Today In History

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February 19th

Events

197 – Emperor Septimius Severus defeats usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, the bloodiest battle between Roman armies.
356 – Emperor Constantius II issues a decree closing all pagan temples in the Roman Empire.
1594 – Having already been elected to the throne of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1587, Sigismund III of the House of Vasa is crowned King of Sweden, having succeeded his father John III of Sweden in 1592.
1600 – The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America.
1649 – The Second Battle of Guararapes takes place, effectively ending Dutch colonization efforts in Brazil.
1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York.
1726 – The Supreme Privy Council is established in Russia.
1807 – Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama and confined to Fort Stoddert.
1819 – British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands and claims them in the name of King George III.
1846 – In Austin, Texas the newly formed Texas state government is officially installed. The Republic of Texas government officially transfers power to the State of Texasgovernment following the annexation of Texas by the United States.
1847 – The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party.
1859 – Daniel E. Sickles, a New York Congressman, is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity.
1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.
1884 – More than sixty tornadoes strike the Southern United States, one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.
1913 – Pedro Lascuráin becomes President of Mexico for 45 minutes; this is the shortest term to date of any person as president of any country.
1915 – World War I: The first naval attack on the Dardanelles begins when a strong Anglo-French task force bombards Ottoman artillery along the coast of Gallipoli.
1937 – Yekatit 12: During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Ethiopian nationalists of Eritrean origin attempt to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades.
1942 – World War II: Nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attack the northern Australian city of Darwin, killing 243 people.
1942 – World War II: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps.
1943 – World War II: Battle of Kasserine Pass in Tunisia begins.
1945 – World War II: Battle of Iwo Jima: About 30,000 United States Marines land on the island of Iwo Jima.
1948 – The Conference of Youth and Students of Southeast Asia Fighting for Freedom and Independence convenes in Calcutta.
1949 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.
1953 – Censorship: Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.
1954 – Transfer of Crimea: The Soviet Politburo of the Soviet Union orders the transfer of the Crimean Oblast from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.
1959 – The United Kingdom grants Cyprus independence, which is formally proclaimed on August 16, 1960.
1960 – China successfully launches the T-7, its first sounding rocket.
1963 – The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique reawakens the feminist movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness raisinggroups spread.
1965 – Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and a communist spy of the North Vietnamese Viet Minh, along with Generals Lâm Văn Phát and Trần Thiện Khiêm, all Catholics, attempt a coup against the military junta of the Buddhist Nguyễn Khánh.
1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald Ford's Proclamation 4417.
1978 – Egyptian forces raid Larnaca International Airport in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking, without authorisation from the Republic of Cyprus authorities. The Cypriot National Guard and Police forces kill 15 Egyptian commandos and destroy the Egyptian C-130 transport plane in open combat.
1985 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave hospital.
1985 – Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 crashes into Mount Oiz in Spain, killing 148.
1986 – Akkaraipattu massacre: the Sri Lankan Army massacres 80 Tamil farm workers in eastern Sri Lanka.
2002 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
2003 – An Ilyushin Il-76 military aircraft crashes near Kerman, Iran, killing 275.
2006 – A methane explosion in a coal mine near Nueva Rosita, Mexico, kills 65 miners.
2011 – The debut exhibition of the Belitung shipwreck, containing the largest collection of Tang dynasty artefacts found in one location, begins in Singapore.
2012 – Forty-four people are killed in a prison brawl in Apodaca, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Births

1461 – Domenico Grimani, Italian cardinal (d. 1523)
1473 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (d. 1543)
1497 – Matthäus Schwarz, German fashion writer (d. 1574)
1519 – Froben Christoph of Zimmern, Author of the Zimmern Chronicle (d. 1566)
1526 – Carolus Clusius, Flemish botanist and academic (d. 1609)
1532 – Jean-Antoine de Baïf, French poet (d. 1589)
1552 – Melchior Klesl, Austrian cardinal (d. 1630)
1594 – Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (d. 1612)
1611 – Andries de Graeff, Dutch politician (d. 1678)
1630 – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Indian warrior king and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan
1660 – Friedrich Hoffmann, German physician and chemist (d. 1742)
1717 – David Garrick, English actor, playwright, and producer (d. 1779)
1743 – Luigi Boccherini, Italian cellist and composer (d. 1805)
1798 – Allan MacNab, Canadian soldier, lawyer, and politician, Premier of Canada West (d. 1862)
1800 – Émilie Gamelin, Canadian nun and social worker, founded the Sisters of Providence (d. 1851)
1804 – Carl von Rokitansky, German physician, pathologist, and philosopher (d. 1878)
1821 – August Schleicher, German linguist and academic (d. 1868)
1833 – Élie Ducommun, Swiss journalist and activist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1906)
1841 – Elfrida Andrée, Swedish organist, composer, and conductor
1855 – Nishinoumi Kajirō I, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 16th Yokozuna (d. 1908)
1859 – Svante Arrhenius, Swedish physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1927)
1865 – Sven Hedin, Swedish geographer and explorer (d. 1952)
1869 – Hovhannes Tumanyan, Armenian-Russian poet and author (d. 1923)
1872 – Johan Pitka, Estonian admiral (d. 1944)
1876 – Constantin Brâncuși, Romanian-French sculptor, painter, and photographer (d. 1957)
1877 – Gabriele Münter, German painter (d. 1962)
1878 – Harriet Bosse, Swedish–Norwegian actress (d. 1961)
1880 – Álvaro Obregón, Mexican general and politician, 39th President of Mexico (d. 1928)
1886 – José Abad Santos, Filipino lawyer and jurist, 5th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (d. 1942)
1888 – José Eustasio Rivera, Colombian lawyer and poet (d. 1928)
1893 – Cedric Hardwicke, English actor and director (d. 1964)
1895 – Louis Calhern, American actor (d. 1956)
1896 – André Breton, French poet and author (d. 1966)
1897 – Alma Rubens, American actress (d. 1931)
1899 – Lucio Fontana, Argentinian-Italian painter and sculptor (d. 1968)
1902 – Kay Boyle, American novelist, short story writer, and educator (d. 1992)
1904 – Havank, Dutch journalist and author (d. 1964)
1904 – Elisabeth Welch, American-English singer and actress (d. 2003)
1911 – Merle Oberon, Indian-American actress (d. 1979)
1912 – Dorothy Janis, American actress (d. 2010)
1913 – Prince Pedro Gastão of Orléans-Braganza (d. 2007)
1914 – Thelma Kench, New Zealand Olympic sprinter (d. 1985)
1915 – John Freeman, English lawyer, politician, and diplomat, British Ambassador to the United States (d. 2014)
1916 – Eddie Arcaro, American jockey and sportscaster (d. 1997)
1917 – Carson McCullers, American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and essayist (d. 1967)
1920 – C. Z. Guest, American actress, fashion designer, and author (d. 2003)
1920 – Jaan Kross, Estonian author and poet (d. 2007)
1920 – George Rose, English actor and singer (d. 1988)
1922 – Władysław Bartoszewski, Polish journalist and politician, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs (d. 2015)
1924 – David Bronstein, Ukrainian chess player and theoretician (d. 2006)
1924 – Lee Marvin, American actor (d. 1987)
1926 – György Kurtág, Hungarian composer and academic
1927 – Philippe Boiry, French journalist (d. 2014)
1929 – Jacques Deray, French director and screenwriter (d. 2003)
1930 – John Frankenheimer, American director and producer (d. 2002)
1930 – Kasinathuni Viswanath, Indian actor, director, and screenwriter
1932 – Joseph P. Kerwin, American captain, physician, and astronaut
1935 – Dave Niehaus, American sportscaster (d. 2010)
1936 – Sam Myers, American singer-songwriter (d. 2006)
1936 – Frederick Seidel, American poet
1937 – Terry Carr, American author and educator (d. 1987)
1937 – Norm O'Neill, Australian cricketer and sportscaster (d. 2008)
1938 – Choekyi Gyaltsen, 10th Panchen Lama (d. 1989)
1939 – Erin Pizzey, English activist and author, founded Refuge
1940 – Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmen engineer and politician, 1st President of Turkmenistan (d. 2006)
1940 – Smokey Robinson, American singer-songwriter and producer (The Miracles)
1940 – Bobby Rogers, American singer-songwriter (d. 2013)
1941 – David Gross, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
1941 – Jenny Tonge, Baroness Tonge, English politician
1942 – Cyrus Chothia emeritus scientist at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology
1942 – Paul Krause, American football player and politician
1942 – Howard Stringer, Welsh businessman
1942 – Will Provine, American biologist, historian, and academic (d. 2015)
1943 – Lou Christie, American singer-songwriter
1943 – Homer Hickam, American author and engineer
1943 – Tim Hunt, English biochemist and academic, Nobel laureate
1944 – Les Hinton, English-American journalist and businessman
1945 – Yuri Antonov, Uzbek-Russian singer-songwriter
1946 – Paul Dean, Canadian guitarist
1946 – Peter Hudson, Australian footballer and coach
1946 – Karen Silkwood, American technician and activist (d. 1974)
1947 – Jackie Curtis, American actress and playwright (d. 1985)
1947 – Tim Shadbolt, New Zealand businessman and politician, 42nd Mayor of Invercargill
1948 – Mark Andes, American singer-songwriter and bass player
1948 – Pim Fortuyn, Dutch sociologist, academic, and politician (d. 2002)
1948 – Tony Iommi, English guitarist and songwriter
1949 – Danielle Bunten Berry, American game designer and programmer (d. 1998)
1949 – Eddie Hardin, English singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 2015)
1949 – William Messner-Loebs, American author and illustrator
1950 – Juice Leskinen, Finnish singer-songwriter (d. 2006)
1950 – Andy Powell, English singer-songwriter and guitarist
1951 – Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Pakistani scholar and politician, founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran
1952 – Ryū Murakami, Japanese novelist and filmmaker
1952 – Rodolfo Neri Vela, Mexican engineer and astronaut
1952 – Gary Seear, New Zealand rugby player (d. 2018)[1]
1952 – Amy Tan, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.
1952 – Danilo Türk, Slovene academic and politician, 3rd President of Slovenia
1953 – Corrado Barazzutti, Italian tennis player
1953 – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentinian lawyer and politician, 52nd President of Argentina
1953 – Massimo Troisi, Italian actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1994)
1954 – Sócrates, Brazilian footballer and manager (d. 2011)
1954 – Francis Buchholz, German bass player
1954 – Michael Gira, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
1955 – Jeff Daniels, American actor and playwright
1956 – Kathleen Beller, American actress
1956 – Peter Holsapple, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1956 – Roderick MacKinnon, American biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
1956 – Dave Wakeling, English singer-songwriter and guitarist
1957 – Falco, Austrian singer-songwriter, rapper, and musician (d. 1998)
1957 – Dave Stewart, American baseball player and coach
1957 – Ray Winstone, English actor
1958 – Tommy Cairo, American wrestler
1958 – Helen Fielding, English author and screenwriter
1958 – Steve Nieve, English keyboard player and composer
1959 – Roger Goodell, American businessman
1960 – Prince Andrew, Duke of York
1960 – John Paul, Jr., American race car driver
1961 – Justin Fashanu, English footballer (d. 1998)
1962 – Hana Mandlíková, Czech-Australian tennis player and coach
1963 – Seal, English singer-songwriter
1963 – Jessica Tuck, American actress
1964 – Doug Aldrich, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1964 – Jonathan Lethem, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.
1965 – Jon Fishman, American drummer
1965 – Clark Hunt, American businessman
1965 – Leroy, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
1966 – Justine Bateman, American actress and producer
1966 – Paul Haarhuis, Dutch tennis player and coach
1966 – Eduardo Xol, American designer and author
1967 – Benicio del Toro, Puerto Rican-American actor, director, and producer
1968 – Frank Watkins, American bass player (d. 2015)
1968 – Prince Markie Dee, American rapper and actor
1969 – Burton C. Bell, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1969 – Helena Guergis, Canadian businesswoman and politician
1970 – Joacim Cans, Swedish singer-songwriter
1971 – Miguel Batista, Dominican baseball player and poet
1971 – Richard Green, Australian golfer
1971 – Jeff Kinney, American author and illustrator
1972 – Francine Fournier, American wrestler and manager
1972 – Sunset Thomas, American pornographic actress
1975 – Daniel Adair, Canadian drummer and producer
1975 – Daewon Song, South Korean-American skateboarder, co-founded Almost Skateboards
1977 – Ola Salo, Swedish singer-songwriter and keyboard player
1977 – Andrew Ross Sorkin, American journalist and author
1977 – Gianluca Zambrotta, Italian footballer and manager
1978 – Ben Gummer, English scholar and politician
1978 – Immortal Technique, Peruvian-American rapper
1979 – Steve Cherundolo, American soccer player and manager
1980 – Dwight Freeney, American football player
1980 – Ma Lin, Chinese table tennis player
1980 – Mike Miller, American basketball player
1981 – Beth Ditto, American singer
1983 – Kotoōshū Katsunori, Bulgarian sumo wrestler
1983 – Mika Nakashima, Japanese singer and actress
1983 – Ryan Whitney, American ice hockey player
1984 – Chris Richardson, American singer-songwriter
1985 – Haylie Duff, American actress and singer
1986 – Kyle Chipchura, Canadian ice hockey player
1986 – Marta, Brazilian footballer
1986 – Maria Mena, Norwegian singer-songwriter
1986 – Michael Schwimer, American baseball player
1987 – Anna Cappellini, Italian ice dancer
1988 – Shawn Matthias, Canadian ice hockey player
1988 – Seth Morrison, American guitarist
1991 – Christoph Kramer, German national footballer
1991 – Trevor Bayne, American race car driver
1992 – Sander Pärn, Estonian race car driver
1992 – Jelena Simić, Bosnian tennis player
1993 – Mauro Icardi, Argentinian footballer
1993 – Victoria Justice, American actress, singer, and dancer
1994 – Sam Lisone, New Zealand-Samoan rugby league player
1994 – Tiina Trutsi, Estonian footballer
1998 – Katharina Gerlach, German tennis player
2001 – David Mazouz, American actor
2004 – Millie Bobby Brown, English actress and model

Deaths

197 – Clodius Albinus, Roman usurper (b. 150)
446 – Leontius of Trier, Bishop of Trier
1133 – Irene Doukaina, Byzantine wife of Alexios I Komnenos (b. 1066)
1275 – Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sufi philosopher and poet (b. 1177)
1300 – Munio of Zamora, General of the Dominican Order
1408 – Thomas Bardolf, 5th Baron Bardolf, English rebel
1414 – Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1353)
1445 – Leonor of Aragon, queen of Portugal (b. 1402)
1491 – Enno I, Count of East Frisia, German noble (b. 1460)
1553 – Erasmus Reinhold, German astronomer and mathematician (b. 1511)
1605 – Orazio Vecchi, Italian composer (b. 1550)
1602 – Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur (b. 1558)
1622 – Henry Savile, English scholar and politician (b. 1549)
1672 – Charles Chauncy, English-American minister, theologian, and academic (b. 1592)
1709 – Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shogun (b. 1646)
1716 – Dorothe Engelbretsdatter, Norwegian author and poet (b. 1634)
1789 – Nicholas Van Dyke, American lawyer and politician, 7th Governor of Delaware (b. 1738)
1799 – Jean-Charles de Borda, French mathematician, physicist, and sailor (b. 1733)
1806 – Elizabeth Carter, English poet and translator (b. 1717)
1837 – Georg Büchner, German-Swiss poet and playwright (b. 1813)
1837 – Thomas Burgess, English bishop and philosopher (b. 1756)
1887 – Multatuli, Dutch-German author and civil servant (b. 1820)
1897 – Karl Weierstrass, German mathematician and academic (b. 1815)
1915 – Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Indian philosopher and politician (b. 1866)
1916 – Ernst Mach, Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher (b. 1838)
1927 – Robert Fuchs, Austrian composer and educator (b. 1847)
1928 – George Howard Earle, Jr., American lawyer and businessman (b. 1856)
1936 – Billy Mitchell, American general and pilot (b. 1879)
1945 – John Basilone, American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1916)
1951 – André Gide, French novelist, essayist, and dramatist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1869)
1952 – Knut Hamsun, Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1859)
1953 – Richard Rushall, British businessman (b. 1864)
1957 – Maurice Garin, Italian-French cyclist (b. 1871)
1959 – Willard Miller, American sailor, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1877)
1962 – Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek-American pathologist, invented the Pap smear (b. 1883)
1969 – Madge Blake, American actress (b. 1899)
1972 – John Grierson, Scottish director and producer (b. 1898)
1972 – Lee Morgan, American trumpet player and composer (b. 1938)
1973 – Joseph Szigeti, Hungarian violinist (b. 1892)
1977 – Anthony Crosland, English captain and politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (b. 1918)
1977 – Mike González, Cuban baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1890)
1980 – Bon Scott, Scottish-Australian singer-songwriter (b. 1946)
1983 – Alice White, American actress (b. 1904)
1988 – André Frédéric Cournand, French-American physician and physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1895)
1992 – Tojo Yamamoto, American wrestler and manager (b. 1927)
1994 – Derek Jarman, English director and set designer (b. 1942)
1996 – Charlie Finley, American businessman (b. 1918)
1997 – Leo Rosten, Polish-American author and academic (b. 1908)
1997 – Deng Xiaoping, Chinese politician, 1st Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China (b. 1904)
1998 – Grandpa Jones, American singer-songwriter and banjo player (b. 1913)
1999 – Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, Iraqi cleric (b. 1943)
2000 – Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian-New Zealand painter and illustrator (b. 1928)
2001 – Stanley Kramer, American director and producer (b. 1913)
2001 – Charles Trenet, French singer-songwriter (b. 1913)
2002 – Sylvia Rivera, American transgender LGBT activist (b. 1951)
2003 – Johnny Paycheck, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1938)
2007 – Janet Blair, American actress and singer (b. 1921)
2007 – Celia Franca, English-Canadian dancer and director, founded the National Ballet of Canada (b. 1921)
2008 – Yegor Letov, Russian singer-songwriter (b. 1964)
2008 – Lydia Shum, Chinese-Hong Kong actress and singer (b. 1945)
2009 – Kelly Groucutt, English singer and bass player (b. 1945)
2011 – Ollie Matson, American sprinter and football player (b. 1930)
2012 – Ruth Barcan Marcus, American philosopher and logician (b. 1921)
2012 – Jaroslav Velinský, Czech author and songwriter (b. 1932)
2012 – Vitaly Vorotnikov, Russian politician, 27th Prime Minister of Russia (b. 1926)
2013 – Armen Alchian, American economist and academic (b. 1914)
2013 – Park Chul-soo, South Korean director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1948)
2013 – Robert Coleman Richardson, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1937)
2013 – Donald Richie, American-Japanese author and critic (b. 1924)
2013 – Eugene Whelan, Canadian farmer and politician, 22nd Canadian Minister of Agriculture (b. 1924)
2014 – Kresten Bjerre, Danish footballer and manager (b. 1946)
2014 – Dale Gardner, American captain and astronaut (b. 1948)
2014 – Valeri Kubasov, Russian engineer and astronaut (b. 1935)
2015 – Harold Johnson, American boxer (b. 1928)
2015 – Nirad Mohapatra, Indian director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1947)
2015 – Harris Wittels, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1984)
2016 – Umberto Eco, Italian novelist, literary critic, and philosopher (b. 1932)
2016 – Harper Lee, American author (b. 1926)
2016 – Samuel Willenberg, Polish-Israeli sculptor and painter (b. 1923)
2017 – Larry Coryell, American jazz guitarist (b. 1943)
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