El Dorado News-Times



Today is Saturday, Feb. 18, the 49th day of 2023. There are 316 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History: On Feb. 18, 2001, auto racing star Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash at the Daytona 500; he was 49.

On this date:

In 1564, Michelange­lo died in Rome at age 88.

In 1885, Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberr­y Finn" was published in the U.S. for the first time (after being published in Britain and Canada).

In 1970, the "Chicago Seven" defendants were found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention; five were convicted of violating the Anti-Riot Act of 1968 (those conviction­s were later reversed).

In 1983, 13 people were shot to death at a gambling club in Seattle's Chinatown in what became known as the Wah Mee Massacre. (Two men were convicted of the killings and were sentenced to life in prison; a third was found guilty of robbery and assault.)

In 1984, Italy and the Vatican signed an accord under which Roman Catholicis­m ceased to be the state religion of Italy.

In 1988, Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1994, at the Winter Olympic Games in Norway, U.S. speedskate­r Dan Jansen finally won a gold medal, breaking the world record in the 1,000 meters.

In 2001, veteran FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested, accused of spying for Russia. (Hanssen later pleaded guilty to espionage and attempted espionage and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibilit­y of parole.)

In 2003, an arson attack involving two South Korean subway trains in the city of Daegu claimed 198 lives. (The arsonist was sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2004.)

In 2020, President Donald Trump commuted the 14year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevic­h for political corruption; Blagojevic­h left prison hours later and returned home to Chicago. (Trump also issued pardons or clemency to former New York City police commission­er Bernard Kerik, financier Michael Milken and a long list of others.)

Ten years ago: Robbers stole a reported $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane at Brussels' internatio­nal airport; more than 30 people were later detained and some of the loot recovered. President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela after more than two months of treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery.

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