By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Feb. 28, the 59th day of 2018. There are 306 days left in the year. The Jewish holiday Purim begins at sunset.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 28, 1993, a gun battle erupted at a religious compound near Waco, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried to arrest Branch Davidian leader David Koresh on weapons charges; four agents and six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.
On this date:
In 1784, John Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism, chartered the first Methodist Church in the United States in Leesburg, Virginia.
In 1844, a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded as the ship was sailing on the Potomac River, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer and several others. In 1861, the Territory of Colorado was organized.
In 1917, The Associated Press reported that the United States had obtained a diplomatic communication sent by German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to a German official in Mexico proposing a German alliance with Mexico and Japan should the U.S. enter World War I. (Outrage over the telegram helped propel America into the conflict.)
In 1942, the heavy cruiser USS Houston and the Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth were attacked by Japanese forces during the World War II Battle of Sunda Strait; both were sunk shortly after midnight on March 1 with a total loss of more than 1,000 men.
In 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announced they had discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.
In 1958, a school bus clipped a truck near Prestonburg, Kentucky, and plunged down an embankment into the Big Sandy River; 22 children managed to escape, but 26 other children and the bus driver drowned.
In 1960, a day after defeating the Soviets at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California, the United States won its first Olympic hockey gold medal by defeating Czechoslovakia, 9-4.
In 1968, “Soul on Ice” by Eldridge Cleaver was published by McGraw-Hill.