Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2016. There are 316 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 19, 1986, the U.S. Senate approved, 83-11, the Genocide Convention, an international treaty outlawing “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” nearly 37 years after the pact had first been submitted for ratification.

On this date:

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

In 1915, during World War I, British and French warships launched their initial attack on Ottoman forces in the Dardanelles, a strait in northwestern Turkey. (The Gallipoli Campaign that followed proved disastrous for the Allies.)

In 1934, a blizzard began inundating the northeastern United States, with the heaviest snowfall occurring in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, clearing the way for the U.S. military to relocate and intern people of Japanese ancestry (including U.S.-born citizens) during World War II.

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

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

In 1963, “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan was first published by W.W. Norton & Co.

In 1976, calling the issuing of Executive Order 9066 “a sad day in American history,” President Gerald R. Ford issued a proclamation confirming that the order had been terminated with the formal cessation of hostilities of World War II.

In 1984, the Winter Olympics closed in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

In 1997, Deng Xiaoping, the last of China’s major Communist revolutionaries, died at age 92.

In 2001, President George W. Bush opened a museum dedicated to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Movie producer-director Stanley Kramer died in Woodland Hills, California, at age 87.

In 2008, an ailing Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power; his brother Raul was later named to succeed him.

Ten years 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.

Five years ago: Security forces in Libya and Yemen fired on pro-democracy demonstrators as the two hard-line regimes struck back against the wave of protests that had already toppled autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia. The world’s dominant economies, meeting in Paris, struck a watered-down deal on how to smooth out trade and currency imbalances blamed for a global financial crisis.

One year ago: President Barack Obama urged delegates from 63 countries at a summit on violent extremism to “confront the warped ideology” espoused by terror groups, particularly using Islam to justify violence.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Smokey Robinson is 76. Actress Carlin Glynn is 76. Former Sony Corp. Chairman Howard Stringer is 74. Singer Lou Christie is 73. Actor Michael Nader is 71. Rock musician Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) is 68. Actor Stephen Nichols is 65. Author Amy Tan is 64. Actor Jeff Daniels is 61. Rock singer-musician Dave Wakeling is 60. Talk show host Lorianne Crook is 59. Actor Ray Winstone is 59. Actor Leslie David Baker (TV: “The Office”) is 58. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is 57. Britain’s Prince Andrew is 56. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Hana Mandlikova is 54. Singer Seal is 53. Actress Jessica Tuck is 53. Country musician Ralph McCauley (Wild Horses) is 52. Rock musician Jon Fishman (Phish) is 51. Actress Justine Bateman is 50. Actor Benicio Del Toro is 49. Actress Bellamy Young is 46. Rock musician Daniel Adair is 41. Pop singer-actress Haylie Duff is 31. Christian rock musician Seth Morrison (Skillet) is 28. Actress Victoria Justice is 23.

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