1945 during World War II, some 30,000 U.S. Marines began landing on Iwo Jima, where they commenced a successful monthlong battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.
1634 Battle at Smolensk Polish king Wladyslaw IV beats Russians.
1942 President Roosevelt signed an executive order that gave the military the authority to relocate and intern U.S. residents, including citizens, of Japanese ancestry.
1942 Japanese warplanes, attacking in two waves, raided the Australian city of Darwin; at least 243 people were killed.
1986 Jordanian King Hussein severs ties with PLO.
1884 Tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky & Indiana kill 800 people. No claims of climate change made.
1985 150 killed when a Spanish jetliner crashed approaching Bilbao, Spain.
2003 An Iranian military plane carrying 275 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards crashed in southeastern Iran, killing all on board.
1913 1st prize inserted into a Cracker Jack box.
1859 Dan Sickles is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity 1st time this defense is successfully used.
1987 Anti-smoking ad airs for 1st time on TV, featuring Yul Brynner.
1906 W K Kellogg & Charles D Bolin incorporate Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, Battle Creek MI.
1945 900 Japanese soldiers reportedly killed by crocodiles in 2 days.
1964 UK flies ½ ton of Beatle wigs to US.
1998 US hockey team destroys their rooms at Olympics village in Japan.
1992 Porn producer Jim Mitchell found guilty of killing his brother Artie.
1985 Canned & bottled Cherry Coke introduced by Coca-Cola.
1942 Bill Longson beats Managoff & Sandor Szabo, to become wrestling champion.
1981 George Harrison is ordered to pay ABKCO Music $587,000 for "subconscious plagiarism" "My Sweet Lord" with "He's So Fine"
1537 Weavers of Leiden Netherlands strike.
1959 USAF rocket-powered rail sled attains Mach 4.1 (4970 kph), New Mexico.
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.)
1934 Bob & Dolores Hope marry.
1985 Mickey Mouse welcomed in China.
1401 William Sawtree 1st English religious martyr, burned in London.
1545 Pierre Brully [Peter Brulius], calvinist minister, burned to death.
1941 Nazis raid Koco Amsterdam & round up 429 young Jews for deportation.
1831 1st practical US coal-burning locomotive makes 1st trial run, Pennsylvania.
1960 Bil Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts.
1846 the Texas state government was formally installed in Austin, with J. Pinckney Henderson taking the oath of office as governor.
2003 Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt announced his second candidacy for president with a pledge to repeal most of President Bush's tax cuts.
1878 Thomas Edison received a U.S. patent for "an improvement in phonograph or speaking machines."
1881 Kansas prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages.
1998 U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan set out for Iraq on a last-chance peace mission, saying he was "reasonably optimistic" about ending the standoff over weapons inspections without the use of force.
2007 Three-way talks between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli and Palestinian leaders, initially billed as a new U.S. push to restart peace efforts, ended with little progress other than a commitment to meet again.
1983 13 people were found shot to death at a gambling club in Seattle's Chinatown in what became known as the "Wah Mee Massacre." (Two Chinese immigrants were convicted of the killings and sentenced to life in prison.)
1473 Nicolaus Copernicus Torún, Poland, astronomer (heliocentrism).
1916 Eddie Arcaro jockey (1958 Racing Hall of Fame, 2 triple crowns).
1943 "Mama" Cass Elliot actress (Mamas & Papas-Monday Monday).
Singer Smokey Robinson is 68. Singer Bobby Rogers (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) is 68. Actress Carlin Glynn is 68. Singer Lou Christie is 65. Actor Michael Nader is 63. Rock musician Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) is 60. Author Amy Tan is 56. Actor Jeff Daniels is 53. Rock singer-musician Dave Wakeling is 52. Talk show host Lorianne Crook is 51. Actor Ray Winstone is 51. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is 49. Britain's Prince Andrew is 48. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Hana Mandlikova is 46. Singer Seal is 45. Country musician Ralph McCauley (Wild Horses) is 44. Actress Justine Bateman is 42. Actor Benicio Del Toro is 41. Rock musician Daniel Adair is 33. Pop singer-actress Haylie Duff is 23.
1980 Bon Scott Australian rock vocalist (AC/DC-Whole Lotta Rosie), dies at 33.
1997 Deng Xiaoping, the last of China's major Communist revolutionaries, died at age 92.
1998 Grandpa Jones country comic/banjo wizard (Hee Haw), dies at 84.
2007 Actress Janet Blair died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 85.
February 19, the 50th day of 2008. There are 316 days left in the year.
compiled by Mondoreb
* Today in History
* Today in History
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