Valdosta Daily Times

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February 11, 2014

Today in History for Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014

-- — Highlight in History

On Feb. 11, 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting law favoring his Democratic-Republican Party — giving rise to the term “gerrymandering.”

On this date

In 1979, followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power in Iran.

Ten years ago

Wesley Clark dropped out of the Democratic race for the White House. A car bomb at an army recruiting center in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 47 people. Cable TV giant Comcast Corp. launched a hostile bid to buy The Walt Disney Co. for more than $54 billion (Comcast later dropped its bid).

Five years ago

The nation’s top bankers went before the House Financial Services Committee, pledging to build public trust with greater lending and fewer perks. Stewart Parnell, owner of Peanut Corp. of America, repeatedly invoked his right not to incriminate himself at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on a salmonella outbreak that had sickened hundreds. All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about steroids in baseball. (He was sentenced to a year’s probation.) Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who first went to Congress in 1955, became the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives. President Robert Mugabe swore in longtime rival Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe’s prime minister. Estelle Bennett, 67, one of the singing trio Ronettes, was found dead in her home in Englewood, N.J.

One year ago

With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope had done in more than half a millennium: announced his resignation. The bombshell came during a routine morning meeting of Vatican cardinals. (The 85-year-old pontiff was succeeded by Pope Francis.)

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