Today's Highlight in History:
On February 17th, 1801, the House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president. Burr became vice president.
On this date:
In 1817, a street in Baltimore became the first to be lighted with gas from America's first gas company.
In 1865, Columbia, South Carolina, burned as the Confederates evacuated and Union forces moved in. (It's not known which side set the blaze.)
In 1897, the forerunner of the National PTA, the National Congress of Mothers, was founded in Washington.
In 1904, Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly" was poorly received at its world premiere at La Scala.
In 1933, "Newsweek" was first published.
In 1947, the Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
In 1964, the Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.
In 1972, President Nixon departed on his historic trip to China.
In 1988, Lieutenant Colonel William Higgins, an American officer serving with a United Nations truce monitoring group, was kidnapped in southern Lebanon (he was later slain by his captors).
In 1992, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced in Milwaukee to life in prison (however, he was beaten to death in prison in November 1994).
Ten years ago: Former President Reagan spent a second day in a Los Angeles courtroom, giving videotaped testimony about the Iran-Contra affair for the trial of his former national security adviser, John Poindexter.
Five years ago: Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings (he was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison).
One year ago: In a satellite-linked address to college campuses across the country, President Clinton made his case for shoring up Social Security and Medicare. Israeli security guards shot and killed three Kurds who had forced their way into the Israeli consulate in Berlin; the protesters were enraged by reports that Israel aided in the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
"Wounded vanity knows when it is mortally hurt; and limps off the field, piteous, all disguises thrown away. But pride carries its banner to the last; and fast as it is driven from one field unfurls it in another."
-- Helen Hunt Jackson, American author (1831-1885).