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February 20, 2014

Today in History for Thursday, February 20, 2014

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

Highlight in History

On Feb. 20, 1944, during World War II, U.S. strategic bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers in a series of attacks that became known as “Big Week.”

On this date

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

In 1809, the Supreme Court ruled that no state legislature could annul the judgments or determine the jurisdictions of federal courts.

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

In 1933, Congress proposed the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to repeal Prohibition.

In 1938, Anthony Eden resigned as British foreign secretary following Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s decision to negotiate with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

In 1950, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. Rabinowitz, ruled 5-3 that authorities making a lawful arrest did not need a warrant to search and seize evidence in an area that was in the “immediate and complete control” of the suspect.

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

In 1971, the National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered U.S. radio and TV stations off the air; some stations heeded the alert, which was not lifted for about 40 minutes.

In 1987, a bomb left by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski exploded behind a computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring store owner Gary Wright. Soviet authorities released Jewish activist Josef Begun.

In 1999, movie reviewer Gene Siskel died at a hospital outside Chicago at age 53.

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.

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