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Events, deaths, births, of FEB 20
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• Over 400 die in burning Egyptian train... • Glenn orbits Earth... • Edit de tolérance en Chine... • Finns repulse Soviets... • White savages scalp Indians... • Della Robbia is born... • Bernanos is born... • Last viceroy in India... • Daumier is born... • Levinsky interview... • Darwin at Fernando Noronha... • Lamborghini dies... • SEATO disbands... • Atlanta editor kidnapped... • Walter Winchell dies... • Dylan Thomas arrives in New York... • Ansel Adams is born... • Joseph Hume dies... • Microsoft names Internet czar... • Le Manifeste Futuriste... • Sophia Reuther dies... • Hearings on US policy in Vietnam... • Philadelphia & Reading RR receivership... • First US WWII flying ace...
Khamenei^  On a 20 February:

2004 Tragi-farcical parliamentary elections in Iran, from which more than 2400 candidates have been barred by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [voting today >] and his extremist fundamentalist Muslim mullahs, who hold the real power and control news media, courts, and armed forces. After protesting in vain, the powerless reformist government of President Mohammad Khatami capitulated, urging people to accept the outcome, "whatever the result." The result, of course, is that the fundamentalists regain control of the 290-seat parliament, which they had disastrously lost in the 2000 elections. The reformists show their popular support by their boycott of today's elections resulting in many abstentions.

2003 Before the opening of the New York stock markets, the (communications and IT) Titan Corporation (TTN) announces that its President and COO, Eric DeMarco, will be leaving in mid-March. Wachovia downgrades TTN from Outperform to Underperform. On the New York Stock Exchange, 10 million of the 78 million TTN shares are traded, dropping from their previous close of $11.22 to an intraday low of $7.20 and closing at $8.02.TTN price chart They had traded as high as $18.84 as recently as 16 May 2002, and $42.98 on 03 April 2000. [< 5~year price chart]

2003 Explosion at 08:00 and fire in Corbin, Kentucky, at the dusty CTA Acoustics plant which makes insulation for automakers. Of 20 workers injured, David "Joe" Hamilton, 37, and Arnold Peters, 57, would die on 25 February; Jimmy Lemmings, 42, on 02 March; David Messer, 43, on 03 March; Paul Newman, 50, on 05 March, and Michael Reeves, 41, on 08 March 2003

2002 Salifu Ojo, 23, a farm laborer in southwest Ondo state, Nigeria, is arrested for killing with a machete Christiana Elijah, 40, mother of four, his boss, after a dispute over his pay. He chopped off her head, hands and legs, then removed her internal organs which he used as ingredients for a soup. Ojo confessed to other laborers after the soup made him vomit.
^Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announces cease-fire2001 Cease-fire offered to main Philippine rebels.

     The Philippines' new president [photo >] announces a cease-fire with the main separatist rebels in Mindanao, a resource-rich but economically backward region where fighting has claimed more than 120'000 lives over three decades. The rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have been fighting to make the region a Muslim republic. The rest of the Philippines is mainly Roman Catholic. The order for suspension of military operations will take effect as soon as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issues an executive order.
      The decision does not apply to a smaller but more radical Muslim separatist group, the Abu Sayyaf, which has outraged the government by kidnapping dozens of hostages. That group announces today that it has tortured an ailing US hostage, Jeffrey Schilling, to retaliate for US and British airstrikes on Iraq.
      Arroyo says that she hopes the MILF rebels in Mindanao will reciprocate quickly. "I would say that building peace would be less expensive than supporting an all-out war," she says. Acting Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita says that the verbal announcement "is as good as a written order for us."
      Mindanao, the poorest region of the Philippines, has 18 million residents and is about the size of Tennessee. It is rich in resources, including timber, fish and gold, but the average annual income in its poorest areas is about $200, compared with more than $1000 nationally.
      Since becoming president on 20 January during a "people power" revolt, Arroyo has made a top priority of resuming peace talks with MILF, as well as with communist guerrillas waging a Marxist insurgency nationwide. Her vice president and several Cabinet ministers come from the region which has long complained of government neglect.
      On 19 20 February01, Justice Secretary Hernando Perez said that Arroyo has approved the release of 49 alleged political prisoners, including Muslim and communist radicals, in an effort to speed renewal of the talks.
      Peace talks with the Muslim rebels collapsed in 2000 after then-President Joseph Estrada ordered a massive military campaign that captured many rebel camps in Mindanao. MILF officials did not immediately comment, but the group has welcomed Arroyo's peace overtures in recent weeks, including her decision to withdraw Estrada's "all-out war" policy.
      Arroyo said her order had three purposes: to create an environment to foster new talks, allow thousands of people who have been displaced by the conflict to return to their homes, and pave the way for rehabilitation and development projects in the area.
      The government has so far pursued a policy of no negotiations with the smaller Abu Sayyaf, calling its members mere bandits. The military has reported 187 clashes with Abu Sayyaf guerrillas since it launched a major offensive last September. The government has estimated that Abu Sayyaf numbers nearly 1300 members — about 10 times smaller than MILF.
^1999 Clinton impeachment aftermath: Lewinsky interview.
(1) After months of waiting for the go-ahead from Independent Counsel Ken Starr, Barbara Walters has taped her interview with Monica Lewinsky at a tightly guarded television studio in New York City.
  • Officially, the ABC network has nothing to say about it, but an ABC executive speaking on the condition of anonymity confirms the interview was done today.
  • Walters and ABC News President David Westin schedule a news conference for Feb. 22 to talk about the interview, which is expected to air over 90 minutes in prime-time on March 3 — the final day of a television "sweeps" period used to set local advertising rates. The date remains tentative. The network might decide to broadcast the interview sooner, the executive says.
  • Walters is expected to talk in her news conference about how ABC worked within restrictions placed on the interview by Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton and his relationship with the one-time White House intern. Lewinsky reportedly wasn't supposed to make statements going beyond what she's already told Starr's office and a grand jury.
  • Walter's landing of the Lewinsky interview is considered the biggest TV news coup of the presidential scandal, although its impact may have been diminished by Lewinsky's videotaped testimony during the Senate impeachment trial.
  • Guards were posted outside the studio when Lewinsky talked with Walters.
  • Walters won the interview last November, but Lewinsky couldn't talk until Starr granted his permission. Starr gave an in-depth interview that month to Walters' ABC colleague, Diane Sawyer.
  • Lewinsky had talked with Oprah Winfrey about an interview earlier last fall, but Winfrey said she had broken off talks when it became clear the former intern wanted to be compensated for the interview. ABC says it had not paid for its interview.
  • Roseanne Barr had offered to pay Lewinsky more than $1 million if she answered questions on the former sitcom star's talk show.
  • 1999 Triunfo del Partido Democrático del Pueblo (PDP), de Olusegun Obasanjo, en las elecciones celebradas en Nigeria.
    1998 Los representantes del Sinn Fein (brazo político del IRA) son temporalmente expulsados de la mesa de negociaciones de paz sobre ] Irlanda del Norte.
    1998 Primeras detenciones por pertenencia a grupos paramilitares de miembros de las fuerzas de seguridad de Colombia.
    1998 Estados Unidos finaliza sus operaciones en la Antártida, tras 43 años de presencia en la zona.
    1997 The Galileo spacecraft detects possible evidence of liquid water beneath the surface of Europa, satellite of Jupiter.
    ^1996 Microsoft names Internet division head.
          Microsoft named Brad Silverberg head of a new Internet division. The new division represented a major change in Microsoft's business strategy. In December 1995, Bill Gates had denied that the company would start a division dedicated to the Internet. Earlier in the month, Microsoft had killed a programming tool for its proprietary online service, the Microsoft Network, announcing it would concentrate its efforts on a Web programming tool instead. Over the next year, the company invested in a series of expensive online publishing ventures, including Slate magazine, various Web shows, and a number of online commerce sites, as well as hardware and software aimed at developing and serving Web sites. After two years, the company changed direction again, cutting back on content and focusing on commerce sites and services. 1996 H&R Block spins off CompuServe Formerly under one umbrella, H&R Block announced that it would turn CompuServe into an independent company on 20 February 1996. The spin-off was delayed several times throughout the following year, as CompuServe's financial struggles continued. The company was finally spun off late in 1996. 1998 AOL, MCI subpoenaed in Microsoft antitrust suit On this day in 1998, the Justice Department subpoenaed America Online, MCI, and other Internet service providers as part of its probe into Microsoft's business practices. When the antitrust suit opened in the fall, AOL claimed that Microsoft pressured the company into using its Internet Explorer rather than Netscape's browser software.
    1994 Three Afghans take 70 Pakistani children hostage.
    1993 Police in Liverpool, England, charges two 10-year-old boys with the 12 Feb 1993 abduction and slaying of toddler James Bulger, a crime that shocked the country and terrified parents. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were later convicted.
    1992 On Larry King Show, Ross Perot says he'll run for President.
    1991 100'000 personas se manifiestan en Tirana por la democratización de Albania. [contra la tiranía de Tirana]
    1990 El Soviet Supremo estudia el proyecto de disgregación de las repúblicas de la URSS.
    1989 Total eclipse of the Moon.
    1986 La URSS coloca en el espacio la estación orbital 'Mir'.
    1978 Egypt announces it is pulling its diplomats out of Cyprus.
    1977 Carlos Humberto Romero, elegido presidente de El Salvador.
    1975 Margaret Thatcher elected leader of British Conservative Party
    ^1974 The Atlanta Constitution editor is kidnapped
          Reg Murphy, the editor of The Atlanta Constitution, is kidnapped after being lured from his home near the city. William Williams told the newspaperman that he had 300'000 gallons of heating oil to donate to the poor. The 25-year-old Williams abducted Murphy, who was well known for his anti-Vietnam War stance, at gunpoint. For the next 49 hours, Williams drove Murphy around the city, stopping to phone in ransom demands to the newspaper. Williams claimed to represent a right-wing militia group and insisted on receiving $700'000. Finally, managing editor Jim Minter delivered the money to Williams and Murphy was released. Within hours, Williams and his wife Betty were caught in their home outside the city with the ransom money. Later, Murphy described Williams as "just plain mean as hell.. At the subsequent trial, Williams attempted a plea of mental instability and told the jury about being abused as a child. There was also evidence that he had been using amphetamines. Williams was sentenced to 40 years for kidnapping and extortion, and his wife received three years' probation for her concealment of the crime. Williams spent nine years in federal prison before receiving a parole conditioned on staying away from the state of Georgia. When the requirement expired, Williams, who became a born-again Christian and remarried, returned to the Atlanta area.
    1972 Arturo Armando Molina Barraza, se convierte en presidente de El Salvador.
    1971 Major General Idi Amin Dada appoints himself President of Uganda
    1971 The National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered radio and TV stations across the US to go off the air. Some stations heed the alert, which is not lifted for about 40 minutes.
    ^1968 US Senate hearings on Vietnam policy begin.
          The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins hearings to investigate American policy in Vietnam. This was a direct result of the Tet Offensive, in which Viet Cong forces, supported by large numbers of North Vietnamese troops, launched the largest and best-coordinated offensive of the war. During the attack, the Viet Cong drove into the center of South Vietnam's seven largest cities and attacked 30 provincial capitals ranging from the Delta to the DMZ. Efforts to assess the offensive's impact began well before the fighting officially ended. Militarily, Tet was decidedly an Allied victory, but psychologically and politically, it was a disaster. The offensive had indeed been a crushing military defeat for the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese, but the size and scope of the communist attacks had caught the American and South Vietnamese allies completely by surprise. The early reporting of a smashing communist victory went largely uncorrected in the media and led to a psychological victory for the communists. The heavy US and South Vietnamese casualties incurred during the offensive, coupled with the disillusionment over the earlier overly optimistic reports of progress in the war, accelerated the growing disenchantment with President Johnson's conduct of the war. This disenchantment caused congressional opponents to call for hearings. Early sessions in the congressional hearings focused on the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, which had led to the passage of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, the legal basis for Johnson's escalation of the war. Senators William Fulbright (D-Arkansas) and Wayne Morse (D-Oregon) charged that the Defense Department had withheld information on US naval activities in the Gulf that provoked North Vietnam, leading to the charge of a "credibility gap." At issue was whether the administration had provided Congress with truthful data at the time it was seeking passage of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in August 1964, which had considerably broadened the president's war-making authority in Southeast Asia. There was no firm resolution of the charges, but the debate reached a new intensity when the New York Times reported that General William Westmoreland, US commander in Saigon, had requested another 206'000 soldiers. The possibility of another major troop increase provoked a stormy reaction in Congress — both Democrats and Republicans demanded an explanation and insisted that Congress share in any decision to expand the war. In March, 139 members of the House of Representatives sponsored a resolution calling for a full review of American policy in Vietnam. Eventually the Tet Offensive and the subsequent congressional reaction helped convince Johnson, who was frustrated with his inability to reach a solution in Vietnam, to announce that he would neither seek nor accept the nomination of his party for president.
    1965 Turkish government of Uergüplü forms.
    ^ 1962 First US astronaut to orbit the Earth
          From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Lieutenant Colonel John Hershel Glenn, Jr., is successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut. After separating from the Atlas D launching rocket, the bell-shaped capsule entered into an orbit around the earth at an average speed of 28'000 km/h. During Friendship 7’s first orbit, Glenn noticed what he described as small, glowing fireflies drifting by the capsule’s tiny window. It was some time later that NASA mission control determined that the sparks were crystallized water vapor released by the capsule’s air-conditioning system. However, before the end of the first orbit, a more serious problem occurred when Friendship 7’s automatic control system began to malfunction, sending the capsule spinning out of control. Glenn switched into manual control and regained control of the craft.
          Towards the end of Glenn’s third and last orbit, mission control received a mechanical single from space indicating that the straps holding the heat shield on the base of the capsule were loose. Traveling at nearly twenty-three times the speed of sound, the capsule would be incinerated if the shield failed to absorb and dissipate the 5000-degree Celsius reentry temperatures. It was decided that the craft’s retrorockets, usually jettisoned before reentry, would be left on in order to better secure the heat shield. Minutes later, Friendship 7 slammed into the earth’s atmosphere. During Glenn’s fiery descent back to earth, the straps holding the retrorockets gave way and flapped violently by his window as a shroud of ions caused by excessive friction enveloped the spacecraft, causing Glenn to lose radio contact with earth. As mission control anxiously waited for the resumption of radio transmissions that would indicate Friendship 7’s successful reentry, Glenn watched flaming chunks of retrorocket, heat shield, and spacecraft fly by his window. However, moments later, Glenn’s voice crackled through loudspeakers at mission control and Friendship 7 safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean. John Glenn, the third American in space and the first to orbit the earth, was hailed as a national hero.
          Over thirty-six years later, on 29 October 1998, Glenn, then a seventy-seven-year-old former US senator from Ohio, became the oldest human to ever travel in space. During his nine days in space aboard the space shuttle Discovery, he served as part of a NASA scientific study on the health problems associated with aging.
    — John Glenn est le premier cosmonaute américain à faire le tour de la Terre. Il accomplit son vol en 4h56 à bord de la capsule Mercury. C’est un pas significatif des Américains dans la course à l’espace inaugurée par les Soviétiques.
    1954 General Zahedi wins election in Persia.
    1953 El cuadro de Francisco de Goya y Lucientes Dama con abanico, es vendido en Londres por 1400 libras esterlinas. — GOYA LINKS
    ^1950 Welsh poet Dylan Thomas arrives in New York.
          Dylan Thomas arrives in New York for his first reading tour of the United States. His four US tours were wildly successful but ended with Thomas' death at age 39. Thomas was born and raised in Swansea, Wales, where he was a poor student. He dropped out of school at age 16 and became a newspaper reporter. Before he turned 20, he won a newspaper poetry contest. His first book, Eighteen Poems, was published in 1934, followed by Twenty-five Poems in 1936. At age 21, Thomas moved to London, where he met Caitlin Macnamara in a pub. Although the lively Irish girl did not initially find him attractive, his charm won her over, and the pair married the following year, the beginning of a long, tumultuous, and ultimately unhappy marriage. Despite the couple's domestic turmoil, they had three children. Meanwhile, Thomas published several highly acclaimed books, including Deaths and Entrances in 1946 and Collected Poems in 1953. His powerful style, combining compassion and violence, made his readings in the United States a success. However, during his tours, he drank recklessly. In 1953, he collapsed after drinking 17 whiskeys at the White Horse Inn on Hudson Street in New York City and died at age 39.
    1948 Czechoslovakia's non-communist minister resigns
    ^1947 Last British viceroy of India
          Lord Louis Mountbatten, a great-grandson of Queen Victoria who served as an Allied commander during World War II, is named the last British viceroy, or colonial administrator, of India. As Britain had promised independence to India at the end of World War II, Mountbatten’s appointment enrages many Indians, leading to violence and mass protests. However, later in the year, Lord Mountbatten proves instrumental in concluding the negotiations for the former Mogul Empire, and on 15 August 1947, India and Pakistan gain independence. Mohandas Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, hails the granting of independence to India as the "noblest act of the British nation." Mountbatten later serves as Britain’s military chief of staff and as the governor of the England’s Isle of Wight. On 27 August 1979, his fishing yacht is blown up by an Irish Republican Army terrorist bomb off of Mullaghmore, Ireland, killing him, his grandson, and two other royal relatives.
    1944 US takes Eniwetok Island.
    1944 During World War II, US bombers begin raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers in a series of attacks that would become known as "Big Week."
    1943 Allied troops occupy Kasserine pass in Tunisia.
    1943 Movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies informally. World War II led to a proliferation of war-themed films, and the government feared that vital information might be disclosed through movies.
    1943 New volcano Paracutin erupts in farmer's corn patch (México)
    ^1942 First US Navy Ace in WWII
          In the southwest Pacific Ocean, Lieutenant Edward H. "Butch" O’Hare becomes the first US Navy flying ace of World War II while defending the USS. Lexington from a Japanese bomber attack. The aircraft carrier Lexington had been assigned the dangerous task of penetrating Japanese-held water north of New Guinea on a mission to attack Japanese shipping in the harbor at Rabaul, New Ireland. While still four hundred miles from Rabaul, a Japanese Kawanishi flying boat discovered the Lexington and radioed back the carrier’s position before the US Wildcat fighters had time to shoot it down. The first wave of nine Japanese twin-engine Betty bombers sent to destroy the Lexington were decimated by a squadron of Wildcat fighters under Lieutenant Commander John Thach, but a second wave arrived minutes later. Six more Wildcats, one of them piloted by Butch O’Hare, roared off the Lexington’s deck to intercept the Betty bombers. When O’Hare and his wingman spotted the second wave, the rest of the squadron was too far away, so the two pilots were forced to engage the Japanese bombers alone. Moments later, O’Hare’s wingman discovered that his guns were jammed, and he was forced to turn away. Nevertheless, O’Hare dived toward the heavy bombers, and within five minutes, in an extraordinary display of marksmanship and flying ability, he shot down five of the bombers and damaged a sixth. Commander Thatch, approaching from a distance, reported that at one point he saw three of the bombers falling in flames at the same time. O’Hare ran out of ammunition just as Thatch and other Wildcat pilots arrived to take care of the rest of the bombers. For his bold defense of the Lexington, O’Hare was promoted to lieutenant commander and awarded the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor. In November of 1943, he was killed in action over the Gilbert Islands. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and the US destroyer O’Hare were later named in his honor.
               Lt. Edward O'Hare takes off from the aircraft carrier Lexington in a raid against the Japanese position at Rabaul-and minutes later becomes America's first flying ace. In mid-February 1942, the Lexington sailed into the Coral Sea. Rabaul, a town at the very tip of New Britain, one of the islands that comprised the Bismarck Archipelago, had been invaded in January by the Japanese and transformed into a stronghold — in fact, one huge airbase. The Japanese were now in prime striking position for the Solomon Islands, next on the agenda for expanding their ever-growing Pacific empire. The Lexington's mission was to destabilize the Japanese position on Rabaul with a bombing raid. Aboard the Lexington was US Navy fighter pilot Lt. Edward O'Hare, attached to Fighting Squadron 3 when the United States entered the war. As the Lexington left Bougainville, the largest of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific (and still free from Japanese control), for Rabaul, ship radar picked up Japanese bombers headed straight for the carrier. O'Hare and his team went into action, piloting F4F Wildcats. In a mere four minutes, O'Hare shot down five Japanese G4M1 Betty bombers — bringing a swift end to the Japanese attack and earning O'Hare the designation "ace" (given to any pilot who had five or more downed enemy planes to his credit). Although the Lexington blew back the Japanese bombers, the element of surprise was gone, and the attempt to raid Rabaul was aborted for the time being. O'Hare was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery — and excellent aim.
    1941 first transport of Jews to concentration camps leave Plotsk Poland.
    1941 Nazis order Polish Jews barred from using public transportation.
    1938 Anthony Eden resigned as British foreign secretary in a dispute with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
    1933 The US House of Representatives completes congressional action on an contitutional amendment to repeal Prohibition.
    1932 Japanese troops occupy Tunhua China.
    1929 American Samoa organized as a territory of US.
    1922 Vilnius, Lithuania, agrees to separate from Poland.
    1921 Riza Khan Pahlevi seizes control of Iran.
    1919 French premier Clemenceau injured during assassination attempt.
    1909 Le Manifeste Futuriste is published: read it at ART “4” FEBRUARY
    1901 The first territorial legislature of Hawaii convenes.
    ^1893 Philadelphia and Reading Railroad in receivership.
          1893 was a rough time for America's railroads, with seventy-four companies falling prey to bankruptcy before the end of the year. The railroads' woes, as well as the larger financial crisis which engulfed the nation that year, were ushered in on 20 February when the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad fell into receivership. A key transporter for Pennsylvania's anthracite mine industry, the Philadelphia and Reading had run up debts totaling $125 million. At the root of the company's troubles was an ill-fated decision in the 1870s to purchase 30 percent of Pennsylvania's anthracite mine property. The deal forced the Philadelphia and Reading into receivership twice during the 1880s and continued to plague it throughout the early 1890s. By 1893, the company was part of an economic powder keg waiting to go off in the country's face. Along with falling gold reserves, failing companies, and a spiraling stock market, the Philadelphia and Reading's woes helped plunged America into the Panic of 1893. The nation eventually recovered, as did the Philadelphia and Reading, which survived in various forms before fiscal difficulties finally drove it out of business in the early 1970s.
    1887 Germany, Austria-Hungary and France end Triple Alliance
    1878 Following the death of Pius IX, Italian cardinal Gioacchino Pecci, 67, was elected Pope Leo XIII. His papacy, possibly the century's most productive, was best known for his teaching encyclicals and for establishing in 1902 the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
    1877 first cantilever bridge in US completed, Harrodsburg KY
    1869 Tennessee Governor W C Brownlow declares martial law in Ku Klux Klan crisis
    1864 Civil War Battle of Olustee (Ocean Pond), Florida
    1846 British occupy Sikh citadel of Lahore
    ^1846 La France impose un édit de tolérance à la Chine
          La France impose à la Chine un édit de tolérance en faveur du christianisme. Le christianisme était arrivé très tôt en Chine sous sa forme nestorienne (de Nestorius, un patriarche de Constantinople). Au XVIIe siècle, le jésuite Matteo Ricci avait initié la cour des empereurs Ming aux sciences occidentales. Il s'en fallut de peu que la cour ne se convertit à un catholicisme revisité par Confucius. Mais au XIXe siècle, la Chine des empereurs mandchous est en pleine décadence et accuse un grave retard sur l'Occident. Rivales mais néanmoins alliées, l'Angleterre, la France et l'Amérique imposent à l'empereur Tao-kouang l'ouverture de plusieurs ports et même la liberté de commerce de l'opium. Les missionnaires et les communautés chrétiennes sont alors perçus comme les agents de l'Occident pervers et "barbare". Malgré l'édit de tolérance de 1846, les persécutions reprendront au bout de quelques années. Elles fourniront à Napoléon III et au gouvernement britannique le prétexte de nouvelles interventions militaires. Elles se conclueront en 1860 par l'incendie du Palais d'Eté, à Pékin, et par de nouveaux avantages commerciaux!
          La France impose à la Chine un édit de tolérance en faveur du christianisme. L'édit autorise la pratique de la religion dans les principaux ports et interdit toute forme de persécution. Il ordonne même la reconstruction des vieilles églises détruites lors des persécutions précédentes. Le christianisme s'est acclimaté en Chine dès les premiers siècles de notre ère sous sa forme nestorienne (de Nestorius, un patriarche de Constantinople). Plus tard, à l'époque de Louis XIV, le jésuite Matteo Ricci et ses compagnons ont séduit la cour des empereurs Ming en témoignant de leur grandes compétences... dans les sciences et l'astronomie. Il s'en fallut de peu que la cour ne se convertit. Mais des Européens zélés excluèrent tout accommodement entre le catholicisme et le culte des ancêtres, de sorte que les jésuites durent renoncer à leur entreprise. Au XIXe siècle, la Chine des empereurs mandchous est en pleine décadence et accuse un grave retard sur l'Occident. Rivales mais néanmoins alliées, l'Angleterre, la France et les Etats-Unis imposent à l'empereur Tao-kouang l'ouverture de plusieurs ports et même la liberté de commerce de l'opium. Les missionnaires et les communautés chrétiennes sont perçus comme les agents de l'Occident pervers et «barbare» et font les frais des ressentiments éprouvés par beaucoup de Chinois. C'est ainsi que le plénipotentiaire français exige de l'empereur un édit pour remédier à ces persécutions. Selon son habitude, le gouvernement impérial se soumet dans l'idée de gagner du temps. Les persécutions n'en reprendront pas moins au bout de quelques années. Elles fourniront à Napoléon III et au gouvernement britannique le prétexte à de nouvelles interventions militaires. Elles se conclueront en 1860 par l'incendie du Palais d'Eté, à Pékin, et par de nouveaux avantages commerciaux pour les «diables roux»!
    1839 The US Congress prohibits dueling in the District of Columbia.
    ^1832 Darwin visits Fernando Noronha island in Atlantic Ocean
         He makes this entry in The Voyage of the Beagle:
    FERNANDO NORONHA, Feb. 20th. — As far as I was enabled to observe, during the few hours we stayed at this place, the constitution of the island is volcanic, but probably not of a recent date. The most remarkable feature is a conical hill, about one thousand feet high, the upper part of which is exceedingly steep, and on one side overhangs its base. The rock is phonolite, and is divided into irregular columns. On viewing one of these isolated masses, at first one is inclined to believe that it has been suddenly pushed up in a semi-fluid state. At St. Helena, however, I ascertained that some pinnacles, of a nearly similar figure and constitution, had been formed by the injection of melted rock into yielding strata, which thus had formed the moulds for these gigantic obelisks. The whole island is covered with wood; but from the dryness of the climate there is no appearance of luxuriance. Half-way up the mountain, some great masses of the columnar rock, shaded by laurel-like trees, and ornamented by others covered with fine pink flowers but without a single leaf, gave a pleasing effect to the nearer parts of the scenery.
          On 27 December 1831, British naturalist Charles Robert Darwin had set out from Plymouth, England, aboard the HMS Beagle, on a five-year surveying expedition of the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Visiting such diverse places as Fernando Noronha island, Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, wildlife, and geology of many lands. This information proves invaluable in the development of his theory of evolution, first put forth in his groundbreaking scientific work of 1859, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Darwin's theory of natural selection argues that species are the result of a gradual biological evolution of living organisms in which nature encourages, through natural selection, those species best suited to their environments to propagate future descendants. The Origin of Species is the first significant work on the theory of evolution, and is greeted with great interest in the scientific world, although it is also violently attacked because it contradicts the account of creation given in the Bible. Nevertheless, the work, unquestionably one of the most important in the history of science, eventually succeeds in gaining acceptance from almost all biologists.
         The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life would be published in England on 24 November 1859. Darwin's theory of natural selection argues that species are the result of a gradual biological evolution of living organisms in which nature encourages, through natural selection, those species best suited to their environments to propagate future descendants.
         The first printing of 1250 copies sells out in a single day. By 1872, it would have run through six editions, and become one of the most influential books of modern times. Darwin, the privileged and well-connected son of a successful English doctor, had been interested in botany and natural sciences since his boyhood, despite the discouragement of his early teachers. At Cambridge, he found professors and scientists with similar interests and with their help began participating in scientific voyages. He traveled around South America for five years as an unpaid botanist on the HMS Beagle. By the time Darwin returned, he had developed an outstanding reputation as a field researcher and scientific writer, based on his many papers and letters dispatched from South America and the Galapagos Islands, which were read at meetings of prominent scientific societies in London. Darwin began publishing studies of zoology and geology as soon as he returned from his voyage. Fearing the fate of other scientists, like Copernicus and Galileo, who had published radical scientific theories, Darwin held off publishing his theory of natural selection for years. He secretly developed his theory during two decades of surreptitious research following his trip on the Beagle. Meanwhile, he married and had seven children. He finally published Origin of Species after another scientist began publishing papers with similar ideas. His book laid the groundwork for modern botany, cellular biology, and genetics. He died in 1882.
          Darwin, who was influenced by the work of French naturalist Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, and later by English scientist Alfred Russel Wallace, acquired most of the evidence for his theory during a five-year surveying expedition aboard the HMS Beagle during the 1830s. Visiting such diverse places as Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, wildlife, and geology of many lands. This information, along with his experiments with variation and interbreeding after returning to England, proved invaluable in the development of his theory of natural selection. His On the Origin of Species is the first significant work on the theory of evolution, and is greeted with great interest in the scientific world, although it is also violently attacked because it contradicts the account of creation given in the Bible. Nevertheless, the work, unquestionably one of the most important in the history of science, eventually succeeds in gaining acceptance from almost all biologists.
          Darwin, born 12 February 1809 the privileged and well-connected son of successful English doctor Robert Waring Darwin, had been interested in botany and natural sciences since his boyhood, despite the discouragement of his early teachers. At Cambridge, he found professors and scientists with similar interests and with their help began participating in scientific voyages, including the HMS Beagle's trip.
          By the time Darwin returned, he had developed an outstanding reputation as a field researcher and scientific writer, based on his many papers and letters dispatched from South America and the Galapagos Islands, which were read at meetings of prominent scientific societies in London. Darwin began publishing studies of zoology and geology as soon as he returned from his voyage, while also secretly working on his radical theory of evolution.
          Knowing that scientists who had published radical theories before had been ostracized or worse, Darwin held off on publishing his theory of natural selection for nearly two decades. Meanwhile, he married and had seven children. He finally published On the Origin of Species after another scientist began publishing papers with similar ideas. His book laid the groundwork for modern botany, cellular biology, and genetics. He died on 19 April 1882.

    DARWIN ONLINE:    ^top^
  • The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
  • The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
  • The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
  • The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms, With Observations on Their Habits
  • The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants
  • On the Origin of Species
  • On the Origin of Species
  • On the Origin of Species (zipped PDF)
  • On the Origin of Species (6th edition)
  • The Voyage of the Beagle
  • The Voyage of the Beagle
  • The Descent of Man
  • The Descent of Man
  • The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication) volume 1 , volume 2
  • The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication (PDF)
  • The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs
  • The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin volume I , volume II
  • The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (in The Life and Letters...)
  • More Letters of Charles Darwin volume I: , volume II
  • 1835 Un terremoto en Chile causa graves daños en las regiones de Valparaíso y Valdivia.
    1831 Polish revolutionaries defeat Russians in battle of Growchow
    1831 Les grandes puissances proclament la neutralité de la jeune Belgique.
    1828 Paraguay proclama su independencia.
    1823 English Captain James Weddell reaches 74º 15' S, 1520 km from South Pole
    1811 Austria declares bankruptcy
    1811 A la suite de la publication de son Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem, François-René de Chateaubriand est élu à l'Académie française. Napoléon qui n'admet pas qu'un opposant puisse être reçu sous la coupole lui interdit de prononcer son discours de réception.
    1809 The US Supreme Court rules that the power of the federal government is greater than that of any individual state.
    1768 first American chartered fire insurance company receives charter (Pennsylvania)
    1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie occupies Castle of Inverness
    1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie's troops occupy Fort August, Scotland.
    1737 French minister of Finance, Chauvelin, resigns under pressure. — Chauvelin, secrétaire d'Etat aux Affaires étrangères, est tenu responsable par Fleury, ministre de Louis XV, de l'engagement de la France dans la guerre de Succession de Pologne qui se révèle ruineuse ; il est écarté du pouvoir et exilé.
    1732 Estates of Holland ratifies Treaty of Vienna
    1547 King Edward VI of England was enthroned following death of Henry VIII.
    1525 Swiss and German mercenaries desert François I's army.
    1524 Carlos I (rey de España y V emperador de Alemania) ordena estudiar la posibilidad de unir el Mar del Sur (Pacífico) con el Mar del Norte (Atlántico) por el istmo de Panamá.
    1524 Fears prove unfounded which resulted from the prediction of mathematician and astrologer Johannes Stoeffler that, on this day, would occur twenty conjunctions, small, mean and great, of which sixteen will occupy a watery sign, signifying to well-nigh the whole world, climates, kingdoms, provinces, estates, signatories, brutes, beasts of the sea, and to all dwellers on earth indubitable mutation, variation and alteration such as we have scarce perceived for many centuries from historiographers and our elders.
    < 19 Feb 21 Feb >
    ^ Deaths which occurred on a 20 February:

    500'002'000 Life on Earth, as plant life can no longer be sustained due to most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere having gone into calcium carbonate in the oceans, according to what James F. Kasting said on 20 February 2000. (approximate date, give or take a few hundred million years) {He is not to be confused with Central Kasting)

    2005 Caitlin Oto, 16, crushed by boulders and rocks crashing through the roof of her bedroom, where she was working on the computer, in an apartment above the Shadybrook Country Store, owned by her mother and stepfather, in Orange County's rural Silverado Canyon area east of Irvine, California. After extraordinarily heavy rains in the last few days, the steep canyon wall collapsed and released a rush of mud, rock, and trees, with a deafening sound. Caitlin was a junior at El Modena High School in Orange.
    2005 Gerilyn Marie Ewing, 45, of Reno, Nevada, by an avalanche while she was skiing between the Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley ski resorts north of Lake Tahoe in California. Some 50 cm of snow had fallen in the area in three days.
    2005 Hunter Stocton Thompson, US counterculture writer born on 18 July 1937, shoots himself. He made himself a partly fictionalized character in his journalistic style sarcastic writing in newspapers, magazines, and books such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1972, about his visit to LV) — Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72Fear and Loathing in AmericaGeneration of SwineSongs of the DoomedThe Rum Diary (his first novel, written 1959, published 1998) {first chapter}The Great Shark HuntHell's AngelsThe Proud Highway — Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness {the links on titles are to book reviews}

    2003:: 96 persons: Kevin P. Anderson, 37; Stacie J. Angers, 29; Louis S. Alves, 33; Christopher Arruda, 30; Eugene Avilez, 21; Tina M. Ayer, 33; Karla Bagtaz, 41; Mary H. Baker, 32; Thomas A. Barnett, 38; Laureen M. (DeSantis) Beauchaine, 35; Steven Thomas Blom, 39; William Christopher Bonardi III, 36; Richard A. Cabral Jr., 37; Kristine M. Carbone, 38; William W. Cartwright, 42; Edward B. Corbet III, 31; Michael Cordier, 31; Alfred Carmino Crisostomi, 38; Robert Croteau, 31; Kevin J. Dunn, 37; Lisa D'Andrea, 42; Matthew P. Darby, 36; Dina Ann (Belanger) DeMaio [20 Feb 1973–]; Rachael K. Florio-DePietro , 31; Albert Anthony DiBonaventura, 18; Christina DiRienzo, 37; Edward Ervanian, 29; Thomas Fleming, 30; Mark A. Fontaine, 22; Daniel John Frederickson, 37; Michael A. Fresolo, 32; James C. Gahan , 21; Melvin Gerfin Jr., 46; Laura L. Gillett, 32; Charline Elaine Gingras-Fick, 35; Michael James Gonsalves, 40; James Gooden, 37; Scott Griffith, 41; Derek Gray, 22; Skott C. Greene, 35; Bonnie L. Hamelin, 27; Jude Henault, 37; Andrew Hoban , 22; Abbie L. Hoisington, 28; Michael Hoogasian, 31, and his wife Sandy Hoogasian, 27; Carlton “Bud” Howorth III, 39; Eric James Hyer, 32; Derek Brian Johnson, 32; Lisa Kelly, 27; Tracy F. King, 39; Michael Joseph Kulz, 30; Keith Lapierre, 29; Dale L. Latulippe, 46; Stephen M. Libera , 21; John M. Longiaru , 23; Ty Longley [04 Sep 1971 ]; Judith Manzo , 37; Steven Mancini, 39, and his wife Andrea Louise Mancini, 28; Keith Anthony Mancini, 34; Thomas Frank Marion Jr., 27; Jeffrey W. Martin, 33; Tammy A. Mattera-Housa, 29; Kristen Leigh McQuarrie, 37; Thomas Medeiros, 40, and his girlfriend Lori K. (Roe) Durante, 40; Samuel J. Miceli Jr., 37; Leigh Ann Moreau, 21; Ryan M. Morin, 31; Jason Morton, 38; Beth Ellen Mosczynski, 33; Donna M. Mitchell, 29; Nicholas Philip O'Neill, 18; Katherine O'Donnell, 26; Matthew James Pickett, 23; Carlos L. Pimentel Sr., 38; Christopher Prouty, 34; Jeffrey Rader, 32; Theresa Rakoski, 30; Robert L. Reisner III, 29; Walter Rich, 40; Donald Paul “Inky” Roderiques , 46, and his friend Victor Stark , 39; Tracey Romanoff, 32; Joseph E. Rossi, 35; Bridget Sanetti , 25; Rebecca Shaw, 24; Dennis Smith , 36; Shawn Patrick Sweet , 28; Jason Sylvester, 24; Sarah Jane Telgarsky, 37; Kevin R. Washburn , 30; Everett Thomas ''Tommy'' Woodmansee III, 30; Robert Daniel Young, 29; Benjamin J. Suffoletto Jr., 43; due to fire [photo below], during concert by Great White “heavy metal” rock band (of which Longley was the lead guitarist) at nightclub The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island, after 23:00 (during the first song), when fireworks (for which the club did not have a city permit) ignite the soundproofing foam in the back of the stage and the low hanging ceiling and, within 3 minutes, fire engulfs the whole wooden building (which was not required to have sprinklers), and the dense smoke prevents most of the 350 persons inside (50 more than legal capacity) from seeing the three back exits, so that most stampede to the front exit. Gonsalves was DJ “Doctor Metal” who had just introduced the band. Legal assistant (by day) DeMaio was moonlighting as a waitress at the club. So were the Mancinis (bouncer and cashier). 187 are injured, of which one (Linda Suffoletto, 43, wife of Benjamin Suffoletto listed above) would die on 28 February, one (Kelly Vieira, 40) on 01 March, one (Mitchell Shubert, 39) on 06 March.
    fire at The Station

    2003 Robert Deneth, shot by Saud bin Ali bin Nasser, 30, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Deneth, a British employee of British aviation and aerospace company BAE Systems, was driving and stopped at a stop-and-go light.
    2002 Brenda, 10; Jonathan, 6; Cecelia, 4; and Anthony García, 2, by carbon monoxide from a smoking charcoal grill in their Pico Rivera, California, home, as they are sleeping in the early morning. Another sibling, 6, dies the next day. The last sibling, a girl, 9, and the father Adair García, 30, are hospitalized. He is believed to have caused this as a murder-suicide and will be charged with murder.
    ^2002 Over 400 in burning Egyptian train.
          The 11-car third-class Aswan-bound train 832 crowded with Egyptians leaving the capital for a holiday caught fire at 02:00 (23:00 UT on 19 Feb) and sped on in flames for three kilometers, killing more than 400 persons, including some who died as they jumped from the burning cars. The cause of the fire was probably a burst gas cylinder or an overturned portable stove illegally used by passengers for cooking.
          Each car designed to hold about 150 passengers was crammed with possibly twice that number, so that as many as 3000 persons may have been aboard, and certainly more than 1200. The train was so full that many passengers were sitting on the floor.
          The train had left Cairo on its 500-km journey to Luxor at about 23:30 the previous day and the fire broke out about 01:00. The train traveled in flames for 3 km before finally stopping at Reqa al-Gharbiya, a village 75 km south of Cairo, when the engineers finally realized what was happening and uncoupled the seven burning cars from the front nine. The flames were put out hours later. [photo below: the burnt-out train in the afternoon]
          Some of the corpses were under seats as if people had retreated there in hopes of finding safety. Corpses had melded together in piles on the train.
          At least 65 persons were treated for injuries, most in the hospital in the nearest town, Ayyat, 20 km to the north.
          Many of the passengers were going to their home villages for Eid al-Adha, or the "Feast of the Sacrifice," a four-day holiday that, in 2002, starts on 22 February. The holiday commemorating God's provision of a ram to Abraham as a substitute sacrifice instead of his son is regarded as the most important feast in the Islamic calendar (it also marks the beginning of the Hadj).
          The rail line linking Cairo with southern Egypt is closed indefinitely. This is the deadliest train accident in years in a country where such tragedies are common. In 1998, 47 people were killed when a train jumped its rails and slammed into a crowded town square. The state-owned Egyptian Railway Authority has been plagued by overstaffing, old equipment and poor service. It relies on heavy state subsidies to operate some 1300 trains every day, keeping fares low for the poor Egyptians who rely on the trains.
    burnt-out train
    ^1996 Sophia G. Reuther, 82, the first woman organizer for the United Auto Workers and wife of UAW organizer Victor Reuther, from stomach cancer, in Fort Myers, Florida.
          "Sophie Reuther brought energy and vitality to the young UAW," said UAW President Stephen P. Yokich. "As the first woman organizer on the UAW's staff in 1936, she helped thousands of workers improve their lives through union membership." Mrs. Reuther's labor activism began in the early 1930s when she raised money for striking shipyard workers. She met her future husband at Brookwood Labor College in Katona, N.Y. In 1937, she was hired by the UAW and sent to Anderson, Ind., for a campaign to organize the General Motors Guide Lamp plant. "Her organizing and speaking skills helped bring the union to workers at Guide Lamp, where she faced up to anti-union vigilantes; at Kelsey Hayes in Detroit, where her knowledge of the Polish language helped organize Polish-speaking workers, and at many other workplaces," Yokich said. She left the union staff in a purge in 1937 that included her husband and brother-in-law Roy, but she continued as a volunteer. Mrs. Reuther moved to Paris in 1951, where her husband was European director for the Congress of Industrial Organizations. They returned to the United States in 1954 and Victor went back to work for the UAW, which by then was led by his brother, Walter. In 1968, Mrs. Reuther earned a degree in fine arts from George Washington University.
    1995 Robert Bolt, dramaturgo británico.
    ^1993 Ferrucio Lamborghini, tractor and luxury car maker.
          Born on his family’s farm outside of Bologna, Italy, Lamborghini grew up tinkering with tractors. He enrolled in an industrial college near Bologna, where he studied machinery. Graduating just before World War II, Lamborghini then served as an engineer in the Italian Air Force. After the war he returned to his family’s farm and began assembling tractors from leftover war vehicles. Lamborghini built such high-quality tractors that by the mid-1950s, the Lamborghini Tractor Company had become one of Italy’s largest farm equipment manufacturers. But Ferrucio dreamt of cars. In 1963 he bought land, built an ultra-modern factory, and hired distinguished Alfa Romeo designer Giotti Bizzarini. Together they set out to create the ultimate automobile. In 1964 Lamborghini produced the 300 GT, a large and graceful sports car. By 1974 Ferrucio Lamborghini had sold out of the business bearing his name, but the company would never deviate from his initial mission to create exquisite vehicles at whatever cost.
    1992 Roberto D'Aubuisson Arrieta, político salvadoreño, fundador del partido ARENA.
    ^1976 SEATO disbands
          After operating for 22 years, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization concludes its final military exercise and quietly shuts down. SEATO had been one of the bulwarks of America's Cold War policies in Asia, but the Vietnam War did much to destroy its cohesiveness and question its effectiveness. SEATO was formed in 1954 during a meeting in Manila called by US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Eight nations-the United States, France, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, and Pakistan-joined together in the regional defense organization to "stem the tide of communism in Asia." At the time, that "tide" was most threatening in Southeast Asia, particularly in the former-French colony of Vietnam. There, a revolution led by the communist Ho Chi Minh resulted, in 1954, in an agreement for the withdrawal of French forces, the temporary division of Vietnam (with Ho's forces in control in the north), and nationwide elections two years hence to reunify the nation and select a president. The United States, believing that Ho was merely a pawn for international communism, reacted by establishing SEATO and including "South Vietnam" (which was not technically an independent nation) under its umbrella of protection.
          When the United States became fully committed to the Vietnam War in 1965, it called upon its SEATO allies for assistance. Only Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand responded with a few thousand troops and other aid. This made clear that the driving force behind SEATO was the United States. Despite their anticommunist rhetoric, Great Britain and France wanted no part of another Asian war and Pakistan simply wanted the military assistance that membership in SEATO granted. As the war in Vietnam became increasingly frustrating and unpopular, SEATO began to crack. By the time the conflict in Vietnam ended in 1975 — with South Vietnam's fall to the communist North Vietnamese — only five nations were left to carry out the final SEATO military exercise in February 1976. A mere 188 troops from the United States, Great Britain, the Philippines, Thailand, and New Zealand showed up in the Philippines to conduct what was basically a civic action operation. Roads, schools, and a dam were built by the troops in the Philippine countryside. Afterwards, while "Auld Lang Syne" was played, closing ceremonies marked the end of SEATO.
    ^1972 Walter Winchell, 74, fast-talking radio personality and newspaper columnist
          Winchell's influential gossip and news show, Walter Winchell's Jergens Journal, ran for 18 years. Winchell started as a vaudeville performer, working with an array of future stars, including Eddie Cantor and George Jessel. He began writing about Broadway in 1922 for the Vaudeville News and in 1929 began writing a syndicated column for the New York Daily Mirror, which ran for three decades. But dishing on socialites became his claim to fame when he began his radio news show in 1930. His fast-paced show was packed with short news and gossip items-his rapid-fire radio prattle was clocked at 215 words a minute. Millions of people tuned into his witty and extremely popular Sunday evening show, which he introduced with, "Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press!" A gossip columnist when few others existed, Winchell ruined more than a few careers with reports that some maintained were sensationalistic, reckless, and actually untrue. His show popularized catchphrases like "blessed event" and "scram," and peers admired his penchant for finding fresh ways to report on Hollywood's elite. Winchell starred as himself in several films, including Love and Hisses in 1937 and Daisy Kenyon in 1947. What some called captivating reporting was labeled yellow journalism by others. His career declined in the 1950s. Like so many other radio stars, Winchell's career lost its sparkle when Americans' allegiance turned to television. Meanwhile, he made an unpopular decision to back Senator Joseph McCarthy's "Red Scare," publicly accusing a number of Hollywood stars of being communists. In the 1960s, the New York Daily Mirror closed and his column ended. One of his last major jobs was narrating "The Untouchables," a popular television drama series, from 1959 to 1963. When he died penniless in 1972, it was reported that just one person-his daughter-showed up at his funeral.
    1966 Chester William Nimitz, 80, US Admiral (WWII)
    1960 Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, 80, British archaeologist who spent more than 40 years in the field. Woolley is remembered for having excavated Ur of the Chaldees, and for discovering the ancient Sumerian civilization.
    1955 Arthur Dixon, mathematician.
    1942 Louis Soutter, Swiss artist born on 04 June 1871.
    ^1940 Day 83 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland.
    More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.

    Finnish counterattack retakes part of front line

          The day begins on the Isthmus with heavy enemy bombing.
          Representatives of the Western Allies are negotiating with Mannerheim over possible military aid for Finland.
          The Russians maintain the heavy pressure in the Taipale sector. In Terenttilä they break through the Finnish defences to a depth of 1.5 kilometres. Intense enemy bombing hampers Finnish countermeasures. By evening, part of the front line has been retaken in a counterattack.
          The situation of the Finnish troops in the intermediary positions on the Isthmus has decisively deteriorated. In the Mustalampi area, Soviet tanks dragging sled personnel carriers break through the intermediary defenses during the night. By afternoon the breakthrough extends to a depth of one kilometer. The defending Finns manage to deal with the enemy infantry, but are unable to destroy the tanks. About twenty tanks push through the Finnish positions. One of the reasons for the Finnish failure is a lack of artillery shells. Finnish losses are 74 dead and wounded.
          The defense of Viipurinlahti bay is transferred from the navy to the army of the Isthmus.
          Finnish gunners shoot down nine enemy aircraft today.
          A detachment of Swedish volunteers, Svenska Frivilligkåren, is attached to the Finnish field army. The volunteers prepare to assume responsibility for the front in the far north, taking over from the Lapland Group.
          An ambulance sent by the Swedish Red Cross is working close to the front lines in northern Finland.
          In Sweden, the national collection and the women's fighter aircraft fund are both growing rapidly.
          Back in Finland, the Martha Organization is opening a service centre for veterans of the front in Helsinki.
    ^ Osa etulinjaa saadaan vallatuksi takaisin vastahyökkäyksellä Talvisodan 83. päivä, 20.helmikuuta.1940    ^top^
         Päivä alkaa ankaralla vihollisen lentopommituksella.
          Länsiliittoutuneiden edustajat neuvottelevat Mannerheimin kanssa mahdollisesta liittoutuneiden sotilaallisesta avusta.
          Venäläisten ankara painostus Taipaleen lohkolla jatkuu. Venäläiset murtautuvat 1,5 kilometriä puolustusaseman syvyyteen Taipaleen Terenttilässä. Vihollisen voimakas ilmapommitus häiritsee suomalaisten vastatoimia. Iltaan mennessä osa etulinjaa saadaan vallatuksi takaisin vastahyökkäyksellä.
          Suomalaisten tilanne väliasemassa Karjalan kannaksella huononee ratkaisevasti. Kannaksella Mustalammen alueella neuvostopanssarit murtautuvat yöllä väliaseman läpi mm. hinaten miehistörekiä. Iltapäivään mennessä vihollisen murto ulottuu kilometrin syvyyteen. Vihollisen jalkaväki pystytään lyömään, mutta panssareita ei saada tuhotuksi. Asemien läpi tunkeutuu parikymmentä vihollisen panssarivaunua. Suomalaisten epäonnistumiseen vaikuttaa mm. tykistöammusten puute. Suomalaiset menettävät kaatuneina ja haavoittuneina 74 miestä.
          Viipurinlahden puolustus, joka on ollut merivoimilla, siirretään Kannaksen Armeijalle.
          Tänään saadaan ammutuksi alas yhdeksän vihollisen lentokonetta.
          Ruotsalaisista vapaaehtoisista koottu Svenska Frivilligkåren liitetään Suomen kenttäarmeijaan. Ruotsalaiset vapaaehtoiset valmistautuvat ottamaan rintamavastuun pohjoisessa Lapin Ryhmältä.
          Ruotsin Punaisen Ristin lähettämä ambulanssi toimii rintamalinjan läheisyydessä Pohjois-Suomessa.
          Ruotsissa kansalliskeräys sekä naisten hävittäjälentorahasto kasvavat hyvää vauhtia.
          Martat avaavat Helsinkiin rintamamiesten huoltokeskuksen.
    ^En del av den främre linjen återerövras genom motattacker Vinterkrigets 83 dag, den 20 februari 1940
          Dagen börjar med häftiga fientliga flygräder.
          Representanter för de västallierade förhandlar med Mannerheim om eventuell militär hjälp av de allierade.
          Ryssarnas svåra påtryckningar i Taipaleavsnittet fortsätter. Ryssarna lyckas slå in en 1,5 kilometer djup kil i det finska försvaret vid Terenttilä, Taipale. Fiendens kraftiga bombardemang stör finnarnas motåtgärder. När det blir kväll har en del av den främre linjen återerövrats genom motattacker. Finnarnas situation på mellanställningen på Karelska näset försämras avsevärt. På området kring Mustalampi på Näset bryter sovjetpansrarna igenom mellanställningen bl.a. genom att bogsera slädar med soldater. På eftermiddagen når inbrytningen ett djup på en kilometer. Man lyckas slå det ryska infanteriet men man kan inte förstöra pansarvagnarna. Ett tjugotal fientliga pansarvagnar tränger igenom ställningen.
          Bristen på artilleriprojektiler bidrar till att finnarna misslyckas. Förlusterna är 74 stupade eller sårade soldater.
          Försvaret av Viborgska viken, som hittills skötts av flottan, övertas av armén på Näset. Idag har Finland skjutit ner nio ryska flygplan.
          Svenska Frivilligkåren ansluts till den finska fältarmén. De frivilliga svenskarna förbereder sig på att överta frontansvaret i norr av Lapplandsgruppen.
          Ambulansen som Sveriges Röda Kors har sänt opererar i närheten av frontlinjen i norra Finland.
          I Sverige växer både nationalinsamlingen och kvinnornas jaktplansfond med god fart.
          Martorna öppnar en försörjningscentral för frontmännen i Helsingfors.
    1920 Robert E Peary, 63, US pole explorer (North Pole, 04 June 1909) estadounidense.
    1919 Martín Coronado, comediógrafo argentino.
    1917 About 1500 as ammunition ship explodes in Archangelsk harbor.
    1917 Joaquín Dicenta Benedicto, escritor y dramaturgo español.
    1916 Léon-François Comerre, French artist born on 10 October 1850.
    1909 Paul-Elie Ranson, French Nabi painter born in 1864. — links to images.
    1900 William Holbrook Beard, US painter born on 13 April 1823. — links to images.
    1901 René Dubos, on his 81st birthday, French-born US microbiologist, environmentalist and author.
    1895 Frederick Douglass, 78, escaped slave, anti-slavery leader.
    1891 Cornelis Springer, Dutch painter and printmaker born on 25 May 1817. — MORE ON SPRINGER AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    ^1855 Joseph Hume social reformer. [not to be confused with philosopher David Hume (1711–1776)]
         Joseph Hume, the son of a shipmaster, was born in Montrose on 22 January 1777. Hume was apprenticed to a local surgeon and after finishing his training in Edinburgh he worked as a doctor for the East India Company. Hume impressed his employers and he soon held a senior position in the company. When Hume returned to Scotland in 1808 he was a rich man. He now turned his attention to politics and in 1812 he was the successful Tory candidate for the Border constituency.
          Once in Parliament Hume's political views began to change and by 1818 he supported the Whigs. As well as supporting universal suffrage, Hume campaigned for religious freedom including Catholic emancipation. In 1824 he managed to persuade the House of Commons to obtain a select committee to investigate the Combination Acts. Other policies advocated by Hume included the setting up of savings banks, the abolition of flogging in the army and an end to imprisonment for debt. Hume's Radical views meant that he had to switch to the Middlesex constituency.
          By 1830 Joseph Hume was seen by many people as the leader of the movement for universal suffrage in the House of Commons. As a Radical, Hume was not satisfied with the 1832 Reform Act and continued to argue from an extension of the franchise. Hume worked closely with William Lovett and in 1839 he helped to present the Chartist petition for parliamentary reform signed by over a million people. With Francis Place Hume tried hard to unite middle class and working class radicals. However, Hume was totally opposed to the tactics advocated by Fergeas O'Connor and the physical force Chartists.
          Joseph Hume's support for the Nonconformist demands for a reduction in the power of the Anglican Church led to charges of him being part of a Popish conspiracy. In the 1837 General Election his opponents used the campaign slogan "No Popery" and the strong anti-Catholic feelings in Middlesex resulted in him being defeated.
          Joseph Hume's attempts to became M.P. for Leeds ended in failure but in 1842 he was elected to represent his home town of Montrose. After the decline in Chartism in 1848, Hume lead the campaign for the Little Charter, based on the idea of triennial parliaments and the vote being granted to ratepayers. Joseph Hume represented Montrose until his death.
    1790 Joseph II, 48, Emperor of Holy Roman empire.
    1773 Charles Emanuel I, 71, King of Sardinia/Duke of Savoy (CE III)
    1762 Tobias Mayer, mathematician.
    ^1725 Ten Amerindians scalped by European savages
          In the American colonies, a posse of New Hampshire volunteers comes across a band of encamped Native Americans and takes ten "scalps" in the first significant appropriation of this Native-American practice by European colonists. The posse subsequently receives a bounty of approximately one hundred pounds per scalp from the colonial authorities. Although the custom of "scalping" was once practiced in Europe and Asia, it is generally associated with North American native groups. In scalping, the skin around the crown of the head was cut and removed from the enemy’s skull, usually causing death. In addition to its value as a war trophy, a scalp was often believed to bestow the possessor with the powers of the scalped enemy. In their early wars with Native Americans, European colonists of North America retaliated against hostile Native groups by adopting their practice of scalp taking. Bounties were offered for them by colonial authorities, which in turn led to an escalation of intertribal warfare and scalping in North America.
    1715 Nicolas Walraven van Haeften (or Haften), Dutch artist born in 1663.
    1707 Aurangzeb Mogul emperor of India (1658-1707)
    Madonna del Roseto 1482 Luca della Robbia, à Florence, sculpteur    ^top^
         Della Robbia est né en 1400, à Florence où il a passé la majeure partie de sa vie. A l'âge de 31 ans, il commence à sculpter l'une des cantories de la cathédrale de cette ville , il sculpte de très beaux médaillons, destinés au campanile, puis en collaboration avec deux autres grands sculpteur et ciseleurs italiens, Michelozzo et Maso di Bartolomeo, il exécute la porte de la sacristie. Luca Della Robbia n'est pas seulement connu pour ses sculptures mais aussi parce qu'il était spécialisé dans l'art des émaux. Il est l'auteur d'une nouvelle technique d'émaillage de la terre cuite: il l'a utilisée pour créer de nombreux médaillons représentant surtout des enfants. Mais bien d'autres de ses oeuvres connurent, un vif succès.
    [< Madonna del Roseto]

    Luca della Robbia, who was born in Florence, originated glazed terra-cotta bas-reliefs, initially with white figures on a blue ground and later in multicolor glazes, especially green and yellow on wreaths of fruits and flowers around the figures. The delicate reliefs, mostly of Madonnas and other religious subjects, were meant to serve as architectural decorative elements. Luca founded a family terra-cotta workshop, which remained active into the 16th century. Between 1431 and 1438, Luca designed and executed for the cathedral in Florence the famous Singing Gallery, ten marble panels in high relief with groups of children singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. He also worked on a bronze door for the sacristy of the cathedral, with ten panels of figures in relief, completed in 1469. Another of his creations in marble is the tomb of Benozzo Federighi, bishop of Fiesole, in the church of Santa Trinita in Florence.
  • Angel with Candlestick  
  • Resurrezione
  • Ascension of Christ  
  • Ascensione di Cristo
  • Cantori - Panel from the Cantoria  
  • Cantoria
  • Cantoria (detail)  
  • Cantoria (detail)  
  • Cantoria (detail)  
  • Cantoria (detail)  
  • Cantoria of the Florence Cathedral  
  • Cantoria Panel: Cathedral 
    . . of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy  
  • Cantoria per la Sagrestia del Duomo  
  • Cantoria per la Sagrestia del Duomo  
  • Cantoria, detail  
  • Cantoria, particolare
  • Cantoria, particolare
  • Cappuccini Tondo  
  • La Madonna del Roseto  
  • Liberazione di San Pietro  
  • Madonna and Child  
  • Madonna and Child  
  • Madonna con Bambino tra angeli e i SS. Iacopo
    . . e Biagio - Cappella del Vescovato - Valdinievole  
  • Madonna of Roses  
  • Madonna of the Apple (detail)  
  • Madonna of the Apple  
  • Madonna of the Apple (detail)  
  • Madonna of the Apple  
  • Madonna with Child and Angels  
  • Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth  
  • Monument to Vescovo Benozzo Federighi (detail)  
  • Monument to Vescovo Benozzo Federighi  
  • Putto musicante, detail of the Cantoria  
  • San Gregorio  
  • Tabernacle  
  • The Choir Lofts by Luca della Robbia and Donatello  
  • The Nativity  
  • Tondo Portrait of a Lady  
  • Visitazione
  • Visitazione
  • 1479 Antonello da Messina, Sicilian painter born in 1430. — MORE ON DA MESSINA AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1431 Pope Martin V [Oddone Colonna], 62
    1054 Yaroslav I the Wise, 73, ruler (Kiev)
    < 19 Feb 21 Feb >
    Births which occurred on a 20 February:

    1954 Patty Hearst Shaw, San Francisco, CA, famous hostage Tanya, then cooperator with her kidnappers the “Symbionese Liberation Army”.
    Kardinal Wetter1932 Enrique Múgica Herzog, político español, ex ministro de Justicia y Defensor del Pueblo.
    1931 Milnor, mathematician.
    1928 Friedrich Wetter [< photo], in Landau, Germany, who would be ordained a priest of the diocese of Speyer on 10 October 1928, be appointed Bishop of Speyer on 28 May 1968 and consecrated a bishop on 29 June 1968, be appointed Archbishop of München und Freising on 28 October 1982, and, on 25 May 1985, be made a cardinal.
    1927 Roy Cohn lawyer, "grand inquisitor" (for Senator Joseph McCarthy)
    1926 Alfonso Sastre, escritor y dramaturgo español.
    1921 Los cuatro jinetes del apocalipsis: de Vicente Blasco Ibáñez se estrena.
    1910 Julian Trevelyan, British artist who died in 1988. — more with links to images.
    1904 Aleksei Nikolaievich Kosygin, Soviet premier (1964-80). He died on 18 December 1980.
    1903 Karel Janacek composer
    ^1902 Ansel Adams is born, Western photographer, in San Francisco.
          Adams' dramatic black and white images of Yosemite and the US West are some of the most widely recognized and admired photographs of the 20th century. Ansel Adams discovered his love of photography and the West during a family trip to Yosemite when he was 14 years old. He made his first photographs of the dramatic Yosemite Valley during that trip, and he returned to photograph the park every year thereafter for the rest of his life.
          Adams soon developed a tremendous passion and talent for photography, though it remained only a hobby for many years. From childhood, Adams had studied piano, and as a young man he embarked on a promising career as a concert pianist. It was only when he was in his late 20s that Adams decided to abandon music and make a career out of photography instead, choosing to make the West the focus of his work.
          During the next 20 years, Adams' distinctive treatment of the western landscape won him a dedicated following, especially among the growing community of outdoor enthusiasts in California. Today his majestic portraits of the snow-covered Yosemite Valley and haunting images of Saguaro cacti under an Arizona moon are so familiar as to almost be visual clich?s. It is hard to remember that when Adams first published them, the pictures had a crystalline purity that few other nature photographers had achieved.
          A dedicated conservationist, Adams deliberately used his photos to inspire a semi-religious reverence for the natural world that he hoped would encourage more Americans to protect and preserve wilderness. A lifelong member of the Sierra Club, Adams provided images for many of the club's early publications in the 1960s. He received the 1966 ASMP Award.
          Besides being a brilliant artist, Adams was also a technical innovator and a teacher. Along with several other photographers, Adams founded "Group f/64," which was dedicated to promoting deep-focus photography and the use of "straight" images free from darkroom trickery. He created a number of innovative photographic techniques that he introduced to the general public through a series of books and an annual workshop in Yosemite. In recognition of his lifelong efforts supporting the national park system, Mount. Ansel Adams in Yosemite was named in his honor shortly after he died on 22 April 1984.
    LINKS TO HIS PHOTOS. — Rae Lakes, plate 34 in the book Sierra Nevada, The John Muir Trail (1938, half-tone reproduction of a photograph 16x21cm) — Grassy valley, tree covered mountain side and snow covered peaks, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
    1901 Ali Muhammad Naguib, Khartoum, President of Egypt (1952-1954)
    1901 René Dubos, French-born US microbiologist, environmentalist and author. He died on his 81st birthday
    1899 Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, US businessman who died on 13 December 1992.
    1898 Enzo Ferrari Italy, sportscar manufacturer (Ferrari)
    1896 Henri de Lubac French theologian / anti-fascist
    1889 Maurice Barraud, Swiss artist who died in 1954 or 1955.
    1888 Anthony Thieme, Dutch US painter who died in 1954. — links to images.
    ^1888 Georges Bernanos, à Paris.
         Georges Bernanos fut dans sa jeunesse un royaliste militant et l'un des disciples de Charles Maurras. En 1914, il s'engage dans un régiment de hussards. Son premier roman, Sous le soleil de Satan (1926), révèle un visionnaire doué d'une rare puissance d'évocation. Avec l'Imposture (1927), La Joie (1928) et Journal d'un curé de campagne (1936) s'impose l'un des grands romanciers du siècle. Il a rompu avec Maurras en 1932. Bernanos, qui n'est pas riche et que harasse la cherté de la vie en France, s'est installé à Palma de Majorque en 1934, avec sa femme et leurs six enfants. C'est de là qu'il assiste à la guerre d'Espagne qui lui inspirera Les Grands Cimetières sous la lune (1938) où il stigmatise le général Franco et ses partisans catholiques. Établi au Brésil à partir de 1938, il y apprendra en 1940 la capitulation de la France. Désavouant aussitôt le régime du maréchal Pétain, il prend parti pour la France libre et multiplie articles et messages qui seront recueillis dans Le Chemin de la Croix-des-Âmes (1943-1945). Rentré en France en 1945 à la demande du général de Gaulle, Bernanosest vite dégoûté par l'abaissement de son pays et le « cloaque du marché noir ». Il part alors pour la Tunisie où il écrit Dialogues des carmélites, sa dernière méditation sur l'angoisse et la mort. Bernanos meurt à Neuilly le 05 Jul 1948.

    1886 Béla Kun Czehul Romania, head of Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919)
    1881 Pedro Muñoz Seca, dramaturgo español.
    1872 El Metropolitan Museum of Art es inaugurado en Nueva York.
    1863 Lucien Pissarro, French painter who died in 1944. — MORE ON PISSARRO AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1856 Eduardo León y Garrido, Spanish artist who died in 1906 or 1949 (!!!)
    1844 Mihály Munkácsy von Lieb, Hungarian Realist painter who died on 01 May 1900. — MORE ON MUNKACSY AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1860 Lerch, mathematician.
    1844 Ludwig Boltzmann, mathematician. He died in 1906.
    1829 Antonio Guzman Blanco [–28 Jul 1899], President of Venezuela (1870-1877). —(080228)
    1828 Karl Ferdinand Charles Wimar, US artist who died on 28 November 1862. — links to images.
    1808 Honoré-Victorin Daumier, French caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, who died on 11 February 1879. — MORE ON DAUMIER AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1792 US Post Office created by act which President Washington signs. Postage is 6¢-12½¢, depending on distance.
    1781 Étienne-Jean Delécluze, French artist who died on 12 July 1863.
    1759 Martin von Molitor, Austrian artist who died on 16 April 1812.
    World Brotherhood Day (1934) — Feast of the Chair of St Peter at Antioch — Feast of St Eucherius — Lutheran Commemoration of Rasmus Jensen, pastor / Santos Nemesio, Silvano, Tiranión, Peleo, Nilo, Eleuterio, Sadot, León, Euquerio, Didimo, Potamio y Zenobio. / Sainte Aimée, jeune fille mondaine de la ville d'Assise, au XIIIe siècle, se fait religieuse en allant visiter au couvent sa tante Claire, disciple de François d'Assise.
    Thoughts for the Day: “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” — Elbert Hubbard, writer
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing the greatest mistake you can make in life.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is never to be fearing you will make one.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing fear itself.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing life.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make more than one.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be or not to be, that is the question.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is not to learn from it after you have made it.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to repeat it.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing that you are one.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing that you are more than one.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is the one that ends your life.”
    “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be reading about the greatest mistake you can make in life instead of making it.”
    I have a message for you from the doctor.
    Let's have it.
    Well, there's good news and there's bad news.
    OK, give me the good news first.
    You have 24 hours to live.
    What?! You call that good news! What could be worse?

    I forgot to give you the message yesterday.

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    updated Monday 16-Feb-2009 16:58 UT
    Principal updates:
    v.8.20 Wednesday 26-Mar-2008 21:05 UT
    v.7.10 Tuesday 20-Feb-2007 3:24 UT
    Monday 20-Feb-2006 6:28 UT
    v.5.13 Wednesday 23-Feb-2005 2:18 UT
    Thursday 19-Feb-2004 23:13 UT

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