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Today in History: Thursday, Feb. 16

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116 – Emperor Trajan sends laureatae to the Roman Senate at Rome on account of his victories and being conqueror of Parthia. 1249 – Andrew of Longjumeau is dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khagan of the Mongol Empire. 1270 – Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeats the Livonian Order in the Battle of Karuse. 1630 – Dutch forces led by Hendrick Lonck capture Olinda in what was to become part of Dutch Brazil. 1646 – Battle of Torrington, Devon: The last major battle of the first English Civil War. 1699 – First Leopoldine Diploma is issued by the Holy Roman Emperor, recognizing the Greek Catholic clergy enjoyed the same privileges as Roman Catholic priests in the Principality of Transylvania. 1742 – Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, becomes British Prime Minister. 1804 – First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur leads a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia. 1852 – Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established. 1862 – American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee. 1866 – Spencer Compton Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington becomes British Secretary of State for War. 1874 – Silver Dollar becomes legal US tender. 1881 – The Canadian Pacific Railway is incorporated by Act of Parliament at Ottawa (44th Vic., c.1). 1899 – Iceland's first football club, Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur, is founded. 1918 – The Council of Lithuania unanimously adopts the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania an independent state. 1923 – Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. 1930 – The Romanian Football Federation joins FIFA. 1933 – The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States. 1934 – The Austrian Civil War ends with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republikanischer Schutzbund. 1936 – Elections bring the Popular Front to power in Spain.

1937 – Wallace H. Carothers receives a United States patent for nylon. 1940 – World War II: Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark is boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners are freed. 1943 – World War II: Red Army troops re-enter Kharkov. 1943 – World War II: Insertion of Operation Gunnerside, Norway. 1945 – World War II: American forces land on Corregidor Island in the Philippines. 1959 – Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1. 1960 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Triton begins Operation Sandblast, setting sail from New London, Connecticut, to begin the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. 1961 – Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) is launched. 1962 – Flooding in the coastal areas of West Germany kills 315 and destroys the homes of about 60,000 people. 1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service. 1978 – The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago). 1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia kill 75. 1985 – Hezbollah is founded. 1986 – The Soviet liner MS Mikhail Lermontov runs aground in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. 1987 – The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem. 1991 – Nicaraguan Contras leader Enrique Bermúdez is assassinated in Managua. 1998 – China Airlines Flight 676 crashes into a road and residential area near Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taiwan, killing all 196 aboard and seven more on the ground. 2005 – The Kyoto Protocol comes into force, following its ratification by Russia. 2005 – The National Hockey League cancels the entire 2004–05 regular season and playoffs. 2006 – The last Mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army. 2013 – A bomb blast at a market in Hazara Town, Quetta, Pakistan kills more than 80 people and injures 190 others.

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