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On February 17th, 1801, the House of
Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas
Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing
Jefferson president. Burr became vice president.
On this date:
In 1817, a street in Baltimore became the first
to be lighted with gas from America's first gas
In 1865, Columbia,
South Carolina, burned as the Confederates
evacuated and Union forces moved in. (It's not
known which side set the blaze.)
In 1897, the
forerunner of the National PTA, the National
Congress of Mothers, was founded in Washington.
In 1904, Giacomo
Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly" was
poorly received at its world premiere at La
"Newsweek" was first published.
In 1947, the Voice
of America began broadcasting to the Soviet
In 1964, the
Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts
within each state had to be roughly equal in
In 1972, President
Nixon departed on his historic trip to China.
Lieutenant Colonel William Higgins, an American
officer serving with a United Nations truce
monitoring group, was kidnapped in southern
Lebanon (he was later slain by his captors).
In 1992, serial
killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced in Milwaukee
to life in prison (however, he was beaten to
death in prison in November 1994).
Ten years ago:
Former President Reagan spent a second day in a
Los Angeles courtroom, giving videotaped
testimony about the Iran-Contra affair for the
trial of his former national security adviser,
Five years ago:
Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of
murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road
shootings (he was later sentenced to a minimum of
200 years in prison).
One year ago: In a
satellite-linked address to college campuses
across the country, President Clinton made his
case for shoring up Social Security and Medicare.
Israeli security guards shot and killed three
Kurds who had forced their way into the Israeli
consulate in Berlin; the protesters were enraged
by reports that Israel aided in the arrest of
Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
knows when it is mortally hurt; and limps off the
field, piteous, all disguises thrown away. But
pride carries its banner to the last; and fast as
it is driven from one field unfurls it in
Helen Hunt Jackson, American author (1831-1885).