Today in history: Feb, 19

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    1408         The revolt of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, against King Henry IV, ends with his defeat and death at Bramham Moor.
    1701         Philip V of Spain makes his ceremonial entry into Madrid.
    1807         Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested in Alabama for treason. He is later found innocent.
    1847         Rescuers finally reach the ill-fated Donner Party in the Sierras.
    1861         Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom.
    1902         Smallpox vaccination becomes obligatory in France.
    1903         The Austria-Hungary government decrees a mandatory two year military service.
    1915         British and French warships begin their attacks on the Turkish forts at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to seize the straits of Gallipoli.
    1917         American troops are recalled from the Mexican border.
    1919         The First Pan African Congress meets in Paris, France.
    1925         President Calvin Coolidge proposes the phasing out of inheritance tax.
    1926         Dr. Lane of Princeton estimates the earth’s age at one billion years.
    1942         Port Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia, is bombed by the Japanese.
    1944         The U.S. Eighth Air Force and Royal Air Force begin "Big Week," a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.
    1965         Fourteen Vietnam War protesters are arrested for blocking the United Nations’ doors in New York.
    1966         Robert F. Kennedy suggests the United States offer the Vietcong a role in governing South Vietnam.
    1976         Britain slashes welfare spending.
    1981         The U.S. State Department calls El Salvador a "textbook case" of a Communist plot.
    1987         New York Governor Mario Cuomo declares that he will not run for president in the next election.

    Born on February 19
    1473         Nicholas Copernicus, Polish astronomer who introduced the idea that the earth revolved around the sun.
    1683         Philip V, King of Spain.
    1817         William III, King of the Netherlands.
    1859         Svante Arrhenius, Swedish chemist, founder of physical chemistry.
    1902         Kay Boyle, short story writer ("The White Horses of Vienna").
    1911         Merle Oberon, film actress.
    1917         Carson McCullers, writer (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter).
    1940         Smokey Robinson, American singer and songwriter.
    1952         Amy Tan, novelist (The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife).

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