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 1975, Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of Britain’s opposition Conservative Party.
In 1979, followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY’-nee) seized power in Iran.
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 2008, the Pentagon charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (HAH’-leed shayk moh-HAH’-med) and five other detainees at Guantanamo Bay with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.
In 2009, All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about steroids in baseball. (He was sentenced to a year’s probation.) 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.)
Ten years ago: Egypt exploded with joy after pro-democracy protesters brought down President Hosni Mubarak, whose resignation ended three decades of authoritarian rule.
Five years ago: Surrounded by FBI agents in armored vehicles, the last four occupiers of a national nature preserve in Oregon surrendered, ending a 41-day standoff that left one man dead. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battled for the crucial backing of black and Hispanic voters during a Democratic debate in Milwaukee.
One year ago: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary, edging moderate Pete Buttigieg. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet each dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. The four lawyers on the Justice Department team that prosecuted longtime Trump ally Roger Stone quit the case after the department overruled them and said it would seek a reduced amount of prison time for Stone. Actor Jussie Smollett was indicted for a second time on charges of lying to police about a racist and anti-gay attack he allegedly staged on himself in downtown Chicago. A standard poodle named Siba won top honors at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Conrad Janis is 93. Gospel singer Jimmy Carter is 89. Fashion designer Mary Quant is 87. Bandleader Sergio Mendes is 80. Actor Philip Anglim is 69. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is 68. Actor Catherine Hickland is 65. Rock musician David Uosikkinen (aw-SIK’-ken-ihn) (The Hooters) is 65. Actor Carey Lowell is 60.
Singer Sheryl Crow is 59. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is 57. Actor Jennifer Aniston is 52. Actor Damian Lewis is 50. Actor Marisa Petroro is 49. Singer D’Angelo is 47. Actor Brice Beckham is 45. Rock M-C/vocalist Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) is 44. Singer-actor Brandy is 42. Country musician Jon Jones (The Eli Young Band) is 41. Actor Matthew Lawrence is 41. R&B singer Kelly Rowland is 40. Actor Natalie Dormer is 39. Singer Aubrey O’Day is 37. Actor Q’orianka (kohr-ee-AHN’-kuh) Kilcher is 31. Actor Taylor Lautner is 29.