Today in History

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:46pm
  • Life

Today is Thursday, Feb. 13, the 44th day of 2014. There are 321 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Feb. 13, 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, also known as ASCAP, was founded in New York to protect the copyrights of creators and ensure compensation for public performances of their works.

On this date:

In 1542, the fifth wife of England’s King Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, was executed for adultery.

In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was officially declared winner of the 1860 presidential election as electors cast their ballots.

In 1920, the League of Nations recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.

In 1935, a jury in Flemington, N.J., found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-slaying of the son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. (Hauptmann was later executed.)

In 1939, Justice Louis D. Brandeis retired from the U.S. Supreme Court. (He was succeeded by William O. Douglas.)

In 1943, during World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was officially established.

In 1960, France exploded its first atomic bomb in the Sahara Desert.

In 1974, Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union.

In 1980, the 13th Winter Olympics opened in Lake Placid, N.Y.

In 1984, Konstantin Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.

In 1988, the 15th winter Olympics opened in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, allied warplanes destroyed an underground shelter in Baghdad that had been identified as a military command center; Iraqi officials said 500 civilians were killed.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, trying to calm a political storm, ordered the release of his Vietnam-era military records to counter Democrats’ suggestions that he’d shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard.

Five years ago: A $787 billion stimulus bill aimed at easing the worst economic crisis in decades cleared both houses of Congress. Peanut Corp. of America, the Lynchburg, Va.-based peanut processing company at the heart of a national salmonella outbreak, filed for bankruptcy. A female suicide bomber targeted Shiite pilgrims in Musayyib, Iraq, killing at least 40.

One year ago: Beginning a long farewell to his flock, a weary Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final public Mass as pontiff, presiding over Ash Wednesday services inside St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

Associated Press

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