Today in History: February 19

February 19

1408   The revolt of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, against King Henry IV, ends with his defeat and death at Bramham Moor.
1701   Philip V of Spain makes his ceremonial entry into Madrid.
1807   Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested in Alabama for treason. He is later found innocent.
1847   Rescuers finally reach the ill-fated Donner Party in the Sierras.
1861   Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom.
1902   Smallpox vaccination becomes obligatory in France.
1903   The Austria-Hungary government decrees a mandatory two-year military service.
1915   British and French warships begin their attacks on the Turkish forts at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to seize the straits of Gallipoli.
1917   American troops are recalled from the Mexican border.
1919   The First Pan African Congress meets in Paris, France.
1925   President Calvin Coolidge proposes the phasing out of the inheritance tax.
1926   Dr. Lane of Princeton estimates the earth’s age at one billion years.
1942   Port Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia, is bombed by the Japanese.
1944   The U.S. Eighth Air Force and the Royal Air Force begin “Big Week,” a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.
1945   The first waves of U.S. Marines land on Iwo Jima.
1965   Fourteen Vietnam War protesters are arrested for blocking the United Nations’ doors in New York.
1966   Robert F. Kennedy suggests the United States offer the Vietcong a role in governing South Vietnam.
1976   Britain slashes welfare spending.
1981   The U.S. State Department calls El Salvador a “textbook case” of a Communist plot.
1987   New York Governor Mario Cuomo declares that he will not run for president in the next election.
Born on February 19
1473   Nicholas Copernicus, Polish astronomer; he introduced the idea that the earth revolved around the sun.
1683   Philip V, King of Spain.
1817   William III, King of the Netherlands.
1859   Svante Arrhenius, Swedish chemist, founder of physical chemistry.
1902   Kay Boyle, short story writer (“The White Horses of Vienna”).
1911   Merle Oberon, film actress.
1917   Carson McCullers, writer (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter).
1940   Smokey Robinson, American singer and songwriter.
1952   Amy Tan, novelist (The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife).

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