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Today in History for Feb. 16, 2014

Today is Sunday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 2014. There are 318 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Feb. 16, 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 during the First Barbary War.

On this date:

In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee ended as some 12,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered; Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory earned him the nickname “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”

In 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City.

In 1923, the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt by English archaeologist Howard Carter.

In 1937, Dr. Wallace H. Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont who’d invented nylon, received a patent for the synthetic fiber.

In 1945, American troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II.

In 1959, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba a month and a-half after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.

In 1961, the United States launched the Explorer 9 satellite.

In 1968, the nation’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.

In 1977, Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.

In 1988, seven people were shot to death during an office rampage in Sunnyvale by a man obsessed with a co-worker who was wounded in the attack. (The gunman, Richard Farley, is on death row.)

In 1994, more than 200 people were killed when a powerful earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sumatra island.

In 1998, a China Airlines Airbus A300-600R trying to land in fog near Taipei, Taiwan, crashed, killing all 196 people on board, plus six on the ground.

Ten years ago: A confident John Kerry launched a full-throttle attack on President George W. Bush’s economic policies, mostly ignoring his Democratic rivals on the eve of the Wisconsin primary. The Walt Disney Co. rejected a takeover bid by Comcast Corp. Soul singer Doris Troy, 67, died in Las Vegas, Nev.

Five years ago: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Tokyo to begin her first trip abroad as President Barack Obama’s chief diplomat. The government of Pakistan agreed to implement Islamic law in the northwestern region of Malakand in an attempt to pacify a spreading Taliban insurgency. In Stamford, Conn., a 200-pound chimpanzee named Travis went berserk, severely mauling its owner’s friend, Charla Nash; Travis was shot dead by police. Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, South Korea’s first Roman Catholic cardinal and advocate for democracy, died at age 86.

One year ago: Gunmen attacked a camp for a construction company in rural northern Nigeria, killing a guard and kidnapping seven workers from Lebanon, Britain, Greece and Italy; the kidnappers later claimed to have killed the hostages. Billy Hunter was ousted as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association by NBA players. Tony Sheridan, 72, a British singer who’d performed with The Beatles during their early years in Germany, died in Hamburg.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Jeremy Bulloch is 69. Actor William Katt is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer James Ingram is 62. Actor LeVar Burton is 57. Actor-rapper Ice-T is 56. Actress Lisa Loring is 56. International Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe is 55. Rock musician Andy Taylor is 53. Rock musician Dave Lombardo (Slayer) is 49. Actress Sarah Clarke is 43. Rock musician Taylor Hawkins (Foofighters) is 42. Olympic gold medal runner Cathy Freeman is 41. Singer Sam Salter is 39. Electronic dance music artist Bassnectar is 36. Rapper Lupe Fiasco is 32. Pop-rock singer Ryan Follese (Hot Chelle Rae) is 27. Rock musician Danielle Haim is 25. Actress Elizabeth Olsen is 25. Actor Mike Weinberg is 21.

Thought for today: “There are two ways to slice easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.” — Alfred Korzybski, Polish-American linguist (1879-1950).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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