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Events, deaths, births, of FEB 25

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• Scandinavia neutral in Soviet aggression against Finland... • First Black US congressman... • Marcos flees from Manila... • Renoir is born... • Haing Ngor is murdered.... • Krushchev condemns Stalin... • Collector car auction... • EU criticizes US Internet plans... • Encryption bills in US Congress... • Communists take power in Czechoslovakia... • A railroad baron is born... • Congress moves to block widening of Vietnam war... • Molotov is born...
ANR price chartOn a February 25:

2003 The previous day Annuity and Life RE Holdings Ltd (ANR) announced that it expects severe losses for 2002 and is ceasing writing new business. Today on the New York Stock Exchange 4.4 million of the 26 million shares of ANR are traded, dropping from their previous close of $2.85 to an intraday low of $0.76 at which they close. They had traded as high as $21.16 as recently as 24 April 2002 and $36.98 on 13 August 2001, after starting trading at $22.50 on 22 February 1999. [4~year price chart >]

2003 In Lubbock, Texas, state District Judge Jim Bob Darnell orders bailiffs to seal with duct tape the mouth of Carl Wiley, 36, who, for some 20 minutes had been disrupting a hearing outside the jury's presence. When the jury returns, the judge orders the duct tape removed from Darnell and Darnell from the courtroom. Darnell is then convicted of ramming his vehicle into his estranged wife's car (she was not injured).
Roh and Kim

2003 Roh Moo Hyun [left in photo] is inaugurated as president of South Korea, succeeding Kim Dae Jung [right in photo].
^ 2001 For murdering a Palestinian 14-year-old: 49 days in jail for Israeli soldier.
     An Israeli soldier who shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian teen-ager in the Gaza Strip has been sentenced to 49 days in jail for violating the army's rules on when a soldier can open fire, the army announces. The Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israeli troops of using excessive force, but punishments meted out to soldiers have been extremely rare. The Israeli human rights group Betselem said five cases have been investigated by the military since Israeli-Palestinian fighting began five months ago, but they were not aware of any cases in which soldiers had actually been punished. The soldier fired a .22-caliber rifle, hitting 14-year-old Issa Ibrahim al-Amur in the stomach as he was walking near a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip on 03 February. Al-Amur later died of his wounds.
      The soldier, who was not named by the army, was identified as Daniel Stempler by an Israeli newspaper, Kol Hair. "The soldier acted in violation of IDF (army) procedure and standing orders in the region," the army said in a statement. He will serve out his sentence in a military prison. The Palestinian boy was hit as he approached an army position at the settlement, an area off limits to Palestinians since the violence began in September, the army said. However, soldiers are not permitted to shoot to kill unless they feel their lives are threatened. They are also supposed to give five warnings - two verbal warnings, another by visibly loading their weapon, then by firing in the air, and finally by shooting at the legs. The army said it did not know whether this was the first time a soldier had been punished for illegally firing a weapon during the current fighting. More than 400 people have been killed since September 2000, including more than 330 Palestinians and more than 50 Israeli Jews.
2000 A jury in Albany, N.Y., acquits four, white New York police officers of the shooting death of unarmed innocent African immigrant Amadou Diallo.
^ 1999 Clinton impeachment aftermath

(1) One of Linda Tripp's former attorneys does not have to appear before a grand jury hearing evidence about her secret tapes of Monica Lewinsky, a judge decides today.
  • Howard County Circuit Judge James Dudley rules on behalf of attorney Jim Moody, who appeared before the grand jury last December and declined to answer virtually all questions about Mrs. Tripp's recordings. Moody also refused a prosecutor's request to hand over any tapes featuring Ms. Lewinsky's voice.
  • Moody was Mrs. Tripp's attorney in January 1998, when she told independent counsel Kenneth Starr about an affair between Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky.
  • The Maryland grand jury is investigating whether Mrs. Tripp broke state law in 1997 when she recorded phone conversations with Ms. Lewinsky about her affair with President Clinton.
  • The tapes have been widely distributed, but Mrs. Tripp received federal immunity for her testimony. Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli must establish independently that Mrs. Tripp made the tapes and knew that taping Ms. Lewinsky without her knowledge was illegal.
  • Montanarelli had said Moody's knowledge of the tapes "is essential to the state's burden to prove that (Mrs.) Tripp illegally taped Monica Lewinsky."
  • Moody called Montanarelli's requests a violation of attorney-client privilege. He said Montanarelli's demand "utterly destroys" the attorney-client relationship "if lawyers can be turned into the key witness against their client."
  • Attorneys say the decision could derail the Maryland investigation of Mrs. Tripp, who prosecutors say may have violated wiretapping laws by taping her conversations with the former White House intern.
  • In the NBC interview, Broaddrick cries briefly as she details the alleged assault. Asked what she now thought of Clinton, she replies: "My hatred for him is overwhelming."
  • Broaddrick tells NBC nobody tried to intimidate her to remain silent and no one paid her to keep quiet or to speak out.
  • She says she had filed an affidavit in the Jones case denying she'd had any unwelcome advances from Clinton because she was unwilling to tell her story at that time.
  • "I just couldn't hold it inside any longer," Broaddrick says in trying to explain why she is finally coming forward with her account. She says she didn't want her granddaughters and nieces asking her, "Why didn't you tell what this man did to you?" Broaddrick says, "... I don't want to do anything. I do not have an agenda. I want to put all these rumors to rest."

    (2) Clinton refuses comment earlier in the day on Broaddrick's allegations, saying he stands by the statement of his attorney, David Kendall.

    (3) The NBC interview of Broaddrick was taped January 20 but held by NBC until tonight's airing.
  • Clinton opponents accuse NBC of sitting on the interview in order to protect the president and say that the interview, had it appeared earlier, could have had an impact on the Senate impeachment trial that ended with Clinton's acquittal February 12.
  • NBC says it had needed time to complete reporting on a complicated story.
  • While the network tried to check out Broaddrick's account, The Wall Street Journal did its own interview with Broaddrick, and other media organizations followed.
  • (4) The question of whether Attorney General Janet Reno has authority to investigate allegations of misconduct by Ken Starr's office may be decided by the three-judge panel that appointed him. CNN reports that the panel has given Reno and Starr 15 days to outline their positions on the question of whether the Justice Department should investigate the independent counsel. The three-judge panel is headed by David Sentelle of Washington.
  • The panel's action is in response to a motion filed by the Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative public interest law firm. The foundation has asked the court to bar Reno from probing allegations of wrongdoing by Starr's staff. "We hope the court's order is the first step towards stopping the attorney general's persistent efforts to undermine Judge Starr's authority and independence," says Mark Levin, president of Landmark Legal Foundation.
  • Originally, Reno had proposed that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility conduct the investigation of Starr and his staff.
  • However, Starr expressed concerns about the agency's involvement in a potential probe in a recent letter to Reno. Since that time, Justice officials have been struggling to construct a plan that would appear fair to Starr.
  • Reno now is considering bringing in an outside investigator to look into allegations of misconduct by Starr's office.
  • Among the options being discussed is having someone from a US attorney's office outside of the Justice Department headquarters lead the investigation.
  • Also under consideration is choosing someone completely outside of the Justice Department, such as a former or retired judge.
  • According to sources, the ideal situation would be to appoint someone with a Republican background or an independent.
  • There are two primary allegations of misconduct against Starr's
  • The first concerns the discussion of an immunity deal by members of Starr's team with Monica Lewinsky without her attorney present during the January 1998 sting operation set up by the independent counsel's office with the help of Linda Tripp. That would have been against Justice Department guidelines.
  • The other allegation concerns whether the Office of the Independent Counsel withheld information about its contact with attorneys affiliated with Paula Jones, who had filed a sexual harassment claim against President Clinton, when Starr approached Reno for authorization to expand his investigation into the Lewinsky matter. The key question there is whether the attorney general would have thought contacts with Jones' associates would have presented a conflict of interest as Starr investigated the harassment claim.
  • In addition, the Justice Department also is awaiting the results of an investigation into alleged leaks of grand jury material. That investigation was set in motion by Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, who oversees the Starr grand jury.

    (5) Created in the wake of the Watergate scandal, but increasingly under assault from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the Independent Counsel Act will likely undergo a major overhaul, if it survives at all. Battered by years of criticism first by Republican administrations under investigation, and now by Democrats in the wake of Kenneth Starr's five-year investigation of President Bill Clinton, the statute has few fans on Capitol Hill.
  • Mechanics of the OIC law:
  • The law requires the attorney general to seek the appointment of an independent counsel when there is substantial and credible evidence of a crime by any one of 49 top federal officials, including the president.
  • A panel of three federal judges then picks an attorney for the job. The prosecutor has an unlimited budget to hire aides and investigate his target — a frequent point of criticism. Starr has spent nearly $50 million on the Clinton investigation.
  • With approval from the attorney general and the appointing judges, the independent counsel can broaden investigations far beyond the original mandate, another target of the law's critics. Starr's mandate, for example, began with inquiries into Clinton's Whitewater land deals and widened repeatedly, finally to the Monica Lewinsky scandal that led to his impeachment and trial.
  • Congress' frosty regard for the law began when Starr was still on the bench of the US Court of Appeals in the 1980s. Republicans were the first to complain of the law's abuse during Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh's seven-year Iran-Contra investigation. The controversy prompted Congress to let the law lapse for 18 months during the early 1990s.
  • Ironically, it was Clinton who successfully campaigned for the law's renewal in 1994. But two years ago, already under investigation by Starr, Clinton said that the its costs had outweighed the benefits.
  • ^ 1998 Europe criticizes US Internet plans
          The European Union criticized the United States for a document it released outlining governance and maintenance of key Internet functions, including the registration of Internet addresses. Europe's leaders felt the United States was unfairly seeking to consolidate permanent control over the Internet. 1928 First television license is issued The Federal Radio Commission issued the first television license to Charles Francis Jenkins Laboratories in Washington, D.C., on February 25, 1928. The station was assigned the call letters W3XK, and it operated until October 31, 1932.
    ^ 1996 Encryption bills introduced in US Congress
          Two bills that would allow the export of stronger encryption software and establish rules for allowing the government "keys" to encoded messages were introduced on this day in 1996. The bills were part of a long-running dispute between the industry and the government. The computer industry was distressed by federal restrictions allowing them to export only weak encryption programs. In addition, technology companies resisted the government's proposal that all encryption "keys" be stored with a government agency, so that investigators who obtained warrants would be able to examine messages.
    1996 On the 10th anniversary of the Philippine People's Power revolution forcing Imelda Marcos and her corrupt dictator husband into flight from the presidential palace, she offers this prayer for Swiss banks (holding some of the estimated $5 billion the Marcoses and their cronies are accused of looting): "May the Lord enlighten ... the Swiss banks — that they might uphold justice and preserve the integrity of their own laws and the laws of confidentiality, trust and basic decency between the banks and their clients,"
    1990 Nicaraguans went to the polls in an election that resulted in an upset victory for the alliance opposed to the ruling Sandinistas.
    1989 first independent blue-collar labor union in Communist Hungary forms
    1988 South Korea adopts constitution
    1986 Iran conquerors Iraq peninsula Fao
    ^ 1986 Marcos flees from Manila
          In the face of massive demonstrations against his rule, Ferdinand E. Marcos, the president of the Philippines, is airlifted from the presidential palace in Manila, along with his wife, Imelda, and several others, to the safety of the US Clark Air Base in Balibago. Twenty years earlier, Marcos was elected president on a reformist platform, however, within a few years, he suffered opposition from leftist guerillas, Islamic separatists in Mindinao, and a dissatisfied general public. On September 21, 1972, Marcos declared martial law, and early in the next year, established a new constitution that gave him dictatorial powers over the country. During the next decade, the US-backed regime of Ferdinand Marcos was marked by misuse of foreign financial support, repression, and political murders, most notably of Marcos's political opponent Benigno Aquino in 1983.
          In early February of 1986, Marcos defrauded a fiercely contested presidential election, declaring himself the victor over Corazon Aquino, the wife of the assassinated politician. However, Aquino also declared herself the rightful winner, and the public rallied behind her, staging massive anti-Marcos demonstrations across the Philippines. Deserted by his former supporters in the military, the church, and the middle class, Marcos and his wife fled to exile in Hawaii, where they faced investigation on embezzlement charges. In 1989, Ferdinand died and Imelda returned to the Philippines, making a presidential bid as she fought charges against her. In 1992, she was decisively rejected by the voters in favor of Fidel Ramos, who initiated a program of "national reconciliation" after becoming president.
    1982 Record speed for a snowmobile (239 km/h)
    1981 L. Calvo Sotelo elected premier of Spain.
    ^ 1979 Collector car auction
         Christie’s Ltd., the London-based auction firm, held its first collector car auction in Los Angeles. M.L. Bud Cohn purchased a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K roadster for $400,000. High-end automobile auctions are commonplace today, and Mr. Cohn’s purchase seems like a bargain, considering that in 1987 a 1963 Ferrari GTO hardtop sold for $1.6 million. 1919 Gas Tax Oregon became the first state to impose a tax on gasoline. The funds collected from the 1 percent tax were used for road construction and maintenance.
    ^ 1971 US Congress moves to block widening of Vietnam war
          In both houses of Congress, legislation is initiated to forbid US military support of any South Vietnamese invasion of North Vietnam without congressional approval. This legislation was a result of the controversy that arose after the invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces in Operation Lam Son 719. On February 8, South Vietnamese forces had launched a major cross-border operation into Laos to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy the North Vietnamese supply dumps in the area. Although the only direct US support permitted was long-range cross-border artillery fire from firebases in South Vietnam, fixed-wind air strikes, and 2600 helicopters to airlift Saigon troops and supplies, President Richard Nixon's critics condemned the invasion. Foreign Relations Committee chairman Senator J. William Fulbright (D-Arkansas) declared the Laotian invasion illegal under the terms of the repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed the president only the mandate to end the war.
    1968 Makarios re-elected President of Cyprus.
    1966 Syrian military coup under Hafiz al-Assad.
    1964 Austrian chancellor Alfons Gorbach resigns.
    1962 India Congress Party wins elections.
    1956 Khrushchev denounces Stalin at 20th Soviet Party Conference.
    ^ 1956 Khrushchev condemns Stalin
          During a sensational speech before the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, Nikita Khrushchev, the new Soviet leader, denounces the policies of Joseph Stalin, the totalitarian leader of the USS.R. from 1924 to 1953. Khrushchev condemns Stalin as a tyrant and calls into question the "personality cult" of Soviet leaders like Stalin and his predecessor Vladimir Lenin. He also argues that it is time for the Soviet leadership to officially end their public veneration of Stalin, a brutal leader who killed at least ten million Soviet citizens for political and economic reasons during his three decades of rule. In the years following the Twentieth Party Congress, Soviet authorities almost uniformly condemn Stalin and his politics, and, on 31 October 1961, his embalmed body is removed from public display in Lenin's tomb in Moscow's Red Square, and shunted off to a more discreet location.
    1954 Abdul Nasser appointed Egyptian premier.
    1948 Communists seize Czechoslovakia/C Gottwald becomes premier
    ^ 1948 Communists take power in Czechoslovakia
          Under pressure from the Czechoslovakian Communist Party, President Eduard Benes allows a Communist-dominated government to be organized. Although the Soviet Union did not physically intervene (as it would in 1968), Western observers decried the virtually bloodless communist coup as an example of Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe. The political scene in Czechoslovakia following World War II was complex, to say the least. Eduard Benes was head of the London-based Czech government-in-exile during the war, and returned to his native land in 1945 to take control of a new national government following the Soviet withdrawal in July of that year. National elections in 1946 resulted in significant representation for leftist and communist parties in the new constituent assembly. Benes formed a coalition with these parties in his administration.
          Although Czechoslovakia was not formally within the Soviet orbit, US officials were concerned with the Soviet Communist influence in the nation. They were particularly upset when Benes' government strongly opposed any plans for the political rehabilitation and possible rearmament of Germany (the US was beginning to view a rearmed Germany as a good line of defense against Soviet incursions into western Europe). In response, the United States terminated a large loan to Czechoslovakia. Moderate and conservative parties in Czechoslovakia were outraged, and declared that the US action was driving their nation into the clutches of the communists. Indeed, the communists made huge electoral gains in the nation, particularly as the national economy spiraled out of control. When moderate elements in the Czech government raised the possibility of the nation's participation in the US Marshall Plan (a massive economic recovery program designed to help war torn European countries rebuild), the communists organized strikes and protests, and began clamping down on opposition parties. Benes tried desperately to hold his nation together, but by February 1948 the communists had forced the other coalition parties out of the government.
          On 25 February, Benes gives in to Communist demands and handed his cabinet over to the party. Rigged elections were held in May to validate the communist victory. Benes then resigned and his former foreign minister Jan Masaryk died under very suspicious circumstances. Czechoslovakia became a single-party state. The response from the West was quick but hardly decisive. Both the United and Great Britain denounced the communist seizure of power in Czechoslovakia, but neither took any direct action. Perhaps having put too much faith in Czechoslovakia's democratic traditions, or possibly fearful of a Soviet reaction, neither nation offered anything beyond verbal support to the Benes government. The Communist Party, with support and aid from the Soviet Union, dominated Czechoslovakian politics until the so-called "Velvet Revolution" of 1989 brought a non-communist government to power.
    1945 US carrier-based planes attack Tokyo.
    1944 US first Army completes invasion plan.
    1943 Vietminh forms Indo Chinese Democratic Front.
    1938 British Lord Halifax becomes Foreign Minister.
    1932 Immigrant Adolf Hitler gets German citizenship.
    1927 Gdansk and Polish accord concerning traffic through Polish corridor.
    1926 Kwo-Min-Tang (Guomindang) declares war on government/warlords.
    1926 Francisco Franco becomes General of Spain.
    1921 Georgian SSR proclaimed.
    1919 Oregon becomes the first US state to tax gasoline.
    1916 German troops conquer Fort Douaumont near Verdun.
    ^ 1913 US Income Tax Amendment ratified.
         The 16th US constitutional amendment is ratified, it authorizes the income tax. Already in 1895 the UN Supreme Court had made a ruling in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co., a case that revolved around the constitutionality of income tax legislation. Though the nation had briefly adopted a like-minded tax during the Civil War, the Court ruled in the Pollock case that the income tax was unconstitutional. The Court deemed a property-based tax on incomes a "direct tax," which violated the Constitution's holding that taxes could only be levied if they raised revenues that were commensurate with each state’s population. However, the intervening years saw the Court gradually move away from its consideration of an income tax as a "direct tax" and instead came to view it as an excise tax "measured by income." By the time it handed down its ruling on the Sixteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court experienced a full-blown change of heart and judged income taxes as being "inherently" indirect. Although it "conferred no new power of taxation," the amendment greatly increased the chances that future income tax legislation would make its way into the nation's law books. Irate legislators attempted to kill the amendment; when the Supreme Court rendered its judgement in 1916, it upheld the legislation and paved the path for the Federal income tax.
    1910 Dali Lama flees Tibet from Chinese troop to British-Indies
    1907 US proclaims protectorate over Dominican Republic.
    1888 Juan Benlloch y Vivó [29 Dec 1864 – 14 Feb 1926] is ordained a Catholic priest. He would become Archbishop of Burgos on 07 January 1919 and a cardinal on 07 March 1921.
    1875 Kiowa Indians under Lone Wolf (Guipago) surrender at Ft Sill
    ^ 1870 First Black in US Congress
          Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the US Senate, becoming the first Black to ever sit in Congress. During the Civil War, Revels, a college-educated minister, helped form African-American army regiments for the Union cause, started a school for freed men, and served as a chaplain for the Union army. Posted to Mississippi, Revels remained in the former Confederate state after the war and entered into Reconstruction-era Southern politics. In 1867, the first Reconstruction Act was passed by a Republican-dominated US Congress, dividing the South into five military districts and granting suffrage to all male citizens, regardless of race. A politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican party to power, which in turn brought about radical changes across the South. By 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks to the support of African-American voters. On January 20, 1870, Hiram R. Revels was elected by the Mississippi legislature to the fill the Senate seat once held by Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. On February 25, two days after Mississippi was granted representation in Congress for the first time since it seceded in 1861, Revels was sworn in. Although African-Americans Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and some fifteen other African-American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, over six hundred served in state legislatures, and hundreds of African Americans held local offices.
    1868 Andrew Johnson impeached for violation of the Tenure of Office act
    1864 Engagement at Buzzard's Roost, Georgia as Union General George H. Thomas makes a forced reconnaissance towards Dalton.
    1862 Federal troops occupy Nashville, Tennessee.
    1862 Paper currency (greenbacks) introduced in US by President Abraham Lincoln.
    1803 1800 sovereign German states unite into 60 states.
    1779 In the morning, Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, elder brother of explorer William Clark, accepts British Lt. Gov. Henry Hamilton's unconditional surrender of Fort Sackville at Vincennes, Indiana.
    1793 At his home, George Washington convenes the first US Cabinet meeting on record.
    1751 first performing monkey exhibited in America, NYC (admission 1¢)
    1746 Cumberlands troops occupy Aberdeen
    1623 Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria becomes monarch of Palts
    1605 Portuguese garrison on Ambon surrenders to Admiral Van der Haghen.
    1570 Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated by Pope Pius V for her severe persecution of Roman Catholics in England, and he absolves her subjects from allegiance (It was the last such judgment made against a reigning monarch by any pope.)
    1540 Francisco Vásquez de Coronado searches for 7 cities of Cibola México.
    1502 Austrian emperor Maximilian I reformats government machine
    1497 Italians troops reconquer Taranto from France.
    Deaths which occurred on a 25 February:
    2003 David “Joe” Hamilton, 37, and Arnold Peters, 57, of injuries suffered on 20 February in explosion and fire in Corbin, Kentucky, at the CTA Acoustics plant which makes insulation for automakers, where they were workers. They become its first two fatalities.
    2003 Ahmed Abu Elwan, 13, Palestinian, by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell hitting a car in the Rafah refugee camp, Gaza Strip.
    2003 Ala Abu Sarah, 23, of wounds received during a gunfight with Israeli soldiers in Nablus, West Bank, a few days earlier.
    2003 Four persons, including a man of 55, by pistol shots at 06:25 (11:25 UT) from Emmanuel after he was hit in the face during an argument about a CD-player and $20, at the front counter of the local office of Labor Ready at 726 Arcadia Circle, Huntsville, Alabama. One person is wounded. Emmanuel shoots first the man with whom he was having the argument, then that one's father who was trying to have them go outside, then Emmanuel aims at uninvolved bystanders, his gun misfiring a couple of times. Then Emmanuel goes to his apartment on Baker Road near Oakwood Road, which police surround after he shoots at them, and, hours later, they arrest him. Labor Ready (LRW) is the US's largest employment agency for temporary manual laborers in light industry and small businesses. On the New York Stock Exchange 375'000 of the 41 million LRW shares are traded, dropping from their previous close of $5.64 and closing at $5.40
    2003 At least 400 civilians, on 24 and 25 February, in Bogoro, Congo-Kinshasa, in attack by RCD-ML (Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie) and allied Lendu tribesmen against the UPC (Union des Patriotes Congolais), according to the leader of UPC, Thomas Lubanga. Both factions are among the rebel groups which, in December 2002, signed a power-sharing agreement with the Kabila government, so as to end a four-and-a-half-year civil war.
    2001 Madurese immigrants continue to be horribly massacred in Indonesian Borneo, by gangs of native Dayaks.This started on 18 February. Since then hundreds have been killed, homes are being burned down, thousands of refugees try to flee, and the Indonesian police and army do little to stop the carnage. Indonesia had resettled on Borneo people from overcrowded Madura island.
    ^ 1996 Haing Ngor, murdered in Los Angeles
          Dr. Haing Ngor, a Cambodian refugee, physician, and Academy Award-winning actor, is shot to death in Los Angeles, California, allegedly during a robbery by three members of a Black youth gang. In 1980, Ngor, persecuted in Cambodia for his education in Western medicine, escaped the country after losing his family to the genocidal purge of Cambodian society carried out by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Ngor settled in the United States where he agreed to star in The Killing Fields, a feature film directed by Roland Joffe that told the story of the Cambodian genocide from the perspective of an American journalist, Sydney Schanberg, and a Cambodian photographer, Dith Pran. Ngor played Pran, a fellow refugee whose experiences at the hands of the Khmer Rouge greatly mirrored his own. In 1984, Ngor won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for the performance and settled in Los Angeles, where he renewed his earlier career in medicine. In 1996, he was murdered in Los Angeles's Chinatown, allegedly during a robbery. Three members of the "Oriental Lazy Boyz" street gang were charged with his murder, and in April of 1998, were convicted after a lengthy trial where various theories of assassination conspiracies were presented. The defense had argued that Ngor's murder could not simply be a gang robbery perpetrated by the three defendants, as, although his watch may have been taken, his luxury car and wallet containing some three-thousand dollars were not touched.
    1996: 27 persons, by explosions set off by suicide bombers in Jerusalem and Ashkelon.
    1994 29 Palestinians, massacred, and their killer, Baruch Goldstein, in Hebron. US-born Jewish enclave settler Baruch Goldstein shoots inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, West Bank, killing 29 Muslims before he is beaten to death by worshippers.
    1991: 28 killed by SCUD missile, which hits a US barrack in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    1988 Mahler, mathematician.
    1983 Tennessee Williams, 71, writer (Streetcar Named Desire), chokes to death on a bottle cap.
    1983 Jeanine Nicarico, 10, raped and bludgeoned, in Naperville, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. In February 1985 Rolando Cruz and Alejandro “Alex Hernández would be wrongfully sentenced to death for the crime, because of the lies and falsification of evidence by prosecutors Patrick King, Thomas Knight, and Robert Kilander, and DuPage County Sheriff's officers Lt. James Montesano, Lt. Robert Winkler and Detectives Dennis Kurzawa and Thomas Vosburgh (all seven of whom would go on trial for that and, on 04 June 1999, be acquitted). Later in 1985, while confessing to two unrelated murders, Brian Dugan, a convicted sex offender, acknowledged killing Jeanine Nicarico. Notwisthanding Dugan's confession, Cruz and Hernandez spent more than ten years in prison before being released in November of 1995. As for Dugan, while his DNA closely matches the genetic material found at the crime scene, he has not been charged. He is serving two consecutive life sentences in an Illinois prison for the rape and murder of Donna Schnorr and Melissa Ackerman, who were both killed after Jeanine Nicarico.
    1975 Elijah “Muhammad, of congestive heart failure, born Elijah Poole on 07 October 1897, leader of the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims), in Chicago
    1972 Four US dead and 47 wounded, 68 km east of Saigon, in biggest US battle in nearly a year. It lasts 5 hour and resultes in almost half the US weekly casualties.
    1972 Steinhaus, mathematician.
    1970 Marcus Rothkowits “Mark Rothko”, US abstract expressionist painter, born in Russia on 25 September 1903. — MORE ON ROTHKO AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    ^ 1969 Bui Van Vat, his wife Luu Thi Canh, two of their granddaughters, a grandson, and some 15 other unarmed Vietnamese women and children, massacred by US Navy Seals, in Thanh Phong.
         On 25 April 2001 a reporter's two-year investigation forces ex-US-Senator Bob Kerrey to admit a (probably greatly minimized) murderous role as a member of the Navy Seals leading a mission in Vietnam that somehow went horribly wrong. As an inexperienced, 25-year-old lieutenant, Kerrey led a commando team on a raid of an isolated peasant hamlet called Thanh Phong in Vietnam's eastern Mekong Delta. While witnesses and official records give varying accounts of exactly what happened, one thing is certain: around midnight in the night of 25 to 26 February 1969, Kerrey and his men killed at least 13 unarmed women and children. The operation was brutal.
         In the winter of 1969, a couple of days after the Super Bowl, a military plane lifted off from North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, California. In it were Kerrey and his team, on their way to Vietnam. Seals (the name stands for Sea-Air-Land units) commandos began as underwater demolition teams in the Second World War. During the Vietnam era, they evolved into special forces units, trained to operate behind enemy lines, collect intelligence and carry out assassinations. Officially, Kerrey's group was called Delta Platoon, Seals Team One, Fire Team Bravo. Unofficially, they were Kerrey's Raiders. Only two of the men, Mike Ambrose and Gerhard Klann, had previous experience on Seals teams in Vietnam. The others were William H. Tucker III, Gene Peterson, Rick Knepper, a medic named Lloyd Schreier and Kerrey himself.
         Delta Platoon was assigned to the Navy's Task Force 115, based at Cam Ranh Bay and commanded by Capt. Roy Hoffmann.
         For several weeks, Kerrey and his team operated in the relatively safe environs of Cam Ranh Bay, the Navy's largest base in what was then South Vietnam, about midway up the coast. Then they began looking for a true war mission. They moved south to Cat Lo, a regional Navy command post where one of Hoffmann's senior deputies, Paul Connolly, would oversee their missions. The Navy kept a fleet of "swift boats" a few kilometers away, in the port of Vung Tau — 50-foot, aluminum-skinned crafts equipped with two .50-caliber machine guns and twin 480-horsepower Detroit Diesels — that moved Kerrey's squad on missions in the Mekong Delta.
         Vung Tau was the stepping-off point for operations in the "Thanh Phu Secret Zone," in the tropical Mekong Delta, about 120 km southeast of Saigon. It was considered among the most dangerous parts of Vietnam. Five of its eight villages — including Thanh Phong — were said to be under the control of the rebel Vietcong forces.
         Much of the Thanh Phu district was a "free-fire zone," where peasants who did not relocate to government refugee centers, called "strategic hamlets," were labeled as Vietcong or as enemy sympathizers
         Thanh Phong was a village of between 75 and 150 people on the South China Sea. It consisted of groups of four or five hooches (thatch huts) strung out over about a 500 m of shoreline. On Feb. 13, 1969, Kerrey's team entered a section of Thanh Phong, searched two hooches and interrogated 14 women and small children, looking for the village secretary.
         Kerrey's squad would not return until Feb. 25, when intelligence sources again indicated that the village secretary would be holding a meeting, this time with a Vietcong military leader.
          On Feb. 25, the district chief, Tiet Lun Duc, issued a blunt warning to the area's villagers. This was in response to an atrocity, in which two Vietcong were said to have thrown a grenade into a hooch at 02:00, killing a 5-year-old and wounding a number of others. Duc said: "We want people to be government of Vietnam. Come out with us, and we will take this area back. You who do not come out, we will consider you to be Vietcong. You are the enemy. You will die."
         "It's entirely possible that I'm blacking a lot of it out," Kerrey admitted in an April 2001 interview. A more reliable version, would be given by Kerrey's most experienced commando, Gerhard Klann, consistent with the accounts given in interviews with one Vietnamese woman, Pham Tri Lanh, who claims to have witnessed the whole tragedy and with two people who say they are relatives of the victims.
         As Kerrey's commando approached Thanh Phong that night, they came upon a hooch not mentioned in their intelligence reports. In it were an old man, an old woman, and three children under 12. Ordered by Kerrey, the commando killed them with knives, “to preserve the secrecy of the mission.”
         The Vietnamese woman, Pham Tri Lanh, witnessed all these killings. Then 30 years old and the wife of a Vietcong fighter, she quickly snuck up on the scene at the first hooch after hearing cries. "I was hiding behind a banana tree, and I saw them cut the man's neck, first here and then there," she says. "His head was still attached at the back." She also saw the commandos kill a woman and three children with their knives. Lanh says that the man and woman were the grandparents of the three young children. A woman claiming to be a relative of these victims showed a graveyard where a man named Bui Van Vat, his wife, Luu Thi Canh, and, in three small graves, their grandchildren — two girls and a boy — are buried. The date on the adults' gravestones, which were erected 10 years after the fact, is 24 February 1969.
         About 15 minutes later, the team arrived at the cluster of hooches. The squad rounded up women and children from a group of hooches on the fringes of the village. They questioned them about the whereabouts of the village secretary. A quick search of the hooches turned up nothing.
         Approaching the village the commando fired rockets and guns, 1200 round of ammunition in all. Arriving at the hooches they found some 14 dead women and children. Sometime later they fired at several people who were running away.
         To prevent these people from accusing them of the first killings, or of alerting the Viet Cong and endanger the commando, deep in enemy territory, they decided to kill them. Lanh, who had been checking to see that her children were safe, crept close enough to witness what happened next. Kerrey gave the order and the team, standing between 3 and 5 m away, started shooting — raking the group with automatic-weapons fire for about 30 seconds. They were moans, so they began firing again, for another 30 seconds.
         There was one final cry, from a baby. The baby was the last one alive. There were blood and guts splattering everywhere.
         On the boat going out, the commando radioed that they had killed 21 Viet Cong, no mention of civilians.
         Reports of the atrocities were not investigated. The Navy awarded Kerrey a Bronze Star for this mission. Later Kerrey was wounded and lost the lower part of a leg. He then received the Medal of Honor, which he now admits was undeserved.
         Nine months later, news broke about the slaughter of at least 350 innocent villagers at My Lai by forces under the command of Lt. William L. Calley Jr. Calley, who would ultimately be convicted of the premeditated murder of 22 unarmed civilians, was sentenced to life at hard labor but served only three years under house arrest at Fort Benning. My Lai was a watershed, an event that finally convinced great segments of the American public that the Vietnam War was immoral, if not unwinnable. And in February 1970, about a year after Thanh Phong, a five-man Marine patrol entered the hamlet of Son Thang, about 20 miles south of Danang, and killed 16 women and children. The marines were charged with murder and prosecuted. Two of the accused, including the leader, were acquitted; one was given immunity and two were convicted of murder. Neither served more than 10 months in jail.
         Gary Solis, a war-crimes expert at the US Military Academy at West Point, who wrote a book on Son Thang, says that atrocities were more common in Vietnam than we knew. While there were 122 convictions for war crimes in Vietnam, he says, "In my opinion, war crimes occurred that were never reported."
    1968 Camille Huysmans, 96, Belgian premier (1946-1947)
    1964 Alexander Archipenko, Ukrainian Cubist sculptor and painter born on 30 May 1887. — more with link to images.
    1950 Luzin, mathematician
    ^ 1940 Day 88 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland.
    More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.

    Scandinavian foreign ministers announce policy of neutrality

           Karelian Isthmus: the enemy offensive on the intermediary positions in the Taipale sector and the Central Isthmus is halted by Finnish counterattacks.
          A Finnish infantry division is deployed in Vuosalmi. III Army Corps' focus of operations is shifted to Vuosalmi.
          In the north, an enemy company pursuing the Finnish troops which carried out yesterday's surprise attack at Kuusivaara in Salla is destroyed in an ambush.
          In Kuhmo, Reuhkavaara 'motti' is finally cleared out by midday.
          Scandinavian foreign ministers declare their countries' neutrality and emphasize their commitment to peace.

    ^ Skandinavian ulkoministerit julistavat maittensa puolueettomuutta Talvisodan 88. päivä, 25.helmikuuta.1940
            Vihollisen hyökkäykset väliasemassa Taipaleen suunnalla ja Keski-Kannaksella torjutaan vastahyökkäyksin.
          Vuosalmelle ryhmitetään yksi jalkaväkirykmentti. III Armeijakunnan painopiste siirtyy Vuosalmelle.
          Suomalaisten eilen Sallan Kuusivaarassa suorittaman yllätyshyökkäyksen jälkeen takaa-ajoon lähtenyt viholliskomppania tuhotaan väijytyksissä.
          Reuhkavaaran motti kukistuu puoleen päivään mennessä Kuhmossa.
          Skandinavian ulkoministerit julistavat maittensa puolueettomuutta ja korostavat rauhantahtoaan.

    ^ De skandinaviska utrikesministrarna deklarerar ländernas neutralitet Vinterkrigets 88 dag, den 25 februari 1940
          Fiendens angrepp mot mellanställningen i Taipale och på mellersta Näset slås tillbaka med motangrepp.
          Ett infanteriregemente grupperar sig i Vuosalmi.
          Tyngdpunkten för den III Armékåren flyttas till Vuosalmi.
          Det fientliga kompani som flydde efter finnarnas överraskande angrepp i Kuusivaara i Salla igår förintas av finska trupper som ligger i bakhåll.
          Mottin i Reuhkavaara slås ner vid middagstid i Kuhmo.
          De skandinaviska utrikesministrarna deklarerar ländernas neutralitet och betonar sin vilja till fred.
    1922 Henri-Désiré Landru, 52, French sex murderer, guillotined.
    1911 Friedrich Hermann Karl “Fritz” von Uhde, German painter born on 22 May 1848. — more with links to images.
    1910 Thomas Worthington Whittredge, US Hudson River School painter born on 22 May 1820.
    1899 Paul Julius von Reuter founder of the news agency (Reuters).
    1884 William Huggins, British painter born in May 1820. — links to images.
    1852 Thomas Moore writer (Utopia).
    1723 Sir Christopher Wren, 90, England, mathematician, astronomer, architect.
    1713 Frederik I King of Prussia (1701-1713), dies at 55.
    1639 Roelandt Jacobszoon Savery, Flemish painter, draftsman, and etcher, born in 1576. — MORE ON SAVERY AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1601 Earl of Essex executed for treason in revolt against Queen Elizabeth
    1601 Robert Devereux Earl of Essex, executed for treason against Elizabeth
    0779 Walburgis Anglo-Saxon abbess/saint (Walpurgis Night)
    Births which occurred on a February 25:
    1919 League of Nations set up by Paris Treaty
    1905 Adele Davis (nutritionist: "You Are What You Eat."; author: Let's Cook it Right, Let's Eat Right and Keep Fit)
    1902 Oscar Cullmann Swiss New Testament scholar. Best known for pioneering a "salvation history" view of the NT, Cullmann's best-known works are Das Petrusproblem, Christ and His Time (1946), and Christology of the New Testament (1959).
    1901 US Steel Corporation is s incorporated by J.P. Morgan
    1901 [Herbert] Zeppo Marx New York NY, comedian/actor (Marx Brothers)
    1893 Rudolf Wacker, Austrian artist who died on 19 April 1939.
    ^ 1890 Vlacheslav Mikhaylovich Skryabin “Molotov”, in Kurkaka, Russia.
         He would grow up to take the revolutionary name Molotov and be foreign minister for the Soviet Union. Molotov was an enthusiastic advocate of Marxist revolution in Russia from its earliest days. He was an organizer of the Bolshevik Party in 1906 and suffered arrest in 1909 and 1915 under the czarist government for his subversive political activities. In 1921, after the coup d'etat that brought Vladimir Lenin to power and overthrew the old czarist regime, he became secretary of the revolutionary government's Central Committee. After Lenin's death in 1924, Molotov supported Joseph Stalin as Lenin's successor; when Stalin did assume power, Molotov was rewarded with full membership in the Soviet Politburo, the executive policy-making body. In 1930, he was made chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, a position roughly the equivalent of prime minister. On the eve of World War II, Molotov was also made Soviet commissar of foreign affairs — that is, the foreign minister for the USSR. It was in this position that he negotiated the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Nonaggression Pact (August 1939) with Nazi Germany, in which the antifascist Soviet Union and anti-Marxist Germany agreed to respect each other's spheres of influence (an agreement that angered and stunned the world, and that only lasted a short time). When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Molotov became a member of the State Defense Committee, a war cabinet post, and negotiated alliances with the United States and Great Britain, arguing for a "second front" that would draw the Germans westward and away from the USSR. He won a reputation as a hard and relentless advocate for Soviet interests (nicknamed "Stone Ass" by Roosevelt), and did little to hide his contempt for the Western democracies — even as he desperately needed and relied upon them. After the war, Molotov left the foreign ministry, but took it up once again upon the accession of Nikita Krushchev to power. Disagreements with Krushchev led to his dismissal from that post, and "anti-party" — really anti-Krushchev — involvement led to his being deposed from all government posts and denounced as a "henchman" of Stalin. He was then relegated to various low-profile jobs, including ambassador to Outer Mongolia. He retired from public life in 1962 and died in 1986. Though he held many notable posts in the Soviet government, many remember him for another reason — during the war, Molotov advocated the use of throwing bottles filled with flammable liquid and stuffed with a lit rag at the enemy, and the famous "Molotov cocktail" was born.
    1888 John Foster Dulles US Secretary of State (1953-1959).
    1884 Josef Stoitzer, Austrian artist who died in 1951.
    1873 Enrico Caruso Naples Italy, operatic tenor (Faust)
    1861 Santiago Rusiñol i Prats, Catalan painter and writer who died on 13 June 1931. — more with links to two images.
    ^ 1848 Edward Harriman, railroad baron, in Hempstead, New York.
          He would become the controversial savior of the transcontinental Union Pacific Railroad.. The son of an Episcopal minister, Harriman disliked school and dropped out to become a broker's boy when he was 14. To the amazement of the stockbrokers on Wall Street, the young Harriman demonstrated an uncanny ability to pick winning stocks, and he had his own seat on the stock exchange by the age of 21. Harriman's involvement with railroads began when he attempted to rehabilitate some tired old lines owned by his wife's relatives. He soon developed a passion for every aspect of railroads, from steam technology to traffic flow problems, and he particularly enjoyed reviving once great lines that had fallen on hard times. In 1897, Harriman took on his most ambitious railroad project ever: the salvation of the bankrupt Union Pacific Railroad. The first transcontinental line to link East and West, the Union Pacific had once been the queen of railroads but had become an outdated and inefficient money pit. Over 10 years, Harriman restored the Union Pacific to its glory days, transforming it into one of the best-built and -managed lines in the nation. In pursuit of efficiency and predictable profits, Harriman gradually gained control over many of the central western and southwestern lines in the United States. Alarmed by this concentration of control over a technology that was essential to the American economy, President Theodore Roosevelt sued Harriman for violation of federal antitrust regulations. In 1904, the Supreme Court directed that much of Harriman's system be dissolved. As a result of the antitrust litigation, Harriman became a favorite target for turn-of-the-century resentment of big business, and he was often accused of having built his railroad monopolies simply to increase his own profits. The truth was more complicated. Harriman certainly sought good profits, but his brilliant transformation of the Union Pacific and other decrepit lines was motivated as much by a desire to maximize efficiency as profits. Frank to the point of bluntness, Harriman rarely deigned to explain and defend his complex ideas about railroads to the public, guaranteeing that he would be largely remembered as little more than a greedy robber baron.
    1841 Pierre Auguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter who died on 03 December 1919. — MORE ON RENOIR AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1837 first US electric printing press is patented by Thomas Davenport.
    1836 First revolving barrel multishot firearm is patented by Samuel Colt.
    1831 Mary Jane Goodwin (Mrs. Austin), who died on 30 March 1894. US author of Fairy Dreams: or, Wanderings in Elf-Land (1859) — Kinah's Curse! A Story of Love, Intrigue, Revenge and War (1864) — The Tailor Boy (1865) — Dora Darling: The Daughter of the Regiment (1865) — The Novice...A Tale of the Great Earthquake in 1755 (1865) — The Outcast...An American Story (1865) — Cipher: A Romance (1869) — The Shadow of Moloch Mountain (1870) — Moonfolk, A True Account of the Home of the Fairy Tales (1874) — Mrs. Beauchamp Brown (1880) — The Nameless Nobleman (1881) — The Desmond Hundred (1882) — Nantucket Scraps: Being the Experience of an Off-Islander (1883) — The Story of a Storm (1886) — Standish of Standish (1889) — Dr Le Baron and his Daughters: A Story of the Old Colony (1890) — Dolores, A Novel (1890) — Queen Tempest (1890) — Betty Alden: The First Born Daughter of Pilgrims (1891) — David Alden's Daughter and Other Stories of Colonial Times (1892) — The Twelve Great Diamonds (1892) — It Never Did Run Smooth (1892) — The Cedar Swamp Mystery (1901) — AUSTIN ONLINE: Outpost, or Dora Darling and Little Sunshine (1867)
    1827 Henry Watson, mathematician.
    1811 Carl Schubert composer
    1778 José Francisco de San Martín liberated Argentina, Chile and Perú
    1725 Armand-Louis Couperin Paris France, composer/organist (Notre Dame)
    1655 (1656?) Karel de Moor, Leiden Dutch painter and printmaker who died on 16 February 1738. — more de Moor
    1616 Iyaak Luttichuys (or Luthenhuys), Dutch painter who died in 1673. — link to an image.
    Kuwait : National Day   /   México : Coronado Day (1540)
    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: tonalité: celui qui, chez toi, est assez malade pour devoir rester couché.
    Why do cows wear bells? — [watch for answer one of these days]
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