Today in history: Feb, 16

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    1760         Cherokee Indians held hostage at Fort St. George are killed in revenge for Indian attacks on frontier settlements.
    1804         US Navy lieutenant Steven Decatur leads a small group of sailors into Tripoli harbor and burns the USS Philadelphia, captured earlier by Barbary pirates.
    1862         Fort Donelson, Tennessee, falls to Grant’s Federal forces, but not before Nathan Bedford Forrest escapes.
    1865         Columbia, South Carolina, surrenders to Federal troops.
    1923         Bessie Smith makes her first recording "Down Hearted Blues."
    1934         Thousands of Socialists battle Communists at a rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
    1937         Dupont patents a new thread, nylon, which will replace silk in a number of products and reduce costs.
    1940         The British destroyer HMS Cossack rescues British seamen from a German prison ship, the Altmark, in a Norwegian fjord.
    1942         Tojo outlines Japan’s war aims to the Diet, referring to "new order of coexistence" in East Asia.
    1945         American paratroopers land on Corregidor, in a campaign to liberate the Philippines.
    1951         Stalin contends the U.N. is becoming the weapon of aggressive war.
    1952         The FBI arrests 10 members of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.
    1957         A U.S. flag flies over an outpost in Wilkes Land, Antarctica.
    1959         Fidel Castro takes the oath as Cuban premier in Havana.
    1965         Four persons are held in a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument.
    1966         The World Council of Churches being held in Geneva, urges immediate peace in Vietnam.
    1978         China and Japan sign a $20 billion trade pact, which is the most important move since the 1972 resumption of diplomatic ties.

    Born on February 16
    1620         Frederick William, founder of Brandenburg-Prussia.
    1838         Henry Adams, U.S. historian, son and grandson of the presidents.
    1852         Charles Taze Russell, founder of the International Bible Students Association which later became the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    1845         Quinton Hogg, English philanthropist.
    1886         Van Wyck Brooks, biographer, critic and literary historian.
    1903         Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist and radio comedian.
    1904         George Kennan, U.S. diplomat and historian.
    1944         Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (The Sportswriter, Independence Day).

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