This day in history

Wednesday, Feb. 19, is the 50th day of 2014. There are 315 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Singer Smokey Robinson is 74. Singer Lou Christie is 71. Actor Michael Nader is 69. Rock musician Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) is 66. Author Amy Tan is 62. Actor Jeff Daniels is 59. Rock singer-musician Dave Wakeling is 58. Talk show host Lorianne Crook is 57. Actor Ray Winstone is 57. Actor Leslie David Baker (‘‘The Office”) is 56. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is 55. Britain’s Prince Andrew is 54. Tennis Hall of Famer Hana Mandlikova is 52. Singer Seal is 51. Actress Jessica Tuck is 51. Country musician Ralph McCauley (Wild Horses) is 50. Rock musician Jon Fishman (Phish) is 49. Actress Justine Bateman is 48. Actor Benicio Del Toro is 47. Rock musician Daniel Adair is 39. Pop singer-actress Haylie Duff is 29. Actress Victoria Justice is 21.

In 1473, astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland.


In 1803, Congress voted to accept Ohio’s borders and constitution.

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In 1881, Kansas prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages.

In 1934, a blizzard began inundating the Northeast, with the heaviest snowfall occurring in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, clearing the way for the US military to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans during World War II.

In 1945, US Marines began landing on Iwo Jima, the start of a successful monthlong battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.


In 1959, an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey, and Greece granting Cyprus its independence.

In 1976, calling the issuing of Executive Order 9066 ‘‘a sad day in American history,’’ President Ford issued a proclamation confirming that the order had been terminated with the formal cessation of hostilities of World War II.

In 1997, Deng Xiaoping, last of China’s major communist revolutionaries, died at 92.

In 2004, former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was brought to court in handcuffs, charged with fraud, insider trading, and other crimes in connection with the energy trader’s colossal collapse. (Skilling was later convicted of 19 counts and sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison, but a federal judge in 2013 shaved a decade off that sentence, which means Skilling could be released by 2017.) The AFL-CIO endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president.

In 2008, an ailing Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power; his brother Raul was later named to succeed him.


In 2009, President Obama made a quick visit to Canada, his first trip outside the country since taking office; he reassured Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the United States was not cultivating a protectionist streak despite its economic difficulties. A jury in Moscow voted unanimously to acquit three men in the killing of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.