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This Day in History - February 18

Monday, February 18, 2019

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Today is the 49th day of 2019. There are 316 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

2006: Muslim protesters attack Christians and burn churches when a march against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad turns violent in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least 15 people in the first major protest to erupt over the issue in Africa's most populous nation.

OTHER EVENTS

1685: La Salle, French explorer, establishes settlement in Texas.

1861: Jefferson Davis is sworn in as president of the secessionist Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.

1884: British forces under General Charles Gordon reach Khartoum in Sudan, but the rebel Mahdi rejects his offer to negotiate.

1885: Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published in the United States.

1930: American astronomer Clyde W Tombaugh discovers the planet Pluto.

1945: Battle for Iwo Jima begins in Pacific in World War II.

1953: Bwana Devil, the movie that heralded the 3D fad of the 1950s, opens in New York City.

1964: Earthquakes rock Azores in eastern Atlantic, and ships battle high waves to evacuate people from San Jorge Island.

1965: African nation of Gambia becomes independent within British Commonwealth.

1970: Young Filipinos storm US Embassy compound in Manila, protesting US military bases in Philippines and US economic policy.

1977: The space shuttle Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, goes on its maiden flight above the Mojave Desert.

1988: Boris Yeltsin is ousted from ruling Communist Party Politburo in Moscow.

1991: Irish Republican Army claims responsibility for bomb that explodes in London's Victoria Station during rush hour, killing one person and injuring at least 40.

1992: Libya produces two men accused of blowing up an American jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, but insists they'll never go to trial in the West.

1999: Three Greek Cabinet ministers are fired after the Government fails to protect Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, who was arrested by Turkey three days earlier while hiding in the Kenyan Embassy in Greece.

2001: Veteran FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen is arrested on charges of spying for Russia for more than 15 years.

2003: A 56-year-old man ignites a container of flammable liquid inside a subway train in Taegu, South Korea, starting a blaze that engulfs two trains, killing at least 133 people.

2004: Runaway train cars carrying a lethal mix of fuel and chemicals derail, catch fire and then explode hours later in north-east Iran, killing more than 200 people, injuring at least 400 and leaving dozens trapped beneath crumbled mud homes.

2011: The United States vetoes a United Nations resolution that would have condemned “illegal” Israeli settlements and demanded an immediate halt to all settlement building, a move certain to anger Arab countries and Palestinian supporters around the world.

2012: Diplomats say Iran is poised to greatly expand uranium enrichment at a fortified underground bunker to a point that would boost how quickly it could make nuclear warheads.

2013: President Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela after more than two months of treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery, triggering street celebrations by supporters while he remains out of sight at a military hospital.

2014: Iran takes a tough stance at landmark nuclear talks, saying it will not buckle to pressure from the US and five other world powers to scrap any of its nuclear facilities.

2015: Thousands of Argentines march in the capital demanding answers in the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman exactly one month after he was found in his bathroom with a bullet wound in his right temple.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist (1745-1827); Nicolo Paganini, Italian composer-violinist (1784-1840); Milos Forman, Czech film director (1932-2018); George Kennedy, US actor (1925-2016); Toni Morrison, US author (1931- ); Yoko Ono, Japanese singer/John Lennon's widow (1933- ); Cybill Shepherd, US actress (1950- ); Randy Crawford, US singer (1952- ); John Travolta, US actor (1954- ); Matt Dillon, US actor (1964- ); Dr Dre, US rapper (1965- )

—AP


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