Today in History….February 21

1828, a printing press later used to print the first newspaper for American Indians arrived at the Cherokee Council in Echota, Ga.

1878, the New Haven, Conn., Telephone Company published the first phone directory. It listed 50 subscribers

1885, the Washington Monument was dedicated

1912, a new phrase entered the American political lexicon as former President Theodore Roosevelt, traveling by train to the Ohio Constitutional Convention, told a reporter in Cleveland, “My hat is in the ring,” signaling his intent to challenge President William Howard Taft for the Republican nomination. (After losing the nomination to Taft, Roosevelt then ran as the nominee of the Progressive Party, also known as the Bull Moose Party; the resulting split among Republicans is believed to have led to Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s victory in November.)

1916, the World War I Battle of Verdun began in France

1947, Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds

1953, Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule

1965, former Black Muslim leader Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death in New York by assassins identified as Black Muslims

1972, President Nixon began his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Shanghai

1973, Israeli fighter planes shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 over the Sinai Desert

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

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 eight 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

1997, Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr reversed his decision to resign. ALSO: The space shuttle Discovery returned to earth after a mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope

2002, the State Department declared that beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was dead, a month after he’d been abducted by practitioners of that “religion of peace” in Pakistan

2006, President Bush endorsed the takeover of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports by a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates, and pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement. (The agreement was eventually disolved by the company after extreme public pressure)  ALSO: Donald Herbert, a brain-injured Buffalo, N.Y., firefighter who suddenly spoke after nearly a decade in a near-vegetative state, died at age 44

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. ALSO: Nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan signed a treaty in New Delhi aimed at preventing the accidental use of atomic weapons

2013, former Illinois police Sgt. Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. (Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, who disappeared in 2007, remains missing.)


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