By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2018. There are 320 days left in the year. This is Valentine’s Day.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Feb. 14, 1918, Russia converted from the Old Style Julian calendar to the New Style Gregorian calendar, “losing” 13 days in the process (for Russians, the day before was Jan. 31). The musical “Sinbad,” starring Al Jolson and featuring the song “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody,” opened on Broadway.
On this date:
In 1663, New France (Canada) became a royal province under King Louis XIV.
In 1778, the American ship Ranger carried the recently adopted Stars and Stripes to a foreign port for the first time as it arrived in France.
In 1849, President James K. Polk became the first U.S. chief executive to be photographed while in office as he posed for Matthew Brady in New York City.
In 1903, the Department of Commerce and Labor was established. (It was divided into separate departments of Commerce and Labor in 1913.)
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 1962, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a televised tour of the White House in a videotaped special that was broadcast on CBS and NBC (and several nights later on ABC).
In 1979, Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.
In 1988, Broadway composer Frederick Loewe, who wrote the scores for “Brigadoon,” ”My Fair Lady” and “Camelot,” died in Palm Springs, California, at age 86.
In 1990, 92 people were killed when an Indian Airlines passenger jet crashed while landing at a southern Indian airport.
Ten years ago: A former student dressed in black walked onto the stage of a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University and opened fire on a packed science class; the 27-year-old gunman killed five students before committing suicide. Republican campaign dropout Mitt Romney endorsed John McCain for the party’s presidential nomination.
Five years ago: 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.