Today In History
Today is Sunday, Feb. 18, the 49th day of 2018. There are 316 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 18, 1678, the first part of “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” a Christian allegory by English author John Bunyan, was published in London.
On this date:
In 1546, Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, died in Eisleben.
In 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as provisional president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1913, Mexican President Francisco I. Madero and Vice President Jose Maria Pino Suarez were arrested during a military coup (both were shot to death on Feb. 22).
In 1930, photographic evidence of Pluto (now designated a “dwarf planet”) was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.
In 1943, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of the Chinese leader, addressed members of the Senate and then the House, becoming the first Chinese national to address both houses of the U.S. Congress.
In 1953, “Bwana Devil,” the movie that heralded the 3D fad of the 1950s, had its New York opening.
In 1968, the Winter Olympic Games closed in Grenoble, France.
In 1970, the “Chicago Seven” defendants were found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention; five were convicted of violating the Anti-Riot Act of 1968 (those convictions were later reversed).
In 1977, the space shuttle prototype Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its debut “flight” above Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1988, Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1997, astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery completed their tune-up of the Hubble Space Telescope after 33 hours of spacewalking; the Hubble was then released using the shuttle’s crane.
In 2001, auto racing star Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash at the Daytona 500; he was 49.
Ten years ago: The Pakistan People’s Party of assassinated ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto (BEN’-uh-zeer BOO’-toh) won the most seats in parliamentary elections. A suicide car bomber targeting a Canadian military convoy killed 38 civilians in southern Afghanistan. Republican John McCain picked up the support of former President George H.W. Bush. Writer Alain Robbe-Grillet died in Caen, France, at age 85.
Five years ago: The European Union imposed trade and economic sanctions on North Korea while condemning “in the strongest terms” the nation’s latest nuclear test. Robbers stole a reported $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane at Brussels’ international airport; more than 30 people were later detained and some of the loot recovered. President Hugo Chavez (OO’-goh CHAH’-vez) returned to Venezuela after more than two months of treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery.
One year ago: Four weeks into his administration, President Donald Trump led a rally in central Florida that mirrored the months leading up to Election Day, complete with a promise to repeal the health care law, a renewed pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and insults for the news media. Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, died in Katy, Texas, at age 69. Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so-called “Blind Sheik” convicted of plotting terror attacks in the United States in the 1990s, died at a federal prison in North Carolina where he was serving a life sentence; he was 78.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. John Warner, R-Va., is 91. Author Toni Morrison is 87. Movie director Milos (MEE’-lohsh) Forman is 86. Singer Yoko Ono is 85. Singer-songwriter Bobby Hart is 79. Singer Irma Thomas is 77. Singer Herman Santiago (Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) is 77. Actress Jess Walton is 72. Singer Dennis DeYoung is 71. Actress Sinead Cusack is 70. Actress Cybill Shepherd is 68. Singer Randy Crawford is 66. Rock musician Robbie Bachman is 65. Actor John Travolta is 64. Actor John Pankow is 63. Game show host Vanna White is 61. Actress Jayne Atkinson is 59. Actress Greta Scacchi (SKAH’-kee) is 58. Actor Matt Dillon is 54. Rock musician Tommy Scott (Space) is 54. Rapper Dr. Dre is 53. Actress Molly Ringwald is 50. Actress Sarah Brown is 43. Country musician Trevor Rosen (Old Dominion) is 43. Actor Ike Barinholtz is 41. Actor Kristoffer Polaha is 41. Singer-musician Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) is 41. Actor Tyrone Burton is 39. Rock-singer musician Regina Spektor is 38. Opera singer Isabel Leonard is 36. Roots rock musician Zac Cockrell (Alabama Shakes) is 30. Actor Shane Lyons is 30. Actress Sara Sutherland is 30. Actress Maiara Walsh is 30.
Thought for Today: “The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.” — Robert Penn Warren, American author, poet and critic (1905-1989).