By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Saturday, Feb. 13, the 44th day of 2021. There are 321 days left in the year.
Todayís Highlight in History:
On Feb. 13, 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the U.S. Supreme Court, was found dead at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas; he was 79. During a Republican presidential debate that evening in South Carolina, the candidates, with the exception of Jeb Bush, insisted that President Barack Obama should let his successor nominate Scaliaís replacement. (Obama nominated Merrick Garland; Senate Republicans refused to advance the nomination, which expired the following January.)
On this date:
In 1633, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition, accused of defending Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the sun instead of the other way around. (Galileo was found vehemently suspect of heresy and ended up being sentenced to a form of house arrest.)
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was officially declared winner of the 1860 presidential election as electors cast their ballots.
In 1935, a jury in Flemington, New Jersey, found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-slaying of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. (Hauptmann was later executed.)
In 1939, Justice Louis D. Brandeis retired from the U.S. Supreme Court. (He was succeeded by William O. Douglas.)
In 1960, France exploded its first atomic bomb in the Sahara Desert.
In 1965, during the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized Operation Rolling Thunder, an extended bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese.
In 1974, Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union. In 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, allied warplanes destroyed an underground shelter in Baghdad that had been identified as a military command center; Iraqi officials said 500 civilians were killed.
In 1998, Dr. David Satcher was sworn in as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States during an Oval Office ceremony.
In 2000, Charles Schulzís final ìPeanutsî strip ran in Sunday newspapers, the day after the cartoonist died in his sleep at his California home at age 77.
In 2002, John Walker Lindh pleaded not guilty in federal court in Alexandria, Va., to conspiring to kill Americans and supporting the Taliban and terrorist organizations. (Lindh later pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released in September 2019 after serving 17 years of that sentence.)
In 2013, beginning a long farewell to his flock, a weary Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final public Mass as pontiff.î