Saccharin is accidentally discovered, the 22nd Amendment is ratified, Michael Jackson wins his first Grammy, and Mister Rogers dies, all on this day.
1807: Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose best known works include "Paul Revere's Ride," "The Song of Hiawatha" and "Evangeline," is born in Portland, Maine.
1860: Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in New York City that is largely responsible for his success in running for president later that year. Lincoln argued that the Founding Fathers had little use for popular sovereignty and had repeatedly sought to restrict slavery and that the moral foundation of the Republican Party required opposition to slavery.
1879: Saccharin, the artificial sweetener, is discovered by Constantin Fahlberg while researching coal tar compounds at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. The sweet taste of saccharin was discovered when Fahlberg noticed a sweet taste on his hand during a meal and connected the incident with the compound he had been working on that day. He subsequently became wealthy by establishing a factory to produce it.
1892: French luggage maker Louis Vuitton dies at the age of 70 in Asnieres, France. Vuitton began manufacturing trunks in Paris in 1854, and the company he started went on to become one of the world's most famous makers of luxury goods.
1900: German chemist Felix Hoffmann is issued a U.S. patent for "Acetyl Salicylic Acid," which was marketed as the pain reliever Aspirin. It was first sold in Germany in powder form starting in May 1899 and later in tablet form starting in January 1915.
1902: Author John Steinbeck, the Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of novels such as "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men," is born in Salinas, Calif.
1922: A challenge to the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, is rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.
1930: Actress Joanne Woodward, best known for her Academy Award-winning role in "The Three Faces of Eve" and her 50-year marriage to fellow actor Paul Newman, is born in Thomasville, Ga. She's also known for roles in films such as "The Long, Hot Summer," "A New Kind of Love," "Rachel, Rachel," "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" and "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge."
1932: Actress Elizabeth Taylor, best known for roles in movies such as "National Velvet," "A Place in the Sun," "Giant," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Butterfield 8," "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," is born in London, England. Taylor won Academy Awards for Best Actress for "Butterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and also received three more Best Actress Oscar nominations over the course of her career.
1934: Ralph Nader, the political activist and author who ran for U.S. president five times between 1992 and 2008, is born in Winsted, Conn.
1940: Actor Howard Hesseman, best known for playing disc jockey Johnny Fever on "WKRP in Cincinnati" and schoolteacher Charlie Moore on "Head of the Class," is born in Lebanon, Ore.
1943: The Smith Mine No. 3 in Bearcreek, Mont., explodes, killing 74 men.
1951: The 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting presidents to two terms, is ratified. In 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the only president to be elected to a third term. In the 1944 election, during World War II, he won a fourth term, but suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died in office the following year. Thus, Roosevelt was the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms.
1961: Hall of Fame basketball player James Worthy, a seven-time NBA All-Star, a three-time NBA champion and the 1988 NBA Finals MVP during his 12-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers, is born in Gastonia, N.C. Worthy also earned an NCAA championship with North Carolina in 1982, earning Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors.
1968: Singer-songwriter Frankie Lymon (second from left), best known as the boy soprano lead singer of a New York City-based early rock 'n' roll group The Teenagers, dies from a heroin overdose at the age of 25 in Harlem, N.Y. The Teenagers' first single, 1956's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," was also their biggest hit.
1971: Janis Joplin's posthumously released album "Pearl" hits No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, where it would stay until April 30, 1971. The album, which Joplin finished recording just before her October 1970 fatal heroin overdose at the age of 27, featured her biggest hit single, a cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee."
1973: The American Indian Movement and about 200 Oglala Lakota seize and occupy the town of Wounded Knee, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the site of the tragic Battle of Wounded Knee. The protest stemmed from the failure of an attempt to impeach the elected tribal president Richard Wilson, whom they accused of corruption and abuse of opponents. The group also was protesting the United States government's failure to fulfill treaties with Native American tribes and demanded the reopening of treaty negotiations. The standoff between the protesters and the federal law enforcement officers would stretch on for 73 days. Pictured is the Wounded Knee memorial burial ground.
1977: Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones is arrested and charged with possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking after his Toronto hotel suite is raided by Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was released on $25,000 bail and would eventually plead guilty to a reduced charge of heroin possession and receive a one-year suspended sentence.
1980: Michael Jackson wins his first Grammy Award, winning Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the song "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."
1980: Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of future U.S. President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, is born in Little Rock, Ark.
1981: Singer-songwriter Josh Groban, whose first four solo albums have been certified multi-platinum, is born in Los Angeles, Calif.
1988: At the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, Katarina Witt of East Germany wins her second consecutive Olympic figure skating gold medal, becoming the first lady to repeat as champion since Sonja Henie.
1990: The Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping are indicted on five criminal counts in reference to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The companies would eventually reach a plea deal and paid $100 million in restitution and $150 million in fines, although $125 million of the fines were forgiven in recognition of Exxon's cooperation in cleaning up the spill and paying certain private claims. Exxon would also agree to reimburse the state and federal government for cleanup costs over the course of a decade from a $900 million fund. However, Exxon has said the overall cleanup costs for the company actually reached $2.1 billion.
1991: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces the end of the Gulf War, saying "Kuwait is liberated" and that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight.
1991: James Brown is paroled from prison after serving two years. He had been sentenced to six years in prison after leading police on an interstate car chase across the Georgia-South Carolina state line in September 1988.
1993: Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" from the soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" tops Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for the 14th week, which at the time was a record. The single became Houston's longest run at No. 1, smashing her previous record, which was three weeks with 1986's "Greatest Love of All." It is also the longest running No. 1 single from a soundtrack album.
1993: Actress Lillian Gish, whose film acting career spanned 75 years, dies in her sleep of natural causes at the age of 99 in New York City. Gish was a prominent film star of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly known for working with director D. W. Griffith, including her leading role in Griffith's 1915 movie "Birth of a Nation." She also appeared in movies such as "Duel in the Sun," "Night of the Hunter" and "The Whales of August."
1998: Actor J. T. Walsh, best known for his roles in movies such as "Good Morning, Vietnam," "A Few Good Men," "Needful Things," "Breakdown," "Pleasantville" and "The Negotiator," dies of a heart attack at the age of 54 in San Diego, Calif.
2002: Alicia Keys wins five Grammy Awards for her debut album, "Songs in A Minor." Keys became the second female solo artist to win five Grammys in a single night, following Lauryn Hill at the 1999 Grammy Awards. That total would eventually be topped by Beyonce in 2010 and Adele in 2012.
2003: Children's television actor Fred Rogers, better known simply as Mister Rogers from his long-running show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," dies of stomach cancer at the age of 74 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
2004: The initial version of the John Jay Report, with details about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States, is released. The report determined that, during the period from 1950 to 2002, a total of 10,667 individuals had made allegations of child sexual abuse. Of these, the dioceses had been able to substantiate 6,700 accusations against 4,392 priests in the United States, about 4 percent of all 109,694 priests who served during the time covered by the study.
2008: Conservative author and political commentator William F. Buckley Jr., who founded the political magazine National Review in 1955 and hosted the television show "Firing Line" from 1966 until 1999, dies of a heart attack at the age of 82 in Stamford, Conn.
2010: An earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale strikes central parts of Chile, killing more than 500 people and leaving thousands injured. The quake triggered a tsunami that struck Hawaii shortly after.
2011: The Wisconsin AFL-CIO assembles hundreds of union supporters claiming they will risk arrest to prevent police from clearing the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Protestors had occupied the building around the clock for two weeks in response to Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget cuts ending most collective bargaining rights in the state. Despite the protests, the Wisconsin Assembly would eventually passed the collective bargaining bill with a vote of 53–42 on March 10.
2011: Frank Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran, dies at the age of 110 years and 26 days in Charles Town, W.Va. Buckles enlisted in the United States Army in 1917 at the age of 16 and served with a detachment from Fort Riley, driving ambulances and motorcycles near the front lines in Europe. He was awarded the World War I Victory Medal at the conclusion of the war, and the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal retroactively following the medal's creation in 1941, as well as the French Legion of Honor in 1999.
2011: Hall of Fame baseball center fielder Duke Snider, who played most of his 18-season career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, dies at the age of 84 in Escondido, Calif. Snider, who also played one season each with the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants, was an eight-time All-Star selection and won two World Series titles with the Dodgers in 1955 and 1959. He batted .295 with 407 home runs and 1,333 RBI in 2,143 games in his career.
2012: A gunman opens fire at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, killing three and wounding three more. The 17-year-old suspect, Thomas M. Lane III, would be indicted on three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder, and one count of felonious assault. He pled guilty almost exactly a year after the shooting, on Feb. 26, 2013, and is awaiting sentencing.
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