Today in History – Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016


Today is Tuesday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 2016. There are 319 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1804 – U.S. Marines slip into Tripoli harbor and burn U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had been captured by pirates.

1808 – France invades Spain.

1862 – Confederate forces in Fort Donelson, Tennessee, surrender to Union army led by Gen. Ulysses Grant during American Civil War. Some 14,000 troops surrender.

1871 – Franco-Prussian War ends in defeat for France.

1873 – Republic is proclaimed in Spain, but only lasts two years.

1918 – England’s port of Dover is bombarded by German submarines in World War I.

1923 – The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s recently unearthed tomb is unsealed in Egypt.

1933 – Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia, fearing German threats, reorganize Little Entente with permanent council.

1936 – Left-wing Popular Front wins elections in Spain. Reaction from the military later leads to Spanish Civil War.

1942 – German submarines fire upon oil refineries in Aruba, Dutch West Indies, during World War II.

1945 – American troops land on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II and begin massive air raids on Tokyo.

1953 – South Africa institutes emergency powers under Public Safety Bill.

1959 – Fidel Castro becomes premier of Cuba after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.

1962 – Anti-government riots break out in Georgetown, British Guyana.

1970 – Moscow says Arab nations will get “necessary support” from Soviet Union in their conflict with Israel.

1986 – French warplanes bomb Libyan airfield in northern Chad used as support center for rebels in their offensive against President Hissene Habre’s government.

1989 – Barrage of rockets hits two Afghan cities after last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan.

1993 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his rival, Parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, agree to negotiate a separation of powers.

1994 – Greece declares a unilateral embargo on the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia in a conflict over the use of the name Macedonia.

1998 – A China Airlines Airbus A-300 jetliner returning from Bali crashes short of Taipei’s airport, killing all 203 passengers and crew and seven people on the ground.

1999 – Kurds occupy and take hostages at the Greek embassies in several European countries to protest Kurd leader Abdullah Ocalan’s capture by Turkish authorities after he left the Greek Embassy in Kenya.

2006 – Haitians celebrate as word quickly spreads that Rene Preval, a former president who is hugely popular among the poor, is declared the winner of the presidential election.

2007 – A Turkish court sentences seven suspected al-Qaida militants to life in prison for a pair of 2003 suicide bombings in Istanbul that killed 58 people — attacks prosecutors said were ordered by Osama bin Laden.

2009 – France’s top judicial body formally recognizes the nation’s role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust — but effectively rules out any more reparations for the deportees or their families.

2012 – A U.S. judge orders life in prison for a young Nigerian man who turned away from a privileged life and tried to blow up a packed international flight with a bomb concealed in his underwear.

2013 – Reeva Steenkamp’s last wish for her family before she was shot dead at the home of her boyfriend, Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorious, was for them to watch her in a reality TV show that goes on the air in South Africa, two days after her killing.

2014 -An explosion tears through a bus filled with South Korean sightseers in the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least four and raising fears that Islamic militants have renewed a bloody campaign to wreck Egypt’s tourism industry.

2015 – Tens of thousands of refugees from Myanmar/s ethnic region of Kokang have fled into the neighboring Chinese province of Yunnan over the past week amid fighting between militant rebels and government troops.

Today’s Birthdays: Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish astronomer, (1473-1543); G.M. Travelyan, British historian (1876-1964); John Schlesinger, English film director (1926-2003); Kim Jong Il, North Korean leader (1942-2011); James Ingram, U.S. singer (1952–); Ice-T, U.S. actor/rapper (1958–); Andy Taylor, guitarist (1961–).

Thought For Today:

One does evil enough when one does nothing good — German proverb.

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