R. Haldman, former White House chief staff; Godon C. Strachan, former aide to Haldeman; Kenneth W. Parkinson, a lawyer retained by the committee to re-elect the president; Charles W. Colson, former special White House counsel; former Attorney Gen. John N. Mitchell; and Robert C. Marcian, former head of internal security at the Justice Department. The drawing is courtesy of ABC artist Frieda Reiter. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 1992, file photo, Kristi Yamaguchi competes in the free skating portion of the women's figure skating competition at the XVI Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France. When Ice Theatre of New York honors Kristi Yamaguchi on Oct. 15, 2018, it will be for a whole lot more than her performances as a figure skater. Her on-ice resume is superb, of course, including the 1992 Albertville Olympic championship, followed by a starring role in the highly successful Stars on Ice tour. Her work away from the rink has been exemplary, particularly Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation that for the past seven years has fought child illiteracy. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)
In 1992, Kristi Yamaguchi  of the United States won the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating at the Albertville Olympics; Midori Ito of Japan won the silver, Nancy Kerrigan of the U.S., the bronze. FILE – In this Feb. 21, 1992, file photo, Kristi Yamaguchi competes in the free skating portion of the women’s figure skating competition at the XVI Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France. When Ice Theatre of New York honors Kristi Yamaguchi on Oct. 15, 2018, it will be for a whole lot more than her performances as a figure skater. Her on-ice resume is superb, of course, including the 1992 Albertville Olympic championship, followed by a starring role in the highly successful Stars on Ice tour. Her work away from the rink has been exemplary, particularly Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation that for the past seven years has fought child illiteracy. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File) (AP/LIONEL CIRONNEAU)
Ralph Nader
In 2000, Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced his entry into the presidential race, bidding for the nomination of the Green Party. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader poses in front of a Chevrolet Corvair in The American Museum of Tort Law, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, in Winsted, Conn. The museum, which opens Saturday, has been developed by the consumer advocate and two-time presidential candidate as a kind of ode to the jury system. Nader featured the Corvair in his 1965 book on the auto industry’s safety record, “Unsafe at Any Speed”. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (AP)
Billy Graham
In 2018, the Rev. Billy Graham, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died at his North Carolina home; he was 99. (AP) (AP)
Premier Chou En-lai bends over in the Chinese manner to eat with chopsticks as President Nixon watches at a banquet in Shanghai, February 28, 1972.  (AP Photo/stf)
On Feb. 21, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon began his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Beijing. Premier Chou En-lai bends over in the Chinese manner to eat with chopsticks as President Nixon watches at a banquet in Shanghai, February 28, 1972. (AP Photo/stf) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
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An American flag flies over the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The famous bronze U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial overlooking Washington that depicts Marines raising the American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II has begun turning green with age but now will be restored with a $5.37 million gift. Philanthropist David Rubenstein announced Wednesday that he will give the National Park Foundation the funds needed to wash, wax and restore the memorial and its plaza and landscaping. Improvements are also planned for the memorial's signage and access for handicapped visitors. The project will also restore the memorial's engravings to be much brighter. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Black Muslim leader Malcolm X holds up a paper for the crowd to see during a Black Muslim rally in New York City on Aug. 6, 1963. (AP Photo)
This artist rendering shows the scene in U.S. District Court Saturday, March 9, 1974 when Judge John J. Sirica, foreground, faced the seven men being arraigned on charges stemming from their allegd involvement in the Watergate affair. They are, from left: John D. Ehrlichman, former presidential aid; H.R. Haldman, former White House chief staff; Godon C. Strachan, former aide to Haldeman; Kenneth W. Parkinson, a lawyer retained by the committee to re-elect the president; Charles W. Colson, former special White House counsel; former Attorney Gen. John N. Mitchell; and Robert C. Marcian, former head of internal security at the Justice Department. The drawing is courtesy of ABC artist Frieda Reiter. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 1992, file photo, Kristi Yamaguchi competes in the free skating portion of the women's figure skating competition at the XVI Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France. When Ice Theatre of New York honors Kristi Yamaguchi on Oct. 15, 2018, it will be for a whole lot more than her performances as a figure skater. Her on-ice resume is superb, of course, including the 1992 Albertville Olympic championship, followed by a starring role in the highly successful Stars on Ice tour. Her work away from the rink has been exemplary, particularly Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation that for the past seven years has fought child illiteracy. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)
Ralph Nader
Billy Graham
Premier Chou En-lai bends over in the Chinese manner to eat with chopsticks as President Nixon watches at a banquet in Shanghai, February 28, 1972.  (AP Photo/stf)

Today is Thursday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2019.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 21, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon began his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Beijing.

On this date:

In 1613, Mikhail Romanov, 16, was unanimously chosen by Russia’s national assembly to be czar, beginning a dynasty that would last three centuries.

In 1911, composer Gustav Mahler, despite a fever, conducted the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in what turned out to be his final concert (he died the following May).

In 1916, the World War I Battle of Verdun began in France as German forces attacked; the French were able to prevail after 10 months of fighting.

In 1945, during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea was sunk by kamikazes with the loss of 318 men.

In 1958, the USS Gudgeon (SS-567) became the first American submarine to complete a round-the-world cruise, eight months after departing from Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

In 1965, black Muslim leader and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned; all were eventually paroled.)

In 1973, Israeli fighter planes shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 over the Sinai Desert, killing all but five of the 113 people on board.

In 1975, former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up (each ended up serving a year and a-half).

In 1986, Larry Wu-tai Chin, the first American found guilty of spying for China, killed himself in his Virginia jail cell.

In 1992, Kristi Yamaguchi (yah-mah-GOO’-chee) of the United States won the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating at the Albertville Olympics; Midori Ito (mee-doh-ree ee-toh) of Japan won the silver, Nancy Kerrigan of the U.S., the bronze.

In 2000, Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced his entry into the presidential race, bidding for the nomination of the Green Party.

In 2013, Drew Peterson, the Chicago-area police officer who gained notoriety after his much-younger fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in 2007, was sentenced to 38 years in prison for murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Ten years ago: In a last full day of talks in Asia, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stressed American and Chinese cooperation on the economy and climate change. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to discuss the ongoing American strategic review of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama granted an audience to Tibet’s Dalai Lama over the strong objections from China that the U.S. was meddling it its affairs. Matteo Renzi formed a coalition government in Italy; at 39, he became the country’s youngest premier ever. At age 18, Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. made Alpine skiing history as the youngest ever winner of an Olympic slalom gold medal, finishing 0.53 seconds faster than Austrian Marlies Schild.

One year ago: The Rev. Billy Graham, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died at his North Carolina home; he was 99. A week after the Florida school shooting, President Donald Trump met with teen survivors of school violence and parents of slain children; Trump promised to be “very strong on background checks” and suggested he supported letting some teachers and other school employees carry weapons. Thousands of protesters swarmed the Florida state Capitol, calling for changes to gun laws, a ban on assault-type weapons and improved care for the mentally ill. The NBA fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for saying he had recently told some of his players that “losing is our best option.” (The Mavericks had one of the league’s worst records, putting them in position to land a high draft pick.)

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© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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