Today is Monday, Feb. 17, the 48th day of 2020. There are 318 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 17, 1801, the U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president; Burr became vice president.
On this date:
In 1815, the United States and Britain exchanged the instruments of ratification for the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812.
In 1863, the International Red Cross was founded in Geneva.
In 1864, during the Civil War, the Union ship USS Housatonic was rammed and sunk in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, by the Confederate hand-cranked submarine HL Hunley in the first naval attack of its kind; the Hunley also sank.
In 1933, Newsweek magazine was first published under the title “News-Week.”
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces invaded Eniwetok (ehn-eh-WEE’-tahk) Atoll, encountering little initial resistance from Imperial Japanese troops. (The Americans secured the atoll less than a week later.)
In 1964, the Supreme Court, in Wesberry v. Sanders, ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.
In 1965, comedian Joan Rivers made her first appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon departed the White House with his wife, Pat, on a historic trip to China.
In 1986, Johnson & Johnson announced it would no longer sell over-the-counter medications in capsule form, following the death of a woman who had taken a cyanide-laced Tylenol capsule.
In 1988, Lt. Col. William Higgins, a Marine Corps officer serving with a United Nations truce monitoring group, was kidnapped in southern Lebanon by Iranian-backed terrorists (he was later slain by his captors).
In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue,” winning a six-game match in Philadelphia (however, Kasparov lost to Deep Blue in a rematch in 1997).
In 2006, ten U.S. service members died when a pair of Marine Corps helicopters crashed off the coast of Africa.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saying it had staved off another Great Depression and kept up to 2 million people on the job. Eight American missionaries charged with child kidnapping in Haiti were released after nearly three weeks in a Haitian jail. Americans Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso captured gold and silver in the women’s Olympic downhill in Vancouver. Actress Kathryn Grayson, 88, died in Los Angeles.
Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden opened a White House summit on countering extremism and radicalization, saying the United States needed to ensure that immigrants were fully included in the fabric of American society to prevent violent ideologies from taking root at home.
One year ago: In an interview airing on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said a “crime may have been committed” when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. George Mendonsa, the U.S. Navy sailor who was seen in an iconic photo kissing a woman in a nurse’s uniform in New York’s Times Square to celebrate the end of World War II, died in Rhode Island; he was 95.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Hal Holbrook is 95. Actor-comedian Barry Humphries (aka “Dame Edna”) is 86. Country singer-songwriter Johnny Bush is 85. Actress Christina Pickles is 85. Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown is 84. Actress Brenda Fricker is 75. Actress Becky Ann Baker is 67. Actress Rene Russo is 66. Actor Richard Karn is 64. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 58. Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is 57. Actor-comedian Larry, the Cable Guy is 57. TV personality Rene Syler is 57. Movie director Michael Bay is 56. Singer Chante Moore is 53. Rock musician Timothy J. Mahoney (311) is 50. Actor Dominic Purcell is 50. Olympic gold and silver medal skier Tommy Moe is 50. Actress Denise Richards is 49. Rock singer-musician Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) is 48. Rock musician Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) is 48. Actor Jerry O’Connell is 46. Country singer Bryan White is 46. Actress Kelly Carlson is 44. Actor Ashton Holmes is 42. Actor Conrad Ricamora is 41. Actor Jason Ritter is 40. TV personality Paris Hilton is 39. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is 39. TV host Daphne Oz is 34. Actor Chord Overstreet is 31. Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is 29. Actress Meaghan Martin is 28. Actress Sasha Pieterse is 24.
Thought for Today: “Wounded vanity knows when it is mortally hurt; and limps off the field, piteous, all disguises thrown away. But pride carries its banner to the last; and fast as it is driven from one field unfurls it in another.” — Helen Hunt Jackson, American author (1831-1885).