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This Day in History: February 19


1807 – Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama and confined to Fort Stoddert.

1846 – In Austin, Texas the newly formed Texas state government is officially installed. The Republic of Texas government officially transfers power to the State of Texas government following the annexation of Texas by the United States.

1847 – The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party.

1859 – Daniel E. Sickles, a New York Congressman, is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity. This is the first time this defense is successfully used in the United States.

1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

1884 – More than sixty tornadoes strike the Southern United States, one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.

1942 – World War II: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps.

1945 – World War II: Battle of Iwo Jima: About 30,000 United States Marines land on the island of Iwo Jima.

1949 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.

1953 – Censorship: Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.

1963 – The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique reawakens the feminist movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness raising groups spread.

1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald Ford's Proclamation 4417

2001 – The Oklahoma City bombing museum is dedicated at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

2002 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.


1916 – Eddie Arcaro, American jockey and sportscaster (d. 1997)

1917 – Carson McCullers, American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and essayist, (d. 1967)

1940 – Smokey Robinson, American singer-songwriter and producer

1946 – Karen Silkwood, American technician and activist (d. 1974)

1952 – Amy Tan, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.


1936 – Billy Mitchell, American general and pilot (b. 1879)

1998 – Grandpa Jones, American singer-songwriter and banjo player (b. 1913)

2016 – Harper Lee, American author (b. 1926)