Today is Friday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2020. There are 321 days left in the year. This is Valentine’s Day.
Birthdays: TV personality Hugh Downs is 99. Country singer Razzy Bailey is 81. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is 78. Jazz musician Maceo Parker is 77. Movie director Alan Parker is 76. Journalist Carl Bernstein is 76. Former Republican senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire is 73. TV personality Pat O’Brien is 72. Magician Teller (Penn and Teller) is 72. Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts is 71. Cajun singer-musician Michael Doucet is 69. Actor Ken Wahl is 63. Opera singer Renee Fleming is 61. Actress Meg Tilly is 60. Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is 60. Actor Valente Rodriguez is 56. Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas is 48. Former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe is 48. Actress Danai Gurira is 42. Actor Freddie Highmore is 28.
In 1876, inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied separately for patents related to the telephone. (The US Supreme Court eventually ruled Bell the rightful inventor.)
In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the union as President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation.
In 1929, the ‘‘St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’’ took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone’s gang were gunned down.
In 1949, Israel’s Knesset convened for the first time.
In 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded her cover of Otis Redding’s ‘‘Respect’’ at Atlantic Records in New York.
In 1979, Adolph Dubs, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.
In 1984, 6-year-old Stormie Jones became the world’s first heart-liver transplant recipient when the surgery was performed at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (she lived until November, 1990).
In 2013, double-amputee and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria, South Africa; he was later convicted of murder and is serving a 13-year prison term. American Airlines and US Airways announced an $11 billion merger that turned American into the world’s biggest airline.
In 2018, a gunman identified as a former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near Fort Lauderdale, killing 17 people in the nation’s deadliest school shooting since the attack in Newtown, Conn.
Last year, William Barr was sworn in for his second stint as the nation’s attorney general; he succeeded Jeff Sessions, who’d been pushed out of office by President Trump after Trump denounced Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Amazon abruptly dropped plans for a big new headquarters in New York after politicians and activists objected to the nearly $3 billion in incentives that had been promised to the company.