Friday, February 13
Today is Friday, Feb. 13, the 44th day of 2015. There are 321 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1542 - England’s Queen Catherine Howard is executed for treason on the orders of her husband Henry VIII.
1601 - John Lancaster leads first East India Company voyage from London.
1633 - Italian astronomer Galileo arrives in Rome and is detained by Roman Catholic Inquisition.
1635 - Boston Latin School, the United States’ oldest secondary school, is founded.
1689 - English Parliament adopts a Bill of Rights.
1795 - The first U.S. state university opens in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
1820 - Duc de Berry, heir to French throne, is assassinated by an anti-royalist.
1856 - Britain annexes Oudh, in India, increasing further hostility to British rule.
1914 - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as ASCAP, is founded in New York City.
1920 - The League of Nations recognizes Switzerland’s neutrality.
1945 - Allied forces capture Budapest, Hungary, in World War II. U.S. warplanes firebomb Dresden, Germany, wiping out the city and killing more than 35,000 civilians.
1960 - France explodes its first atomic bomb.
1961 - U.N. Security Council urges use of force to prevent civil war in the Congo.
1968 - Ten thousand U.S. troops are in process of being transported to South Vietnam on speedup basis as fighting increases in that country.
1975 - Turkish Cypriots proclaim separate administration in Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.
1976 - Nigerian junta leader General Murtala Ramat Muhammad is assassinated in a coup attempt.
1989 - Soviet Red Army leaves Afghan capital of Kabul.
1990 - Britain, France, Soviet Union, United States and two Germanys announce two-stage plan for talks leading to German reunification.
1991 - U.S. planes destroy bunker in Baghdad that allies identified as military site, but apparently contained Iraqi civilians, with reported death toll ranging from 40 to 500.
1993 - Angolan government troops break into UNITA rebel-held highlands in an attempt to open a supply corridor to the embattled city of Huambo.
1994 - Somali gunmen kidnap two Italian aid workers and an Egyptian U.N. peacekeeper is killed.
1995 - Peru announces it has captured the last Ecuadorean stronghold in Peruvian territory and declares a unilateral cease-fire in the Andean border war.
1996 - Israeli troops seal off the West Bank and Gaza to prevent terrorist attacks. The restrictions last for years.
1997 - Rebels under Laurent Kabila take Zairian town of Faradje while advancing on country’s third largest city, Kisangani.
1998 - Nigerian-led peacekeepers trying to oust Sierra Leone’s military government capture the parliament building in Freetown.
1999 - Osama bin Laden, the Saudi millionaire suspected of being behind the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, is reported to have disappeared from his base in Afghanistan.
2002 - John Walker Lindh, a U.S. citizen captured fighting alongside Afghanistan’s deposed Taliban militia, pleads not guilty to 10 counts of conspiring to kill Americans and abetting terrorist groups.
2004 - Chechnya’s exiled former president Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, wanted by Russia for terrorism and ties to al-Qaida, is assassinated when a bomb blows apart his car as he leaves a mosque in Doha, Qatar. Yandarbiyev’s 13-year-old son is critically wounded.
2005 - Troops in helicopters bring badly needed relief supplies to villages obliterated by floods in southwestern Pakistan, as the nationwide death toll from the disaster climbs past 350.
2006 - Denmark’s prime minister says the country’s image in the Muslim world has been tainted by false images and rumors in the Prophet Muhammed drawing controversy and insists the country is tolerant and open to all faiths.
2008 - One of the world’s most wanted and elusive terrorists, Imad Mughniyeh, is killed by a car bomb in Syria nearly 15 years after dropping almost entirely from sight. Iran and the militant group Hezbollah blame Israel, which denies a role.
2009 - A female suicide bomber targets Shiite pilgrims in Musayyib, killing at least 40.
2010 - Bombs and booby traps slow the advance of thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers moving through the Taliban-controlled town of Marjah — NATO’s most ambitious effort yet to break the militants’ grip over their southern heartland.
2011 - President Hugo Chavez says that he has no intention of ceasing his efforts to make Venezuela a socialist country, and he expresses confidence that his allies would take the reins of his “Bolivarian Revolution” if he died or decided to step down.
2012 - Israel blames Iran for bomb attacks on its diplomats’ cars in India and Georgia, heightening concerns that the Jewish state was moving closer to striking its archenemy.
2013 - A weary Pope Benedict XVI begins a long farewell to his flock, celebrating his final public Mass as pontiff.
2014 — The largest solar power plant in the world — thousands of mirrors sprawling across roughly 5 square miles (13 sq. kilometers) of the Mojave Desert — opens in the western U.S. state of Nevada.
Charles Maurice Talleyrand-Perigord, French statesman (1754-1838); Eileen Farrell, U.S. soprano (1920-2002); Kim Novak, U.S. actress (1933--); Stockard Channing, U.S. actress (1944--); Jerry Springer, U.S. talk show host (1944--); Peter Gabriel, British singer (1950--); Robbie Williams, British singer (1974--).
Thought For Today:
An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason — C.S. Lewis, English author (1898-1963).