By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Friday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2021. There are 315 days left in the year.

Todayís Highlights in History:

On Feb. 19, 1942, during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which paved the way for the relocation and internment of people of Japanese ancestry, including U.S.-born citizens. Imperial Japanese warplanes raided the Australian city of Darwin; at least 243 people were killed.

On this date:

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr, accused of treason, was arrested in the Mississippi Territory, in present-day Alabama. (Burr was acquitted at trial.)

In 1846, the Texas state government was formally installed in Austin, with J. Pinckney Henderson taking the oath of office as governor.

In 1878, Thomas Edison received a U.S. patent for ìan improvement in phonograph or speaking machines.î

In 1945, Operation Detachment began during World War II as some 30,000 U.S. Marines began landing on Iwo Jima, where they commenced a successful month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.

In 1968, the childrenís program ìMister Rogersí Neighborhood,î created by and starring Fred Rogers, made its network debut on National Educational Television, a forerunner of PBS, beginning a 31-season run.

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford, calling the issuing of the internment order for people of Japanese ancestry in 1942 ìa sad day in American history,î signed a proclamation formally confirming its termination.

In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved, 83-11, the Genocide Convention, an international treaty outlawing ìacts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,î nearly 37 years after the pact was first submitted for ratification.

In 1992, Irish Republican Army member Joseph Doherty (DAWKí-ur-tee) was deported from the United States to Northern Ireland following a nine-year battle for political asylum. (Doherty was imprisoned for the killing of a British army commando in 1980; he was freed in 1998 under the Good Friday Agreement.)

In 1997, Deng Xiaoping (dung shah-oh-ping), the last of Chinaís major Communist revolutionaries, died at age 92.

In 2003, an Iranian military plane carrying 275 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards crashed in southeastern Iran, killing all on board.

In 2008, an ailing Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power; his brother Raul was later named to succeed him.

In 2019, President Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to develop plans for a new Space Force within the Air Force, accepting less than the full-fledged department he had wanted.

Ten years ago: Security forces in Libya and Yemen fired on pro-democracy demonstrators as the two hard-line regimes struck back against the wave of protests that had already toppled autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia. The worldís dominant economies, meeting in Paris, struck a watered-down deal on how to smooth out trade and currency imbalances blamed for a global financial crisis.

Five years ago: Harper Lee, author of ìTo Kill a Mockingbird,î died in Monroeville, Alabama, at age 89.

One year ago: About 500 passengers left the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan at the end of a two-week quarantine that failed to stop the spread of the coronavirus among passengers and crew.


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