Today in history


By the Associated Press



Today is Friday, Feb. 28, the 59th day of 2020. 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 announced they had discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

On this date:

In 1942, the heavy cruiser USS Houston and the Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth were attacked by Japanese forces during the World War II Battle of Sunda Strait; both were sunk shortly after midnight on March 1 with a total loss of more than 1,000 men.

In 1975, 42 people were killed in London’s Underground when a train smashed into the end of a tunnel.

In 1983, the long-running TV series “M-A-S-H” ended after 11 seasons on CBS with a special 2½-hour finale that was watched by an estimated 121.6 million people.

In 1993, a gun battle erupted at a religious compound near Waco, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried to arrest Branch Davidian leader David Koresh on weapons charges; four agents and six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.

In 1996, Britain’s Princess Diana agreed to divorce Prince Charles. (Their 15-year marriage officially ended in August 1996; Diana died in a car crash in Paris a year after that.)

In 2013, Benedict XVI became the first pope in 600 years to resign, ending an eight-year pontificate. (Benedict was succeeded the following month by Pope Francis.)

In 2018, Walmart announced that it would no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21 and would remove items resembling assault-style rifles from its website. Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.

Today’s Birthdays: Architect Frank Gehry is 91. Actor Gavin MacLeod is 89. Singer Sam the Sham is 83. Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 81. Hall of Fame auto racer Mario Andretti is 80. Actor Frank Bonner is 78. Actress Kelly Bishop is 76. Actress Stephanie Beacham is 73. Writer-director Mike Figgis is 72. Actress Mercedes Ruehl is 72. Actress Bernadette Peters is 72. Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu is 72. Actress Ilene Graff is 71. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is 67. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is 65. Basketball Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley is 65. Actor John Turturro is 63. Rock singer Cindy Wilson is 63. Actress Rae Dawn Chong is 59.

Thought for Today: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” — Henry James (1843-1916).

By the Associated Press