Today in History – February 14

1778 – The Stars and Stripes was carried to a foreign port, in France, for the first time. It was aboard the American ship Ranger.

1803 – Moses Coates received a patent for the apple parer.

1849 – The first photograph of a U.S. President, while in office, was taken by Matthew Brady in New York City. President James Polk was the subject of the picture.

1859 – Oregon became the 33rd member of the Union.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for the telephone. It was officially issued on March 7, 1876.

1889 – In Los Angeles, CA, oranges began their first trip to the east.

1895 – Oscar Wilde’s final play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” opened at the St. James’ Theatre in London.

1899 – The U.S. Congress approved voting machines for use in federal elections.

1900 – Russia imposed tighter imperial control over Finland in response to an international petition for Finland’s freedom.

1900 – In South Africa, British Gen. Roberts invaded Orange Free State with 20,000 troops.

1903 – The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established.

1912 – The first diesel engine submarine was commissioned in Groton, CT.

1912 – Arizona was admitted as the 48th U.S. state.

1920 – The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago. The first president of the organization was Maude Wood Park.

1929 – The “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” took place in Chicago, IL. Seven gangsters who were rivals of Al Capone were killed.

1932 – The U.S. won the first bobsled competition at the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, NY.

1940 – The first porpoise born in captivity arrived at Marineland in Florida.

1945 – Peru, Paraguay, Chile and Ecuador joined the United Nations.

1946 – ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was unveiled. The device, built at the University of Pennsylvania, was the world’s first general purpose electronic computer.

1954 – The TV show “Letter to Loretta” changed its name to “The Loretta Young Show.” The show premiered on September 20, 1953.

1957 – Lionel Hampton’s only major musical work, “King David,” made its debut at New York’s Town Hall.

1961 – Lawrencium, element 103, was first produced in Berkely, CA.

1962 – U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave a tour of the White House on television.

1966 – Rick Mount of Lebanon, IN, became the first high school, male athlete to be pictured on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”.

1966 – Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers set a National Basketball Association (NBA) record as he reached a career high of 20,884 points after seven seasons.

1968 – The fourth Madison Square Gardens opened.

1979 – Twenty-year-old rookie, Don Maloney, of the New York Rangers, scored his first goal in the National Hockey League. It came on his first NHL shot.

1979 – Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists. He was killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.

1980 – Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the “CBS Evening News.”

1983 – A 6-year-old boy became the first person to receive a heart and liver transplants in the same operation.

1985 – Cable News Network (CNN) reporter Jeremy Levin was freed. He had been being held in Lebanon by extremists.

1989 – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie because of his novel “The Satanic Verses.”

1989 – The first satellite of the Global Positioning System was placed into orbit around Earth.

1989 – Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the government of India. The court-ordered settlement was a result of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster.

1997 – Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery began a series of spacewalks that were required to overhaul the Hubble Space Telescope.

1998 – U.S. authorities officially announced that Eric Rudolph was a suspect in a bombing of an abortion clinic in Alabama.

2002 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shays-Meehan bill. The bill, if passed by the U.S. Senate, would ban millions of unregulated money that goes to the national political parties.

2002 – Sylvester Stallone filed a lawsuit against Kenneth Starr. The suit alleged that Starr had given bad advice about selling Planet Hollywood stock.

2003 – In Madrid, Spain, a ceramic plate with a bullfighting motif painted by Pablo Picasso in 1949 was stolen from an art show. The plate was on sale for $12,400.

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