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Friday, February 28
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-02-21 09:42 AM

Today is Friday, Feb. 28, the 59th day of 2014. There are 306 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1525 - Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec emperor, is tortured and executed by Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes.

1594 - Britain's Royal Physician Roger Loper is arrested for alleged conspiracy to poison Queen Elizabeth.

1653 - English fleet defeats Dutch off Portland, England.

1806 - French forces capture Barcelona, Spain.

1825 - Britain and Russia sign treaty covering respective rights in Pacific Ocean area.

1849 - The ship California arrives at San Francisco, carrying the first of the gold-seekers.

1854 - Some 50 slavery opponents meet in Ripon, Wisconsin, to call for creation of a new political group, which becomes the Republican Party.

1861 - The Territory of Colorado is organized.

1868 - Benjamin Disraeli replaces Lord Derby as Britain's prime minister.

1877 - Peace treaty is signed between Turkey and Serbia.

1911 - Australia's Premier Andrew Fisher announces plans to nationalize monopolies.

1920 - Hungary adopts constitution.

1933 - Nazi decree suppresses civil liberties in Germany.

1942 - Japanese forces land in Java, Indonesia, in World War II.

1947 - Taiwanese rebel against Nationalist forces moving in from mainland China. Thousands are killed in a month of fighting.

1951 - A Senate committee headed by Estes Kefauver, a Tennessee Democrat, issues a preliminary report saying at least two major crime syndicates were operating in the United States.

1962 - United States announces that new atomic tests will be conducted in atmosphere near Johnson Island in Pacific.

1974 - United States and Egypt re-establish diplomatic relations after seven-year breach.

1975 - More than 40 people are killed in London's Underground when a subway train smashes into the end of a tunnel.

1986 - Sweden's Prime Minister Olof Palme is assassinated on a street in Stockholm while walking home from a movie theater.

1990 - Soviet legislature passes a landmark law allowing citizens to acquire land and bequeath it to their children.

1991 - Allied and Iraqi forces suspend fighting and Iraq pledges to accept all U.N. resolutions on Kuwait.

1992 - U.N. Security Council approves a 22,000-strong peacekeeping force for Cambodia.

1993 - Four U.S. federal agents and six members of a Christian sect are killed when authorities raid the sect headquarters in Waco, Texas. A 51-day standoff ensues, ending with the deaths of about 80 sect members in a fire.

1994 - U.S. jets down four Serb warplanes in Bosnia, NATO's first air attack in the war.

1996 - Daiwa Bank Ltd. of Japan agrees to plead guilty to a criminal cover-up of $1.1 billion in bond-trading losses and pay $340 million in fines, settling one of history's biggest banking frauds.

1997 - An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 shakes western Pakistan, killing at least 35 people.

1998 - Yugoslav security forces launch an offensive to halt growing resistance to Serb rule in Kosovo province. At least 20 people die on the first day.

2000 - Right-wing leader Joerg Haider, criticized for his anti-foreigner statements and past praise of some Nazi-era policies, resigns as head of the Freedom Party in an apparent bid to end Austria's international ostracism following his party's rise to a place in the governing coalition.

2003 - A U.S. District Court finds reputed Ku Klux Klan member Ernest Avants guilty of aiding and abetting the 1966 murder of Ben Chester White, a 67-year-old black farm worker in Jackson, Mississippi.

2004 - An Israeli helicopter fires two missiles at a car in the Gaza Strip, killing three people, including an Islamic Jihad militant Ayman Dahdouh.

2007 - Two Picasso paintings, "Maya and the Doll" and "Portrait of Jacqueline," worth a total of nearly $66 million, are stolen from the house of the artist's granddaughter in Paris.

2008 - Kenya's rival politicians sign a power-sharing agreement and shake hands after weeks of bitter negotiations on how to end the country's postelection crisis that set off violence that killed more than 1,000 people and eviscerated the East African country's economy.

2009 - With his nation's economy in shambles, President Robert Mugabe throws himself a lavish birthday party and calls on Zimbabwe's last white farmers to leave.

2010 - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni, charges that the U.S. and its allies are behind the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency's claim that Iran may be making nuclear bombs, despite its repeated denials.

2011 - The United States and European allies intensify efforts to isolate Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, redoubling demands for him to step down, questioning his mental state and warning that those who stay loyal to him risk losing their wealth and being prosecuted for human rights abuses.

2012 - Helicopters ferry food, phones and flashlights to more than 1,000 passengers and crew stuck aboard a disabled cruise ship that was being towed to the Seychelles Islands through waters prowled by pirates.

2013 - Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign, ending an eight-year pontificate shaped by struggles to move the Roman Catholic church past sex abuse scandals and to reawaken Christianity in an indifferent world.

Today's Birthdays:

Raphael, Italian artist (1483-1520); Michael Montaigne, French essayist (1533-1592); Gavin MacLeod, U.S. actor (1931--); Bernadette Peters, U.S. actress/singer (1948--); Kelly Bishop, U.S. actress (1944--).

Thought For Today:

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers -- Voltaire, French author-philosopher (1694-1778).

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