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This day in history

Thursday, Feb. 28, is the 59th day of 2013. There are 306 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Architect Frank Gehry is 84. Actor Gavin MacLeod is 82. Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 74. Hall of Fame auto racer Mario Andretti is 73. Writer-director Mike Figgis is 65. Actress Mercedes Ruehl is 65. Actress Bernadette Peters is 65. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is 65. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is 60. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is 58. Basketball Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley is 57. Actor John Turturro is 56. Author Daniel Handler (a.k.a. ‘‘Lemony Snicket”) is 43. Actor Rory Cochrane is 41. Actress Ali Larter is 37. Country singer Jason Aldean is 36.

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In 1844, a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded as the ship was sailing on the Potomac, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer, and others.

In 1861, the Territory of Colorado was organized.

In 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announced they had discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

In 1972, President Nixon and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai issued the Shanghai Communique, which called for normalizing relations between their countries.

In 1983, the TV series ‘‘M*A*S*H’’ ended after 11 seasons on CBS with a 2½-hour finale that was watched by 121.6 million people.

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