Highlight in History
On Feb. 18, 1564, artist Michelangelo Buonarroti died in Rome, just weeks before his 89th birthday.
On this date
In 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as provisional president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Ala.
In 1885, Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published in the U.S. for the first time.
In 1913, Mexican President Francisco I. Madero and Vice President Jose Maria Pino Suarez were arrested during a military coup (both were shot to death on Feb. 22).
In 1930, photographic evidence of Pluto (now designated a “dwarf planet”) was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.
In 1939, the Golden Gate International Exposition opened on Treasure Island in San Francisco.
In 1943, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the wife of the Chinese leader, addressed members of the Senate and then the House, becoming the first Chinese national to address both houses of the U.S. Congress.
In 1953, “Bwana Devil,” the movie that heralded the 3D fad of the 1950s, had its New York opening.
In 1960, the 8th Winter Olympic Games were formally opened in Squaw Valley, Calif., by Vice President Richard M. Nixon.
In 1970, the “Chicago Seven” defendants were found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention; five were convicted of violating the Anti-Riot Act of 1968 (those convictions were later reversed).
In 1984, Italy and the Vatican signed an accord under which Roman Catholicism ceased to be the state religion of Italy.
In 1994, at the Winter Olympic Games in Norway, U.S. speedskater Dan Jansen finally won a gold medal, breaking the world record in the 1,000 meters.
In 2001, auto racing star Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash at the Daytona 500; he was 49.
Ten years ago
Howard Dean’s quest for the presidency ended as the Democrat, winless in 17 contests, abandoned his bid. In Iran, runaway train cars carrying fuel and industrial chemicals derailed, setting off explosions that destroyed five villages and killed at least 200 people.