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Friday, February 27

February 19, 2015

Today is Friday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2015. There are 307 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1560 - Treaty of Berwyck is established between England and lords of the Scottish Congregation, calling for expulsion of French from Scotland.

1700 - Southwest Pacific island of New Britain is discovered by English navigator William Dampier.

1861 - Russian troops fire on a crowd in Warsaw that was protesting Russian rule over Poland. Five marchers are killed.

1881 - Boers defeat British force at Majuba Hill in South Africa.

1889 - Burma — now Myanmar — opens railroad from Rangoon to Mandalay.

1901 - Russia’s minister of propaganda is murdered to avenge repression of student agitation.

1922 - The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed the right of women to vote.

1929 - Turkey signs Litvinov Protocol, or Eastern Pact, between Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Romania, for renunciation of war.

1933 - Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag, catches fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, use the fire as a pretext for suspending civil liberties.

1939 - Britain and France recognize General Francisco Franco’s government in Spain; the U.S. Supreme Court outlaws sit-down strikes.

1960 - The U.S. Olympic hockey team defeats the Soviet Union 3-2 at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. The U.S. team goes on to win the gold medal.

1968 - Britain’s House of Commons approves bill to restrict immigration to Britain.

1972 - U.S. President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai issue the Shanghai Communique at the conclusion of Nixon’s historic visit to China.

1973 - Members of the American Indian Movement occupy Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. The occupation lasts until May.

1982 - Wayne B. Williams is found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period.

1991 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush announces a cessation of offensive military action in the Gulf War.

1994 - A bomb explodes in a packed Maronite Catholic church in Lebanon, killing nine worshippers and wounding at least 60 as they lined up at the altar to take Communion.

1996 - The United Nations suspends sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs after NATO verifies that Serb forces have withdrawn from buffer zones.

1997 - A car bomb explodes outside a police station in the violence-plagued town of Apartado, Colombia, killing at least seven people and injuring 43.

1998 - U.S. Vice President Al Gore announces that the United States is lifting a 35-year-old arms embargo against South Africa.

1999 - Nigeria elects Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in the first presidential elections after 15 years of military rule, but the results are disputed.

2000 - Egypt’s parliament endorses President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to extend the country’s 19-year-old state of emergency for three more years after a stormy debate.

2005 - Iran and Russia ignore U.S. objections and sign a nuclear fuel agreement that is key to bringing Tehran’s first reactor online by mid 2006.

2006 - Security forces in Saudi Arabia kill five militants sought in an attempt to blow up car bombs inside a huge oil complex.

2007 - A suicide bomber attacks the main gate of the Bagram U.S. military base in Afghanistan within earshot of visiting Vice President Dick Cheney. The explosion, claimed by the Taliban as an assassination attempt, kills 23 people including two Americans.

2008 - Masked thieves drill a tunnel into the Damiani showroom in Milan, Italy, making off with gold, diamonds and rubies worth an estimated $20 million. Nine men are arrested in December in connection with the robbery.

2010 - One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded tears apart houses, bridges and highways in central Chile and sends a tsunami racing halfway around the world. Chilean authorities say at least 214 people died.

2011 - More than 100 leading Saudi academics and activists urge King Abdullah to enact sweeping reforms, including setting up a constitutional monarchy, and he orders that government sector workers with temporary contracts be given permanent jobs in order to pre-empt the unrest that has engulfed other Arab nations.

2012 - The German parliament approves a second, euro130 billion ($173 billion) loan package for Greece after Chancellor Angela Merkel warns lawmakers that it would be irresponsible to abandon the country to bankruptcy.

2013 - Iraq’s prime minister warns that a victory for the rebels in Syria’s civil war would create a new extremist haven and destabilize the wider Middle East, sparking sectarian wars in his own country and Lebanon.

2014 — U.N. Secretary-General says that 20 years after the Rwanda genocide the international community’s collective failure to prevent atrocities in Syria is a “shameful indictment.”

Today’s Birthdays:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, U.S. poet (1807-1882); John Steinbeck, U.S. writer (1902-1968); Joanne Woodward, U.S. actress (1930--); Elizabeth Taylor, U.S. actress (1932--2011); Ralph Nader, U.S. consumer activist (1934--); Josh Groban, U.S. singer (1981--).

Thought For Today:

All that is human must be retrograde if it does not advance — Edward Gibbon, English historian (1737-1794).

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