Today is Friday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2020. There are 314 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 21, 1975, former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up (each ended up serving a year and a-half).
On this date:
In 1613, Mikhail Romanov, 16, was unanimously chosen by Russia’s national assembly to be czar, beginning a dynasty that would last three centuries.
In 1945, during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea was sunk by kamikazes with the loss of 318 men.
In 1965, black Muslim leader and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned; all were eventually paroled.)
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon began his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Beijing.
In 1973, Israeli fighter planes shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 over the Sinai Desert, killing all but five of the 113 people on board.
In 1992, Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States won the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating at the Albertville Olympics; Midori Ito of Japan won the silver, Nancy Kerrigan of the U.S., the bronze.
In 2018, the Rev. Billy Graham, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died at his North Carolina home; he was 99.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Bob Rafelson is 87. Actor Gary Lockwood is 83. Actor-director Richard Beymer is 81. Actor Peter McEnery is 80. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is 80. Film/music company executive David Geffen is 77. Actress Tyne Daly is 74. Actor Anthony Daniels is 74. Tricia Nixon Cox is 74. Former Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, is 73. Rock musician Jerry Harrison (The Heads) is 71. Actress Christine Ebersole is 67. Actor William Petersen is 67. Actor Kelsey Grammer is 65. Country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter is 62. Actor Kim Coates is 62. Actor Jack Coleman is 62. Actor Christopher Atkins is 59. Actor William Baldwin is 57.
Thought for Today: “There is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action.” — Adlai E. Stevenson, American politician and diplomat (1900-1965).