TODAY IN HISTORY


By The Associated Press



Today is Thursday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2020. There are 315 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Project Mercury’s Friendship 7 spacecraft, which circled the globe three times in a flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds before splashing down safely in the Atlantic Ocean 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.

On this date:

In 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the United States Post Office Department.

In 1862, William Wallace Lincoln, the 11-year-old son of President Abraham Lincoln and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, died at the White House, apparently of typhoid fever.

In 1987, a bomb left by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski exploded behind a computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring store owner Gary Wright.

In 1998, Tara Lipinski of the U.S. won the ladies’ figure skating gold medal at the Nagano Olympics; Michelle Kwan won the silver.

In 2003, a fire sparked by pyrotechnics broke out during a concert by the group Great White at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, killing 100 people and injuring about 200 others.

In 2007, in a victory for President George W. Bush, a divided federal appeals court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees could not use the U.S. court system to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sidney Poitier is 93. Racing Hall of Famer Bobby Unser is 86. Racing Hall of Famer Roger Penske is 83. Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is 79. Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito is 78. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is 78. Movie director Mike Leigh is 77. Actress Brenda Blethyn is 74. Actress Sandy Duncan is 74. Actor Peter Strauss is 73. Rock musician Billy Zoom (X) is 72. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is 69. Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is 66. Actor Anthony Head is 66. Country singer Leland Martin is 63. Actor James Wilby is 62. Rock musician Sebastian Steinberg is 61. Comedian Joel Hodgson is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is 57. Actor French Stewart is 56. Actor Ron Eldard is 55. Model Cindy Crawford is 54. MLB All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander is 37. Singer Rihanna is 32.

Thought for Today: “Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.” — Sarah Bernhardt, French actress (1844-1923).

By The Associated Press