Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Friday, Feb. 17, the 48th day of 2017. There are 317 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 17, 1947, the Voice of America began broadcasting in Russian to the Soviet Union.

On this date:

In 1815, the United States and Britain exchanged the instruments of ratification for the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812.

In 1863, the International Red Cross was founded in Geneva.

In 1897, the forerunner of the National PTA, the National Congress of Mothers, convened its first meeting in Washington.

In 1913, the Armory Show, a landmark modern art exhibit, opened in New York City.

In 1925, the first issue of The New Yorker magazine (bearing the cover date of Feb. 21) was published. In 1933, Newsweek magazine was first published under the title “News-Week.”

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces invaded Eniwetok Atoll, encountering little initial resistance from Imperial Japanese troops. (The Americans secured the atoll less than a week later.)

In 1959, the United States launched Vanguard 2, a satellite which carried meteorological equipment. In 1964, the Supreme Court, in Wesberry v. Sanders, ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon departed the White House with his wife, Pat, on a historic trip to China.

In 1986, Johnson & Johnson announced it would no longer sell over-the-counter medications in capsule form, following the death of a woman who had taken a cyanide-laced Tylenol capsule. In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue,” winning a six-game match in Philadelphia (however, Kasparov lost to Deep Blue in a rematch in 1997).

Ten years ago: Senate Republicans foiled a Democratic bid to repudiate President George W. Bush’s deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops to Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise visit to Baghdad. At Camp Pendleton, California, Marine Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington was sentenced to 8 years in military prison for his role in the kidnapping and killing of an Iraqi civilian (he was released early in Aug. 2007). Former French Cabinet minister Maurice Papon (pa-PAWN’), convicted of complicity in crimes against humanity for his role in deporting Jews during World War II, died near Paris at age 96.

Thought for Today: “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” — Tom Stoppard, Czech-born British playwright (1937- ).

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