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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2021. There are 314 days left in the year.

Todayís Highlight in History:

On Feb. 20, 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, upheld, 7-2, compulsory vaccination laws intended to protect the publicís health.

On this date:

In 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the United States Post Office Department.

In 1839, Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.

In 1933, Congress proposed the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to repeal Prohibition.

In 1942, Lt. Edward ìButchî OíHare became the U.S. Navyís first flying ace of World War II by shooting down five Japanese bombers while defending the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in the South Pacific.

In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Project Mercuryís Friendship 7 spacecraft, which circled the globe three times in a flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds before splashing down safely in the Atlantic Ocean 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.

In 1965, Americaís Ranger 8 spacecraft crashed on the moon, as planned, after sending back thousands of pictures of the lunar surface.

In 1987, a bomb left by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski exploded behind a computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring store owner Gary Wright. Soviet authorities released Jewish activist Josef Begun.

In 1998, Tara Lipinski of the U.S. won the ladiesí figure skating gold medal at the Nagano (NAHí-guh-noh) Olympics; Michelle Kwan won the silver.

In 1999, movie reviewer Gene Siskel died at a hospital outside Chicago at age 53.

In 2003, a fire sparked by pyrotechnics broke out during a concert by the group Great White at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, killing 100 people and injuring about 200 others.

In 2007, in a victory for President George W. Bush, a divided federal appeals court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees could not use the U.S. court system to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.

In 2010, Alexander Haig, a soldier and statesman whoíd held high posts in three Republican administrations and some of the U.S. militaryís top jobs, died in Baltimore at 85.

Ten years ago: Security forces loyal to Libyaís Moammar Gadhafi unleashed heavy gunfire as thousands marched in the rebellious eastern city of Benghazi, cutting down mourners trying to bury victims. Twenty-year-old Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in only his second Sprint Cup start. Kobe Bryant won his record-tying fourth All-Star game MVP award, scoring 37 points and propelling the West to a 148-143 victory over the East in the NBA All-Star game.

Five years ago: Donald Trump barreled to victory in South Carolinaís Republican primary; Hillary Clinton pulled out a crucial win over Bernie Sanders in Nevadaís Democratic caucuses. A funeral Mass was held for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Lindsey Vonn clinched a record 20th World Cup crystal globe title in La Thuile (lah tweel), Italy, surpassing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark.

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