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Saturday, February 28, 2004


Today is Saturday, Feb. 28th.

The 59th day of 2004.

There are 307 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 28, 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule that contains the human genes.


On this date:

In 1784, The English evangelist John Wesley signs a deed of declaration as the charter of Wesleyan Methodism and ordains two “Presbyters” for the American Mission.

In 1827, the first U.S. railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co., was incorporated.

In 1844, a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer and several others.

In 1849, the ship California arrived at San Francisco, carrying the first of the gold-seekers.

In 1854, The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI.

In 1861, the Territory of Colorado was organized.

In 1922, After 40 years of occupation, Great Britain grants independence to Egypt, but retains the Suez Canal.

In 1933, Francis Perkins is appointed U.S. Secretary of Labor, becoming the first female cabinet member in American history.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler persuades president Paul von Hindenburg to issue an emergency order that suppresses civil liberties and freedom of the press and allows the Nazis to arrest thousands of their opponents.

In 1940, The first televised basketball game is aired from Madison Square Garden featuring Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1951, the Senate committee headed by Estes Kefauver, D-Tenn., issued a preliminary report saying at least two major crime syndicates were operating in the United States.

In 1953, In Tehran, Iran, supporters of the Shah drove Mohammed Mossadegh out of his home. Mobs were rioting outside.

In 1960, The United States wins the Olympic hockey gold medal by defeating Czechoslovakia, 9-4.

In 1962, TheJohn Glenn for President Club was formed by a group of Las Vegas republicans.

In 1972, U.S. President Nixon ended a visit to China that had begun on February 21st.

In 1974, the United States and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after a seven-year break.

In 1975, more than 40 people were killed in London's Underground when a subway train smashed into the end of a tunnel.

In 1979, Mr. Ed, the talking horse, died.

In 1983, "M*A*S*H" became the most watched television program in history when the final episode aired.

In 1984, Michael Jackson's album Thriller wins an unprecedented eight Grammy Awards.

In 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot to death in central Stockholm.

In 1989, In Lebanon, Israeli bombs killed three children. The bombs were intended for terrorist bases.

In 1991, U.S. President H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein pledged to honor future United Nations peace terms.

In 1993, a gun battle erupted at a compound near Waco, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried to serve warrants on the Branch Davidians; four agents and six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.

In 1996, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana agreed to divorce.

In 2001, The Northwest region of the U.S., including the state of Washington, was hit by an earthquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. There were no deaths reported.

In 2002, The Israeli military attacked two West Bank refugee camps. The attacks were an attempt to break strongholds of Palestinian militants. It was Israels largest military operation since the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Ten years ago (1994):

Two U.S. F-16 fighter jets downed four Serb warplanes that U.N. officials said had bombed an arms plant run by Bosnia's Muslim-led government.

Five years ago (1999):

Guerrillas detonated two bombs beside a military convoy in southern Lebanon, killing a brigadier general and three other Israelis; Israel retaliated with air raids on suspected guerrilla hideouts.

One year ago (2003):

NASA released video taken aboard Columbia that had miraculously survived the fiery destruction of the space shuttle with the loss of all seven astronauts; in the footage, four of the crew members can be seen doing routine chores and admiring the view outside the cockpit.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood by its ruling that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because of the words "under God."

The Food and Drug Administration announced that every bottle of ephedra would soon bear stern warnings that the popular herb could cause heart attacks or strokes, even kill.

It was reported that Iraq would began destroying its Al Samoud 2 missiles the next day. U.N. weapons inspectors deemed that the missiles violated U.N. limits on ranges.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Charles Durning is 81.

Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin, is 78.

Actor Gavin MacLeod is 73.

Actor Don Francks is 72.

Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 65.

Auto racer Mario Andretti is 64.

Singer Joe South is 64.

Actor Frank Bonner is 62.

Actress Kelly Bishop is 60.

Football player Bubba Smith is 59.

Actress Stephanie Beacham is 57.

Actress Mercedes Ruehl is 56.

Actress Bernadette Peters is 56.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is 49.

Basketball player Adrian Dantley is 48.

Actor John Turturro is 47.

Rock singer Cindy Wilson is 47.

Actress Rae Dawn Chong is 43.

Actor Robert Sean Leonard is 35.

Rock singer Pat Monahan (Train) is 35.

Actress Maxine Bahns is 33.

Singer FeFe Dobson is 19.

Actor Bobb'e J. Thompson ("The Tracy Morgan Show") is 8.


Thought for Today:

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." -

- Voltaire, French author-philosopher (1694-1778 ).