1962 Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7.
1942 Lieutenant E H O'Hare single-handedly shoots down 5 Japanese heavy bombers.
1944 During World War II, U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers in a series of attacks that became known as "Big Week."
1998 With the U.S. military poised to attack Iraq, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan began a final campaign to end the crisis over weapons inspections without bloodshed.
1869 Tennessee Governor W C Brownlow declares martial law in Ku Klux Klan crisis.
1987 Bomb blamed on Unabomber explodes by computer store in Salt Lake City.
1994 3 Afghans take 70 Pakistani children hostage.
2007 In a victory for President Bush, a divided federal appeals court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees could not use the U.S. court system to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.
1835 Concepción, Chile destroyed by earthquake.
1856 John Rutledge, Liverpool-New York steamer, hits iceberg; many die.
1917 Ammunitions ship explodes in Archangelsk harbor, about 1,500 die.
1988 500 die in heavy rains in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
2003 A fire broke out during a rock concert at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., killing 100 people and injuring about 200 others.
1907 President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded "idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, insane persons" from being admitted to the United States.
1971 The National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered U.S. radio and TV stations off the air; some stations heeded the alert, which was not lifted for about 40 minutes.
1949 1st International Pancake Race held (Liberal KS).
THAT SUCKING SOUND
1992 Ross Perot says he'll run for President on Larry King Show.
1927 Golfers in South Carolina arrested for violating Sabbath.
1978 Bob Backland beats Billy Graham in New York, to become WWF wrestling champion.
1947 Chemical mixing error causes explosion that destroys 42 blocks in Los Angeles CA.
1943 New volcano Paracutin erupts in farmer's corn patch (México).
1839 Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.
1673 1st recorded wine auction held (London).
1861 Steeple of Chichester Cathedral blown down during a storm.
1902 Heavy surf breaks over Seal Rocks & damages Sutro Baths, San Francisco.
1725 10 sleeping Indians scalped by whites in New Hampshire for £100/scalp bounty.
1989 Members of 1949 Oklahoma football team cancelled an April reunion because of the deplorable conduct of Oklahoma players.
1933 House of Representatives completes congressional action to repeal Prohibition.
1792 President Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office.
1989 Total eclipse of the Moon.
1872 Hydraulic electric elevator patented by Cyrus Baldwin.
1872 Luther Crowell patents a machine that manufactures paper bags.
1872 Silas Noble & JP Cooley patents toothpick manufacturing machine.
1809 The Supreme Court, in United States v. Peters, ruled the power of the federal government is greater than that of any individual state.
2003 A 17-year-old Mexican girl mistakenly given a heart and lungs with the wrong blood type received a second set of organs at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina; however, Jesica Santillan suffered brain damage and later died.
1983 Ray Vitte actor (Doc, Cody-Quest), killed by police at 33.
1919 French premier Clemenceau injured during assassination attempt.
1921 Riza Khan Pahlevi seizes control of Iran.
1938 Anthony Eden resigned as British foreign secretary following Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's decision to negotiate with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
2003 Former Air Force Master Sgt. Brian Patrick Regan was convicted in Alexandria, Va., of offering to sell U.S. intelligence to Iraq and China but acquitted of attempted spying for Libya. (Regan was later sentenced to life without parole.)
1941 Nazis order Polish Jews barred from using public transportation.
1941 1st transport of Jews to concentration camps leave Plotsk Poland.
1987 Soviet authorities released Jewish activist Josef Begun.
1995 Shlomo Averbach Rabbi, buried in Jerusalem, 250,000 attend.
1914 John Daly South Africa, newscaster/TV game show host (What's My Line).
1967 Kurt Cobain rock vocalist (Nirvana)/husband of Courtney Love.
Fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt is 84. Actor Sidney Poitier is 81. Actress Marj Dusay is 72. Jazz-soul singer Nancy Wilson is 71. Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is 67. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Phil Esposito is 66. Movie director Mike Leigh is 65. Actress Brenda Blethyn is 62. Actress Sandy Duncan is 62. Rock musician J. Geils is 62. Actor Peter Strauss is 61. Rock singer-musician-producer Walter Becker (Steely Dan) is 58. Country singer Kathie Baillie is 57. Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is 54. Actor Anthony Stewart Head is 54. Country singer Leland Martin is 51. Actor James Wilby is 50. Rock musician Sebastian Steinberg is 49. Comedian Joel Hodgson is 48. Basketball player Charles Barkley is 45. Rock musician Ian Brown (Stone Roses) is 45. Actor French Stewart is 44. Actor Ron Eldard is 43. Model Cindy Crawford is 42. Actor Andrew Shue is 41. Actress Lili Taylor is 41. Singer Brian Littrell is 33. Actress Lauren Ambrose is 30. Actor Jay Hernandez is 30. Actress Majandra Delfino is 27. Singer-musician Chris Thile is 27. Actor Jake Richardson is 23. Singer Rihanna is 20.
1790 Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died.
1976 Kathryn Kuhlman religious leader/faith healer, dies.
1992 Dick York actor (Darren on Bewitched), dies of emphysema at 63.
February 20, the 51st day of 2008. There are 315 days left in the year.
compiled by Mondoreb
* Today in History
* Today in History
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