Today is Wednesday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2020. There are 316 days left in the year.
Birthdays: Singer Smokey Robinson is 80. Actress Carlin Glynn is 80. Author Amy Tan is 68. Actor Jeff Daniels is 65. The English Beat singer-musician Dave Wakeling is 64. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is 61. Britain’s Prince Andrew is 60. Tennis Hall of Famer Hana Mandlikova is 58. Singer Seal is 57. Phish musician Jon Fishman is 55. Actress Justine Bateman is 54. Actor Benicio Del Toro is 53.
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 patent for “an improvement in phonograph or speaking machines.”
In 1934, the US Army Air Corps began delivering mail after President Franklin D. Roosevelt canceled private contracts that had come under suspicion. (The hastily arranged, ill-equipped military flights claimed the lives of a dozen pilots, sparking a public outcry before they were dropped several months later.)
In 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 US-born citizens.
In 1945, Operation Detachment began during World War II as some 30,000 US 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 children’s program “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” created by and starring Fred Rogers, made its network debut on National Educational Television, a forerunner of PBS, beginning a 31-season run.
In 1986, the US Senate approved, 83-11, the Genocide Convention, an international treaty outlawing “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” nearly 37 years after the pact was first submitted for ratification.
In 2003, an Iranian military plane carrying 275 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards crashed in southeastern Iran, killing all on board.
In 2006, Israel halted the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money to the Palestinians after Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament.
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 2010, in a televised 13-minute statement, golfer Tiger Woods admitted infidelity and acknowledged receiving therapy. The FBI concluded that Army scientist Bruce Ivins acted alone in the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five people and formally closed the case.
Last year, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he would again seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. President 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.