This Day in History — February 14

This Day in History — February 14

Friday, February 14, 2020

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Today is the 45th day of 2020. There are 321 days left in the year.


2012: Oscar Pistorious, the double-amputee Olympic sprinter dubbed the Blade Runner, is charged in the slaying of his girlfriend at his upscale home in South Africa.


1540: Holy Roman Emperor Charles V enters Ghent, in Belgium, and executes leaders of revolt.

1663: Canada becomes royal province of France.

1797: British fleet under John Jervis and Horatio Nelson defeat Spanish off Cape Saint Vincent.

1846: Uprising in Cracow Republic spreads swiftly throughout Poland.

1893: United States annexes Hawaii by treaty.

1899: US Congress approves, and US President William McKinley signs, legislation authorising states to use voting machines for federal elections.

1920: The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago.

1929: Seven hoodlums, rivals of the Al Capone gang in Chicago, Illinois, are murdered in what becomes known as the “Saint Valentine's Day Massacre”.

1943: Soviet forces recapture Rostov from Germans in World War II.

1946: The first all-electronic computer is introduced at the University of Pennsylvania.

1956: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev denounces Joseph Stalin's policies at Soviet Communist Party conference.

1962: US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducts a televised tour of the White House.

1972: US trade restrictions against China are relaxed, putting China on same basis as Soviet Union.

1979: Four armed men kidnap US ambassador to Afghanistan Adolf Dubs. The ambassador is later killed in a shoot-out with police.

1988: Three officers of Yasser Arafat's mainline group in the Palestine Liberation Organisation are killed in Cyprus when their booby-trapped car explodes.

1989: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issues edict sentencing British author Salman Rushdie to death for allegedly insulting Islam, sending him into hiding for years.

1990: Indian Airlines passenger jet crashes on landing, killing 91 people.

1991: Several Latin American countries halt food imports from Peru, seeking to contain a cholera epidemic that killed 3,000 people.

1992: Nearly half of the former Soviet Republics vow to form separate armies.

1994: An anti-terrorism court in Algeria sentences 27 Islamic fundamentalists to prison in one of the country's biggest anti-terrorism trials.

1996: Zapatista National Liberation Army rebels accept a Mexican Government offer of limited political and judicial autonomy for some of Mexico's more than seven million indigenous people.

1998: Milan Simic and Miroslav Tadic become the first Bosnian Serb suspects to turn themselves in voluntarily to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

1999: Israeli and Palestinian forces face off with guns after coming to blows at an Israeli roadblock in the way of a Palestinian demonstration in the Gaza Strip.

2001: A criminal investigation is conducted into outgoing US President Bill Clinton's last-minute pardon of fugitive commodities traders Marc Rich and Pincus Green, who had fled to Switzerland in 1983 to escape prosecution for tax evasion and violation of a trade embargo.

2002: Researchers at the US Texas A&M University in College Station successfully clone a cat, making it the sixth species to be cloned.

2005: A powerful bomb assassinates former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 13 other people, devastation that harked back to Lebanon's violent past and raised fears of new bloodshed in the bitter dispute over Syria, the country's chief power broker.

2006: The oldest son of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is sentenced to nine months in prison for illegal fund-raising during his father's 1999 primary campaign.

2009: The Group of Seven finance ministers pledge to avoid resorting to protectionism as they try to stimulate their own economies in the face of the world's worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

2010: US officials seek to shore up support for a tougher stand against Iran's nuclear programme by saying Tehran has left the world little choice and expressing renewed confidence that holdout China would come around to harsher UN penalties.


Domingo F Sarmiento, Argentine president 1868-1874 (1811- 1888); Israel Zangwill, English author (1846-1926); Jack Benny, US comedian (1894-1975); Gregory Hines, US actor/dancer (1946-2003); Florence Henderson, US actress (1934-2016); Meg Tilly, US actress (1960- ); Rob Thomas, US singer (1972- )

— AP

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