TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is the 48th day of 2020. There are 318 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 17, 1801, the U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president; Burr became vice president.
On this date:
In 1815, the United States and Britain exchanged the instruments of ratification for the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812.
In 1863, the International Red Cross was founded in Geneva.
In 1864, during the Civil War, the Union ship USS Housatonic was rammed and sunk in Charleston Harbor, S.C., by the Confederate hand-cranked submarine HL Hunley in the first naval attack of its kind; the Hunley also sank.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces invaded Eniwetok Atoll, encountering little initial resistance from Imperial Japanese troops. (The Americans secured the atoll less than a week later.)
In 1964, the Supreme Court, in Wesberry v. Sanders, ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.
In 1988, Lt. Col. William Higgins, a Marine Corps officer serving with a United Nations truce monitoring group, was kidnapped in Lebanon by Iranian-backed terrorists (he was later slain).
In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue,” winning a six-game match in Philadelphi.
In 2006, 10 U.S. service members died when a pair of Marine Corps helicopters crashed off the coast of Africa.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saying it had staved off another Great Depression and kept up to 2 million people on the job. Americans Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso captured gold and silver in the women’s Olympic downhill in Vancouver. Actress Kathryn Grayson, 88, died in Los Angeles.
Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden opened a White House summit on countering extremism and radicalization, saying the United States needed to ensure that immigrants were fully included in the fabric of American society to prevent violent ideologies from taking root at home.
One year ago: In an interview airing on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said a “crime may have been committed” when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. George Mendonsa, the U.S. Navy sailor who was seen in an iconic photo kissing a woman in a nurse’s uniform in New York’s Times Square to celebrate the end of World War II, died in Rhode Island; he was 95.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Hal Holbrook is 95. Actor-comedian Barry Humphries (aka “Dame Edna”) is 86. Country singer-songwriter Johnny Bush is 85. Actress Christina Pickles is 85. Actress Becky Ann Baker is 67. Actress Rene Russo is 66. Actor Richard Karn is 64. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 58. Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is 57. Actor-comedian Larry, the Cable Guy is 57. Actor Dominic Purcell is 50. Actress Denise Richards is 49. Rock singer-musician Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) is 48. Rock musician Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) is 48. Actor Jerry O’Connell is 46. Country singer Bryan White is 46. Actress Kelly Carlson is 44. Actor Ashton Holmes is 42. Actor Jason Ritter is 40. TV personality Paris Hilton is 39. TV host Daphne Oz is 34.
Thought for Today: “Wounded vanity knows when it is mortally hurt; and limps off the field, piteous, all disguises thrown away. But pride carries its banner to the last; and fast as it is driven from one field unfurls it in another.” — Helen Hunt Jackson, American author (1831-1885).