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    This day in history

    Thursday, Feb. 21, is the 52d day of 2013. There are 313 days left in the year.

    Today’s birthdays: US Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.) is 73. Film/music company executive David Geffen is 70. Actor Alan Rickman is 67. Actress Tyne Daly is 67. Former Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) is 66. Rock musician Jerry Harrison is 64. Actor Kelsey Grammer is 58. Country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter is 55. Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt is 34. Singer Charlotte Church is 27. Actress Ellen Page is 26.

    In 1885, the Washington Monument was dedicated.


    In 1916, the battle of Verdun began in France as German forces attacked.

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    In 1945, during the battle of Iwo Jima, the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea was sunk by kamikazes with the loss of 318 men.

    In 1947, Edwin H. Land demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.

    In 1965, black Muslim leader and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside the Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam.

    In 1972, President Nixon began his historic visit to China as he arrived in Beijing .