By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Friday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2020. There are 321 days left in the year. This is Valentine’s Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 14, 2018, a gunman identified as a former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, killing 17 people in the nation’s deadliest school shooting since the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years earlier.
On this date:
In 1859, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.
In 1876, inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied separately for patents related to the telephone. (The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled Bell the rightful inventor.)
In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union as President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation.
In 1913, labor leader Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil, Ind.; college football coach Woody Hayes was born in Clifton, Ohio; sports broadcaster Mel Allen was born in Birmingham, Ala.
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 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian forces reached the Rhine River in Germany.
In 1949, Israel’s Knesset convened for the first time.
In 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded her cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” at Atlantic Records in New York.
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 1984, 6-year-old Stormie Jones became the world’s first heart-liver transplant recipient when the surgery was performed at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (she lived until November, 1990).
In 1985, Cable News Network reporter Jeremy Levin, held hostage by extremists in Lebanon, escaped from his captors.
In 2013, 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. American Airlines and US Airways announced an $11 billion merger that turned American into the world’s biggest airline.
Ten years ago: The Americans broke through the Nordic combined barrier at Vancouver as Johnny Spillane won the silver, the first U.S. Olympic medal in the sport dominated since its inception by the Europeans (Jason Lamy Chappuis of France won the gold).