TODAY IN HISTORY
TODAY IS SATURDAY, FEB. 16, the 47th day of 2019. There are 318 days left in the year.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT IN HISTORY: On this date in 1959, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba a month and a-half after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates during the First Barbary War.
In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee ended after some 12,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered; Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory earned him the moniker “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
In 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City.
In 1945, American troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II.
In 1961, the United States launched the Explorer 9 satellite.
In 1968, the nation’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.
In 1988, seven people were shot to death during an office rampage in Sunnyvale, Calif., by a man obsessed with a co-worker who was wounded in the attack. The gunman is on death row.
In 1996, 11 people were killed in a fiery collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a Maryland commuter train in Silver Spring, Md.
In 1998, a China Airlines Airbus A300 trying to land in fog near Taipei, Taiwan, crashed, killing all 196 people on board, plus seven on the ground.
In 2001, The United States and Britain staged air strikes against radar stations and air defense command centers in Iraq. Dr. William H. Masters, who with his partner and later wife Virginia Johnson, pioneered research in the field of human sexuality, died in Tucson, Ariz., at age 85.
In 2003, more than 100,000 people demonstrated in the streets of San Francisco to protest a possible U.S. invasion of Iraq.
TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS: Jazz/pop singer-actress Peggy King is 89. Actor William Katt is 68. Actor LeVar Burton is 62. Actor-rapper Ice-T and actress Lisa Loring are 61. International Tennis Hall-of-Famer John McEnroe is 60. Rock musician Andy Taylor is 58. Rock musician Dave Lombardo (Slayer) is 54. Olympic gold medal runner Cathy Freeman is 46. Actor Mahershala Ali is 45. Actress Chloe Wepper is 33. Pop-rock singer Ryan Follese (Hot Chelle Rae) is 32. Rock musician Danielle Haim and actress Elizabeth Olsen are 30. Actor Mike Weinberg is 26.