TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Thursday, Feb. 11, the 42nd day of 2021. There are 323 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Feb. 11, 2020, the World Health Organization gave the official name of COVID-19 to the disease caused by the coronavirus that had emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan. A group of 195 evacuees was cleared to end a two-week quarantine at a Southern California military base, where they had been staying since flying out of China amid the coronavirus outbreak.

On this date:

In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting law favoring his Democratic-Republican Party — giving rise to the term “gerrymandering.”

In 1847, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio.

In 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln bade farewell to his adopted hometown of Springfield, Ill., as he headed to Washington for his inauguration.

In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement, in which Stalin agreed to declare war against Imperial Japan following Nazi Germany’s capitulation.

In 1990, South African Black activist Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity.

In 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded Harry Whittington, a companion during a weekend quail-hunting trip in Texas.

In 2009, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who first went to Congress in 1955, became the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2012, pop singer Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead in a hotel room bathtub in Beverly Hills, California.

In 2013, with a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope had done in more than half a millennium: announced his resignation. The bombshell came during a routine morning meeting of Vatican cardinals. (The 85-year-old pontiff was succeeded by Pope Francis.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Conrad Janis is 93. Bandleader Sergio Mendes is 80. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is 68. Actor Catherine Hickland is 65. Singer Sheryl Crow is 59. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is 57. Actor Jennifer Aniston is 52. Singer D’Angelo is 47. Actor Natalie Dormer is 39.