Originally created 02/19/99

This day in the millennium -- February 19



Nation/World

1473 -- the astronomer Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland.

1803 -- Congress voted to accept Ohio's borders and constitution. (However, Congress did not get around to formally ratifying Ohio statehood until 1953.)

1807 -- former Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. He was subsequently tried for treason and acquitted.

1846 -- the Texas state government was formally installed in Austin.

1878 -- Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph.

1881 -- Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

1942 -- President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.

1942 -- about 150 Japanese warplanes attacked the Australian city of Darwin.

1945, during World War II, some 30,000 Marines landed on Iwo Jima, where they began a month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.

1959 -- an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus its independence.

1986 -- the U.S. Senate approved a treaty outlawing genocide, 37 years after the pact had first been submitted for ratification.

1997 -- Deng Xiaoping, the last of China's major Communist revolutionaries, died.

1989 -- Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini rejected the apology of "Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie, exhorting Muslims to "send him to hell" for committing blasphemy.

1994 -- With Bosnian Serbs facing a NATO deadline to withdraw heavy weapons encircling Sarajevo or face air strikes, President Clinton delivered an address from the Oval Office reaffirming the ultimatum. American speedskater Bonnie Blair won the fourth Olympic gold medal of her career as she won the 500-meter race in Lillehammer, Norway.

1998 -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan set out for Iraq on a last-chance peace mission, saying he was "reasonably optimistic" about ending the standoff over weapons inspections without the use of force. At the Nagano Olympics, Austrian Hermann Maier won the men's giant slalom while Hilde Gerg of Germany won the women's slalom.