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This day in history

Today is Friday, Feb. 21, the 52d day of 2014. There are 313 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Director Bob Rafelson is 81. Actor Gary Lockwood is 77. Actor Richard Beymer is 75. Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.) is 74. Film/music executive David Geffen is 71. Actor Alan Rickman is 68. Actress Tyne Daly is 68. Former senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) is 67. Musician Jerry Harrison is 65. Actress Christine Ebersole is 61. Actor William Petersen is 61. Actor Kelsey Grammer is 59. Country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter is 56. Actor William Baldwin is 51. Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt is 35. Singer Charlotte Church is 28. Actress Ellen Page is 27.

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In 1513, Pope Julius II, who had commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, died months after the project was completed.

In 1885, the Washington Monument was dedicated.

In 1916, the Battle of Verdun began in France.

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 visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Beijing.

In 1994, Aldrich Ames, a former head of Soviet counterintelligence for the CIA, and his wife, Maria del Rosario Casas Ames, were arrested on charges of spying for the former Soviet Union. (Ames is serving a life term; his wife was released after serving four years for conspiracy .)

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