1901 Stephen M. White (b.1853), former US Senator from California (1893-1899), died. He is remembered as the “Father of Los Angeles Harbor.”
1902 Dr. Harvey Cushing, US brain surgeon, performed his 1st brain operation.
1932 Camera exposure meter was patented by WN Goodwin.
1934 Nicaraguan patriot Augusto Cesar Sandino was assassinated by National Guard.
1944 Hideki Tojo became chief of staff of the Japanese army.
1946 Alan Rickman, actor (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Rasputin, Die Hard), was born.
1947 Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera in NYC. It could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds. Polaroid Corp. was co-founded by Land and George W. Wheelwright III (d.2001 at 97).
1948 Bill France, Daytona Beach stock car mechanic and driver, founded the National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR).
1952 Dick Button performed 1st figure skating triple jump in competition.
1956 A Grand Jury in Montgomery, Ala., indicted 115 in a Negro bus boycott.
1960 Havana placed all Cuban industry under direct control of the government.
1965 Former Black Muslim leader El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, aka Malcolm X (born as Malcolm Little, 39), was shot to death in front of 400 people in New York by assassins identified as Black Muslims. He was murdered at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. His wife, Betty Shabazz, was pregnant with twins and sat in the audience along with his 4-year-old daughter Quibilah. Three men, Norman 3X Butler (Abdul Aziz), Khalil Islam, and Thomas Hagan, connected to the Nation of Islam were convicted for the assassination. Aziz was paroled in 1985 and in 1998 was appointed by Louis Farrakhan to head a Harlem mosque. In 1992 James H. Cone authored a book about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. In 2011 Manning Marable authored “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.”
1969 In Israel Hebrew University students Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe were killed when a bomb exploded as they purchased groceries in a Jerusalem SuperSol supermarket. Rasmieh Yousef Odeh was arrested in March and soon sentenced by an Israeli military court to life in prison for her involvement in this and another terrorist bombing in Jerusalem. In 1980 she was among 78 prisoners released by Israel in an exchange with the PLO for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon.
1974 Tim Horton, hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, died at 44 in a car crash driving back home to Buffalo after a game in Toronto. His career spanned 25 years with 6 invitations to all-star teams.
1975 Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up. Mitchell was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. He served 19 months behind bars.
1981 Charles Rocket (1949-2005) clearly said “fuck” on Saturday Night Live.
1982 Murray Kaufman (b.1922), NYC DJ also known as Murray the K, died. During the early days of Beatlemania, he was frequently referred to as “the Fifth Beatle.”
1986 Ryan White (1971-1990), AIDS patient, returned to classes at Western Middle School in Indiana.
1986 Larry Wu-tai Chin, the first American found guilty of spying for China, killed himself in his Virginia jail cell.
1988 TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart tearfully confessed to his congregation in Baton Rouge, La., that he was guilty of an unspecified sin, and said he was leaving the pulpit temporarily. Reports linked Swaggart to an admitted prostitute, Debra Murphree.
1989 President Bush called Ayatollah Khomeini‘s death warrant against “Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie “deeply offensive to the norms of civilized behavior.”
1994 Jury selection began in Pensacola, Fla., in the trial of Michael F. Griffin, an anti-abortion activist accused of killing Dr. David Gunn outside a women’s clinic. Griffin was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
1995 Chicago stockbroker Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon, landing in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada.
1998 U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan began formal talks with Iraqi officials in the standoff over weapons inspections.
1999 The People’s Democratic Party led by Gen’l. Obasanjo won 169 of 360 seats in the House. Lola Abiola-Edowar won a seat in the House of Representatives. She was the daughter of Moshood Abiola, the billionaire politician who died in military detention in 1998.
2000 In Nigeria Muslim and Christian youths seized parts of Kaduna in clashes over a proposal to bring Islamic law (Shariah) to the state. Over 20 people were killed.
2001 Pope John Paul II installed 44 new cardinals. It was the largest number ever installed at one time.
2005 Over 500 people rallied in Cairo to protest against a new term in office for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and against moves to enable his son Gamal to succeed him.
2006 In California the execution of Michael Morales at San Quentin was put on hold after 2 anesthesiologists backed out of assuring that he would be unconscious while dying per a requirement by US District Judge Jeremy Fogel.
2006 Stefan Eriksson (44) was involved in the crash of a million-dollar Ferrari Enzo in northern Malibu, Ca. In 2005 he and some partners had racked up some $400 million in losses in Gizmondo, a London-based subsidiary of Tiger Telematics, that was developing a handheld gaming device. Prior to Gizmondo Eriksson had served time in a Swedish prison for counterfeiting. Eriksson was arrested on April 8 for failing to make payments on 3 cars worth $3.5 million. On Nov 7 Eriksson was sentenced to 3 years in prison for embezzlement and gun possession.
2007 Mayor Newsom and Philip Mangano, the government’s head of homelessness, announced that SF had received $19.7 million in federal funds to help fight homelessness.
2008 Ben Chapman (1928-2008), film star, died. He played the creature in the film “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954)
2010 In the Philippines Albader Parad, a top commander of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, was among six militants killed in fighting on Jolo island. Another of those slain, Abdulhan Jumdail, was identified as the cousin of Umbra Jumdail, one of the core leaders of the Abu Sayyaf.
2011 In Honduras evangelical pastor Carlos Marroquin (41), walking his two schnauzers, was shot to death by a gunman who tried to steal the dogs in San Pedro Sula.
2012 The Times of India said Tsutomi Omori (49), managing director of Olympus Medical Systems in India, was found hanging from iron railings within his luxury apartment complex in Delhi’s satellite city of Gurgaon. Police said Omori appeared to have committed suicide late on Feb 19.
2013 Ray Cusick (84), BBC designer, died. He created the Daleks, mutant monsters in sinister shells, for the “Doctor Who” TV series.
2014 The head of Croatia’s Bishops Conference, Archbishop Zelimir Puljic, said the Rev. Nedeljko Ivanov has been found guilty of sexually abusing minors in 1980s and 1990s. Ivanov was ordered to apologize to the victims and donate part of his pension to charity.