Today in History

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Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 11, the 42nd day of 2020. There are 324 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 11, 1979, followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY'-nee) seized power in Iran.

On this date:

In 1531, the Church of England grudgingly accepted King Henry VIII as its supreme head.

In 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln bade farewell to his adopted hometown of Springfield, Ill., as he headed to Washington for his inauguration.

In 1937, a six-week-old sit-down strike against General Motors ended, with the company agreeing to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union.

In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement, in which Stalin agreed to declare war against Imperial Japan following Nazi Germany's capitulation.

In 1968, New York City's fourth and current Madison Square Garden, located on Manhattan's West Side at the site of what used to be the Pennsylvania Station building, opened with a "Salute to the USO" hosted by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. (The same evening, the New York Rangers played their final game at the third Garden, tying the Detroit Red Wings 3-3.)

In 1975, Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of Britain's opposition Conservative Party.

In 1990, South African black activist Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity.

In 2008, the Pentagon charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (HAH'-leed shayk moh-HAH'-med) and five other detainees at Guantanamo Bay with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

In 2011, Egypt exploded with joy after pro-democracy protesters brought down President Hosni Mubarak, whose resignation ended three decades of authoritarian rule.

In 2012, pop singer Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead in a hotel room bathtub in Beverly Hills, California.

In 2013, with a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope had done in more than half a millennium: announced his resignation. The bombshell came during a routine morning meeting of Vatican cardinals. (The 85-year-old pontiff was succeeded by Pope Francis.)

In 2009, All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about steroids in baseball. (He was sentenced to a year's probation.) Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who first went to Congress in 1955, became the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ten years ago: Former President Bill Clinton had two stents inserted in one of his heart arteries after being hospitalized in New York with chest pains. Iranian security forces unleashed a crushing sweep against opposition protesters as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE'-neh-zhahd) used the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution to defy the West. British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, 40, was found dead in his London home.

Five years ago: Vowing that Islamic State forces were "going to lose," President Barack Obama urged Congress to authorize military action while ruling out large-scale U.S. ground combat operations reminiscent of Iraq and Afghanistan. Little League International stripped Jackie Robinson West of the national title after an investigation revealed it had falsified boundaries to field ineligible players; Mountain Ridge Little League was awarded the title. Longtime CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, 73, was killed in a car crash in New York. Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, 84, died in Las Vegas.

One year ago: Congressional negotiators reached agreement to prevent a government shutdown and finance construction of new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota apologized for tweets suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are being paid to do so; the tweets had brought bipartisan criticism. Robert Bowers, charged with gunning down 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, pleaded not guilty to hate crimes and dozens of other counts. Denver schoolteachers went on strike for the first time in 25 years after failed negotiations with the school district over base pay; schools remained open with administrators and substitute teachers in classrooms. As baseball’s Oakland Athletics began spring training workouts, first-round draft pick Kyler Murray announced that he would pursue a career in the NFL rather than in baseball; Murray had won college football’s Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Conrad Janis is 92. Gospel singer Jimmy Carter is 88. Fashion designer Mary Quant is 86. Actress Tina Louise is 82. Bandleader Sergio Mendes is 79. Actor Philip Anglim is 68. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is 67. Actress Catherine Hickland is 64. Rock musician David Uosikkinen (aw-SIK'-ken-ihn) (The Hooters) is 64. Actress Carey Lowell is 59. Singer Sheryl Crow is 58. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is 56. Actress Jennifer Aniston is 51. Actor Damian Lewis is 49. Actress Marisa Petroro is 48. Singer D'Angelo is 46. Actor Brice Beckham is 44. Rock M-C/vocalist Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) is 43. Singer-actress Brandy is 41. Country musician Jon Jones (The Eli Young Band) is 40. Actor Matthew Lawrence is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kelly Rowland is 39. Actress Natalie Dormer is 38. Singer Aubrey O'Day is 36. Actress Q'orianka (kohr-ee-AHN'-kuh) Kilcher is 30. Actor Taylor Lautner is 28.

Thought for Today: "We had better live as we think, otherwise we shall end up by thinking as we have lived." — Paul Bourget, French author (1852-1935).

Copyright 2020, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.