Today is Tuesday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 2016. There are 319 days left in the year.
On Feb. 16, 1968, the nation’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama.
On this date:
In 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates during the First Barbary War.
In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee ended as some 12,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered; Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory earned him the nickname “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
In 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City.
In 1923, the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt by English archaeologist Howard Carter.
In 1937, Dr. Wallace H. Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont who’d invented nylon, received a patent for the synthetic fiber.
In 1945, American troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II.
In 1959, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba a month and a-half after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1961, the United States launched the Explorer 9 satellite.
In 1977, Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.
In 1988, seven people were shot to death during an office rampage in Sunnyvale, California, by a man obsessed with a co-worker who was wounded in the attack. (The gunman, Richard Farley, is on death row.)
In 1996, 11 people were killed in a fiery collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a Maryland commuter train in Silver Spring, Maryland. Former California Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 90.
In 1998, a China Airlines Airbus A300-600R trying to land in fog near Taipei, Taiwan, crashed, killing all 196 people on board, plus six on the ground.
Ten years ago: The U.S. Army said goodbye to its last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, handing over equipment from the MASH unit to doctors and nurses in Pakistan, the scene of an Oct. 2005 earthquake. President George W. Bush said he was satisfied with Vice President Dick Cheney’s explanation about his shooting accident; Texas authorities said they had closed their investigation without filing any charges. Rene Preval was declared the winner of Haiti’s presidential election. Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko beat world champion Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland by 27.12 points to win the gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
Five years ago: Bookstore chain Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it would close nearly a third of its stores. (Borders closed all of its remaining stores in September 2011.) Huge crowds called for a political overhaul in Bahrain, and leaders appeared to shift tactics after attempts to crush the uprising stoked protesters’ rage.
One year ago: Egyptian warplanes struck Islamic State targets in Libya, hours after the extremist group released a grisly video showing the beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians it had held hostage for weeks. Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, 68, died in New York. Lorena Rojas, 44, a popular Mexican soap opera and movie actress, died in Miami.
Today’s birthdays: Actor Jeremy Bulloch is 71. Actor William Katt is 65. Rhythm-and-blues singer James Ingram is 64. Actor LeVar Burton is 59. Actor-rapper Ice-T is 58. Actress Lisa Loring is 58. International Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe is 57. Rock musician Andy Taylor is 55. Rock musician Dave Lombardo (Slayer) is 51. Actress Sarah Clarke is 45. Rock musician Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) is 44. Olympic gold medal runner Cathy Freeman is 43. Actor Mahershala Ali is 42. Singer Sam Salter is 41. Electronic dance music artist Bassnectar is 38. Rapper Lupe Fiasco is 34. Actress Chloe Wepper is 30. Pop-rock singer Ryan Follese Rae) is 29. Rock musician Danielle Haim is 27. Actress Elizabeth Olsen is 27. Actor Mike Weinberg is 23.
Thought for today: “I am content to define history as the past events of which we have knowledge and refrain from worrying about those of which we have none — until, that is, some archaeologist digs them up.” — Barbara W. Tuchman, American historian (1912-1989).