Monday, February 19, 2007

Today in History February 19

On this day in …

* 1803, Congress voted to accept Ohio's borders and constitution

* 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr, accused of treason, was arrested in the Mississippi Territory, in present-day Alabama. (Burr was acquitted at trial.)

* 1846, the Texas state government was formally installed in Austin, with J. Pinckney Henderson taking the oath of office as governor

* 1878, Thomas Edison received a U.S. patent for "an improvement in phonograph or speaking machines"

* 1945, during World War II, some 30,000 U.S. Marines began landing on Iwo Jima, where they commenced a month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces

* 1959, an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus its independence

* 1970, the Chicago Seven (formerly the Chicago Eight--one defendant, Bobby Seale, was being tried separately) are acquitted of riot conspiracy charges, but found guilty of inciting riot.

* 1974, Alexander Solzhenitsyn awaits reunion with his family after exile from Russia. Publication of The Gulag Archipelago, a detailed history of the Soviet prison system, prompted Russia to exile the 55 year-old author. One of Russia's most visible and vocal dissidents, Solzhenitsyn once served an 11-year prison term. Solzhenitsyn had previously been prevented by the Soviets from receiving a Nobel Prize for literature, but finally in 1978, he received the award in Switzerland

* 1986, the U.S. Senate approved an international treaty outlawing genocide, 37 years after the pact had first been submitted for ratification

* 2002, President Bush opened a two-day visit to South Korea

* 2006, Israel halted the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money to the Palestinians after Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament.

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