Today in History: Feb. 17

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UNDATED (AP) Friday, Feb. 17, is the 48th day of 2017. There are 317 days left in the year.

  • Highlight in History:
    • On Feb. 17, 1947, the Voice of America began broadcasting in Russian to the Soviet Union.
  • On this date:
    • In 1815, the United States and Britain exchanged the instruments of ratification for the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812.
    • In 1863, the International Red Cross was founded in Geneva.
    • In 1897, the forerunner of the National PTA, the National Congress of Mothers, convened its first meeting in Washington.
    • In 1913, the Armory Show, a landmark modern art exhibit, opened in New York City.
    • In 1925, the first issue of The New Yorker magazine (bearing the cover date of Feb. 21) was published.
    • In 1933, Newsweek magazine was first published under the title News-Week.
    • In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces invaded Eniwetok Atoll, encountering little initial resistance from Imperial Japanese troops. (The Americans secured the atoll less than a week later.)
    • In 1959, the United States launched Vanguard 2, a satellite which carried meteorological equipment.
    • In 1964, the Supreme Court, in Wesberry v. Sanders, ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.
    • In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon departed the White House with his wife, Pat, on a historic trip to China.
    • In 1986, Johnson & Johnson announced it would no longer sell over-the-counter medications in capsule form, following the death of a woman who had taken a cyanide-laced Tylenol capsule.
    • In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue,” winning a six-game match in Philadelphia (however, Kasparov lost to Deep Blue in a rematch in 1997).
  • Ten years ago:
    • Senate Republicans foiled a Democratic bid to repudiate President George W. Bush’s deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops to Iraq.
    • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise visit to Baghdad.
    • At Camp Pendleton, California, Marine Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington was sentenced to 8 years in military prison for his role in the kidnapping and killing of an Iraqi civilian (he was released early in Aug. 2007).
    • Former French Cabinet minister Maurice Papon, convicted of complicity in crimes against humanity for his role in deporting Jews during World War II, died near Paris at age 96.
  • Five years ago:
    • Congress voted to extend a Social Security payroll tax cut for 160 million workers and to renew unemployment benefits for millions more.
    • The New York Knicks saw their seven-game winning streak with team sensation Jeremy Lin come to an end when they lost to the New Orleans Hornets, 89-85.
  • One year ago:
    • A three-way feud among the Republican’s leading White House contenders escalated, with Ted Cruz daring Donald Trump to sue him for defamation and dismissing Marco Rubio’s charges of dishonesty during a CNN forum just days before South Carolina’s high-stakes primary.
    • Travis Hittson, a former Navy crewman, was executed in Georgia for killing a fellow sailor, Conway Utterbeck.
    • A jury in Los Angeles acquitted an Ohio man of stalking actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • Birthdays:
    • Actor Hal Holbrook is 92.
    • Actor-comedian Barry Humphries (aka “Dame Edna”) is 83.
    • Country singer-songwriter Johnny Bush is 82.
    • Actress Christina Pickles is 82.
    • Football Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown is 81.
    • Actress Brenda Fricker is 72.
    • Actress Rene Russo is 63.
    • Actor Richard Karn is 61.
    • Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 55.
    • Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is 54.
    • Actor-comedian Larry, the Cable Guy is 54.
    • TV personality Rene Syler is 54.
    • Movie director Michael Bay is 53.
    • Singer Chante Moore is 50.
    • Rock musician Timothy J. Mahoney (311) is 47.
    • Actor Dominic Purcell is 47.
    • Olympic gold and silver medal skier Tommy Moe is 47.
    • Actress Denise Richards is 46.
    • Rock singer-musician Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) is 45.
    • Actor Jerry O’Connell is 43.
    • Country singer Bryan White is 43.
    • Actress Kelly Carlson is 41.
    • Actor Ashton Holmes is 39.
    • Actor Conrad Ricamora (TV: How to Get Away With Murder) is 38.
    • Actor Jason Ritter is 37.
    • TV personality Paris Hilton is 36.
    • Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is 36.
    • TV host Daphne Oz (TV: The Chew) is 31.
    • Actor Chord Overstreet is 28.
    • Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is 26.
    • Actress Meaghan Martin is 25.
    • Actress Sasha Pieterse is 21.
  • Thought for the day:
    • “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” — Tom Stoppard, Czech-born British playwright (1937- ).
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