Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February 19 in History

197 - Roman Emperor Septimius Severus defeats usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, the bloodiest battle between Roman armies.
1594 - Having already inherited the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth through his mother Catherine Jagellonica of Poland, Sigismund III of the House of Vasa is crowned King of Sweden, succeeding his father John III of Sweden.
1600 - The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America.
1674 - England and the Netherlands sign the Peace 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.
1807 - In Alabama, Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason and confined to Fort Stoddart.
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 Texas government following Texas' annexation by the United States.
1847 - The Donner Party is rescued.
1852 - The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is founded at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
1861 - Serfdom is abolished in Russia.
1864 - Knights of Pythias are founded in Washington, DC by Justus H. Rathbone.
1878 - The phonograph is patented by Thomas Edison.
1881 - Kansas becomes the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.
1915 - World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli begins. Plans for mutiny in the British Indian army, the Ghadar Conspiracy, are uncovered in India.
1937 - During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Eritrean nationalists attempt to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades.
1941 - World War II: The Afrika Korps, the corps-level headquarters controlling the German Panzer divisions in North Africa, is formed.
1942 - World War II: nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attack the northern Australian city of Darwin killing 243 people.
1942 - World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese-Americans to Japanese internment camps.
1943 - World War II: Battle of the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia begins.
1945 - World War II: Battle of Iwo Jima - about 30,000 United States Marines land on Iwo Jima.
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.
1959 - The United Kingdom grants Cyprus its independence, which is then on formally proclaimed on August 16, 1960.
1978 - Egyptian forces raid Larnaca International Airport, in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking situation, 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 - Artificial heart recipient William J. Schroeder becomes the first such patient to leave hospital.
1985 - Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 crashes into Mount Oiz in Spain, killing 148.
1986 - The Soviet Union launches the Mir space station.
2001 - An Oklahoma City bombing museum is dedicated at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
2002 - NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
2004 - Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal is awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a "lifetime of service to humanity."
2007 - Three Salvadoran deputies to the Central American Parliament and their driver are murdered in Guatemala.
2008 - After almost 50 years in power, Fidel Castro resigns as President of Cuba.

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