WAR, TERRORISM, DISASTER, LANDMARKS, PROGRESS, CHINA CARD, JEWS, WATERGATE, ADVENTURE, POLITICS, DIPLOMACY, SPORTS, DRAWN and QUARTERED, EJECTED, SALUTE, MONEY, ALARMS, BOOKS, BRAINS, FIZZ, PRO WRESTLING, SCIENCE, BEATLES, MUSIC, MOONIES, SERIAL KILLERS, RECORDS, TV PREACHERS, DRUGS, BORN, BIRTHDAYS, DEATH
1965 black Muslim leader and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside the Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam.
1862 Texas Rangers win Confederate victory at Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico.
1916 the World War I Battle of Verdun began in France as German forces attacked; the French were able to prevail after 10 months of fighting.
2003 Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix ordered the destruction of dozens of Iraqi missiles with ranges that violated U.N. limits.
2007 British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his country would withdraw around 1,600 troops from Iraq in the coming months; Denmark, meanwhile, said it would withdraw its 460 troops.
1917 Train near Chirurcha Romania catches fire & explodes; 100s die.
1922 Airship Rome explodes at Hampton Roads Virginia; 34 die.
1971 Series of tornadoes cuts through Mississippi & Louisiana killing 117.
2003 The owners of The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., where 100 people perished in a fast-moving fire the night before, denied giving the rock band Great White permission to use fireworks blamed for setting off the blaze, although the band’s singer insisted the use of pyrotechnics had been approved.
DRAWN & QUARTERED
1803 Edward Despard last person drawn & quartered in England.
1947 Whipper Billy Watson beats Bill Longson, to become wrestling champion.
1764 John Wilkes thrown out of English House of Commons for “Essay on Women”.
1931 Alka Seltzer introduced.
1983 Donald Davis runs 1 mile backwards in 6 minutes 7.1 seconds.
1777 English ambassador Joseph Yorke demands dismissal of Governor John de Graaff for saluting US flag.
1964 UK flies 24,000 rolls of Beatle wallpaper to US.
1988 During a live TV broadcast, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart (age 52) admitted to visiting a prostitute, then announced he would be leaving his ministry for an unspecified length of time. (Defrocked in April by the Assemblies of God, he was ordered to stay off TV for a year, but returned after only three months).
1857 Congress outlaws foreign currency as legal tender in US.
1902 Dr Harvey Cushing, 1st US brain surgeon, does his 1st brain operation.
1858 Edwin T Holmes installs 1st electric burglar alarm (Boston MA).
1981 “Yorkshire Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe, murderer of 13 women, captured.
1878 1st telephone directory (with 50 names) issued (New Haven CT).
1953 F Crick & J Watson discover structure of DNA-molecule.
1989 US bust Chinese heroin ring, capture record 820 lbs heroin ($1 billion street value).
1885 the Washington Monument was dedicated.
1970 Jackson 5 make TV debut on “American Bandstand”.
1947 Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.
1972 President Nixon began his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Shanghai.
1943 Dutch Roman Catholic bishops protest against persecution of Jews.
1973 Israeli fighter planes shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 over the Sinai Desert, killing more than 100 people.
1974 Israeli forces leave western Suez.
1975 Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up.
1995 Chicago adventurer Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon, landing in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada.
2000 Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced his entry into the presidential race, bidding for the nomination of the Green Party.
1998 U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan began formal talks with Iraqi officials in the standoff over weapons inspections.
1979 2 Iowa girls High School basketball teams play 4 scoreless quarters; the game was won 4-2 in the 4th overtime period.
2003 Michael Jordan became the first 40-year-old in NBA history to score 40 or more points, getting 43 in the Washington Wizards’ 89-86 win over the New Jersey Nets.
1977 74 Unification Church couples wed in New York NY.
1794 Antonio López de Santa Anna President of México (1833-36).
1887 Savielly [Xavier] G Tartakower Austrian/Polish/French chess player.
1893 Andrés Segovia Linares Spain, classical guitarist.
1907 Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden was born in York, England.
1914 Arnold S Denker New York, US chess champion (1944-46).
1927 Erma Bombeck Dayton OH, humorist (The Grass is Always Greener…).
Fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy is 81. Movie director Bob Rafelson is 75. Actress Rue McClanahan is 73. Actor Gary Lockwood is 71. Actor Peter McEnery is 68. Film/music company executive David Geffen is 65. Actor Alan Rickman is 62. Actress Tyne Daly is 62. Actor Anthony Daniels is 62. Tricia Nixon Cox is 62. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, is 61. Rock musician Jerry Harrison (The Talking Heads) is 59. Actress Christine Ebersole is 55. Actor William Petersen is 55. Actor Kelsey Grammer is 53. Country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter is 50. Actor Jack Coleman is 50. Actor Christopher Atkins is 47. Rock singer Ranking Roger is 47. Actor William Baldwin is 45. Rock musician Michael Ward is 41. Actress Aunjanue Ellis is 39. Blues musician Corey Harris is 39. Country singer Eric Heatherly is 38. Rock musician Eric Wilson is 38. Rock musician Tad Kinchla (Blues Traveler) is 35. Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt is 29. Singer Charlotte Church is 22. Actress Ellen Page (Film: “Juno”) is 21. Actor Corbin Bleu is 19.
1991 Dame Margot Fonteyn ballerina, dies of cancer at 71.
February 21, the 52nd day of 2008. There are 314 days left in the year.