This day in history

Thursday, Feb. 20, is the 51st day of 2014. There are 314 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Designer Gloria Vanderbilt is 90. Actor Sidney Poitier is 87. Racing Hall of Famer Bobby Unser is 80. Racing Hall of Famer Roger Penske is 77. Singer Buffy Sainte-Marie is 73. Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito is 72. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is 72. Director Mike Leigh is 71. Actress Sandy Duncan is 68. Rock musician J. Geils is 68. Rock singer-musician Walter Becker (Steely Dan) is 64. Heiress Patricia Hearst is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is 51. Model Cindy Crawford is 48. Actress Lili Taylor is 47. Singer-musician Chris Thile is 33. Singer Rihanna is 26.

In 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the US Post Office.


In 1862, William Lincoln, 11-year-old son of President Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, died at the White House, apparently of typhoid fever.

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In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Project Mercury’s Friendship 7.

In 2003, a fire sparked by pyrotechnics broke out during a concert by the group Great White at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., killing 100 people and injuring about 200 others.