Today in history
On Feb. 28, 1784, John Wesley signed a declaration formalizing the establishment of the Wesleyan faith, or Methodism.
In 1827 the first U.S. railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co., was incorporated.
In 1844 a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas Gilmer and several others.
In 1849 the ship California arrived at San Francisco, carrying the first of the gold-seekers.
In 1854 about 50 slavery opponents met in Ripon, Wis., to call for creation of a new political group, which became the Republican Party.
In 1861 the Territory of Colorado was organized.
In 1890 Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky was born in Kiev.
In 1894 novelist, playwright and journalist Ben Hecht was born in New York.
In 1901 Linus Pauling, the chemist and physicist who won two Nobel Prizes/ cq; chem prize in ‘54; peace prize in ‘62 andwas an outspoken advocate of vitamin C, was born in Portland, Ore.
In 1906 gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
In1907 comic-strip artist Milton Caniff, creator of “Terry and the Pirates” and “Steve Canyon,” was born in Hillsboro, Ohio.
In1910 film director Vincente Minnelli was born in Chicago.
In 1915 entertainer Zero Mostel was born Samuel Joel Mostel in New York. .
In 1996 Britain’s Princess Diana agreed to divorce Prince Charles.
In 2001 a magnitude-6.8 earthquake left about 300 injured and caused exten- sive damage in the Seattle area.
In 2003 NASA released video taken aboard Columbia that had miraculously survived the fiery destruction of the space shuttle with the loss of all seven astronauts; in the footage, four of the crew members can be seen doing routine chores and admiring the view outside the cockpit. Also in 2003 the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood by its ruling that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because of thewords “under God.”