WAR, TERRORISM, DISASTER, PIRATES, SOCIETIES, TOMBS, DICTATORS, 911, RAMPAGE, DEMONSTRATIONS, DEMOCRATS, SPORTS, ELECTROCUTED, EXECUTED, SNEEZE, JEWS, CHECKS, WOMEN, CLUBS, DOORS, PATENTS, LEVIATHAN, NAZIS, MAINSTREAM MEDIA, DEATH PENALTY, SWIM, BEATLES, TRAFFIC, RADICALS, BLIMPS, BORN, BIRTHDAYS, DEATH
1862 during the Civil War, some 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered at Fort Donelson, Tenn. (Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory earned him the nickname “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”)
1942 German submarines attack Aruba oil refinery.
1945 American troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II.
1992 Abbas Musawi leader of Hezbollah, assassinated.
2007 An Italian judge indicted 25 suspected CIA agents and a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel in the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect. (The proceedings have been suspended pending a ruling on the Italian government’s request to throw out the indictments.)
1994 6.5 earthquake strikes SE Sumatra, kills 200.
1996 11 people were killed in a fiery collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a Maryland commuter train in Silver Spring, Md.
1998 A China Airlines Airbus A300-600R trying to land in fog near Taipei, Taiwan, crashed, killing all 196 people on board and six people on the ground.
600 Pope Gregory the Great decrees saying “God bless You” is the correct response to a sneeze.
1838 Kentucky passes law permitting women to attend school under conditions.
1980 Continuous traffic jam extends 176 km north of Lyons, France.
1992 Former silver Goodyear blimps are now painted yellow & blue.
1905 1st US Esperanto club organizes in Boston.
1943 Sign on Munich facade “Out with Hitler! Long live freedom!” done by “White Rose” student group, caught on 2/18, beheaded on 2/22.
1932 1st patent issued for a tree, to James Markham for a peach tree.
1937 DuPont Corp patents nylon, developed by employee Wallace H Carothers.
1804 Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates.
1909 1st subway car with side doors goes into service (New York NY).
1968 Beatles George Harrison & John Lennon & wives fly to India for transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
1349 Jews are expelled from Burgsdorf Switzerland.
1917 1st synagogue in 425 years opens in Madrid.
1963 1st round-trip swim of Strait of Messina, Italy (Mary Revell of US)
1659 1st known check (£400) (on display at Westminster Abbey).
1938 US Federal Crop Insurance program authorized.
1956 Britain abolishes the death penalty.
1989 Jane Fonda & Tom Hayden separate after 16 years of marriage.
2003 More than 100,000 people demonstrated in the streets of San Francisco to protest a possible U.S. invasion of Iraq.
1948 1st newsreel telecast, “20th Century Fox-Movietone News” shown on NBC.
1950 Longest-running prime-time game show, “What’s My Line” begins on CBS.
1979 Nematullah Nassiri Iran General/head of Savak, executed.
2007 The Democratic-controlled House issued a symbolic rejection of President Bush’s decision to deploy more troops to Iraq, approving the nonbinding resolution by a vote of 246-182.
1868 The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City.
1923 The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt by English archaeologist Howard Carter.
1959 Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
1936 Tommy Ward South African cricket wicket keeper (23 Tests), electrocuted.
1968 the nation’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated, in Haleyville, Ala.
1988, Seven people were shot to death during an office rampage in Sunnyvale, Calif., by a man who was obsessed with a co-worker. (The gunman, Richard Farley, is under sentence of death.)
2003 Michael Waltrip raced past leader Jimmie Johnson to win the rain-shortened Daytona 500 for the second time in three years.
1903 Edgar Bergen Chicago IL, ventriloquist (Charlie McCarthy).
1906 Vera Menchik Moscow, 1st official women’s world chess champion (1927).
Singer Patty Andrews is 90. Kim Jong Il, the president of North Korea, is 66. Actor Jeremy Bulloch is 62. Actor Pete Postlethwaite is 62. Actor William Katt is 57. Actor LeVar Burton is 51. Actor-rapper Ice-T is 50. Actress Lisa Loring is 50. Tennis Hall of Fame player John McEnroe is 49. Rock musician Andy Taylor is 47. Rock musician Dave Lombardo (Slayer) is 43. Rock musician Taylor Hawkins (Foofighters) is 36. Singer Sam Salter is 30. Rapper Lupe Fiasco is 26. Actor Mike Weinberg is 15.
1977 Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.
2003 Eleanor “Sis” Daley, the matriarch of Chicago’s Daley political clan, died at age 95.
February 16, the 47th day of 2008. There are 319 days left in the year.