• Scandinavia neutral in Soviet aggression against Finland... • First Black US congressman... • Marcos flees from Manila... • Renoir is born... • Haing Ngor is murdered.... • Krushchev condemns Stalin... • Collector car auction... • EU criticizes US Internet plans... • Encryption bills in US Congress... • Communists take power in Czechoslovakia... • A railroad baron is born... • Congress moves to block widening of Vietnam war... • Molotov is born...
a February 25:
2003 The previous day Annuity and Life RE Holdings Ltd (ANR) announced that it expects severe losses for 2002 and is ceasing writing new business. Today on the New York Stock Exchange 4.4 million of the 26 million shares of ANR are traded, dropping from their previous close of $2.85 to an intraday low of $0.76 at which they close. They had traded as high as $21.16 as recently as 24 April 2002 and $36.98 on 13 August 2001, after starting trading at $22.50 on 22 February 1999. [4~year price chart >]
2003 In Lubbock, Texas, state District Judge Jim Bob Darnell orders bailiffs to seal with duct tape the mouth of Carl Wiley, 36, who, for some 20 minutes had been disrupting a hearing outside the jury's presence. When the jury returns, the judge orders the duct tape removed from Darnell and Darnell from the courtroom. Darnell is then convicted of ramming his vehicle into his estranged wife's car (she was not injured).
2003 Roh Moo Hyun [left in photo] is inaugurated as president of South Korea, succeeding Kim Dae Jung [right in photo].
1999 Clinton impeachment aftermath
(1) One of Linda Tripp's former attorneys does not have to appear before a grand jury hearing evidence about her secret tapes of Monica Lewinsky, a judge decides today.
(2) Clinton refuses comment earlier in the day on Broaddrick's allegations, saying he stands by the statement of his attorney, David Kendall.
(3) The NBC interview of Broaddrick was taped January 20 but held by NBC until tonight's airing.
| (4) The question of whether Attorney General Janet Reno
has authority to investigate allegations of misconduct by Ken Starr's office
may be decided by the three-judge panel that appointed him. CNN reports
that the panel has given Reno and Starr 15 days to outline their positions
on the question of whether the Justice Department should investigate the
independent counsel. The three-judge panel is headed by David Sentelle of
(5) Created in the wake of the Watergate scandal, but increasingly under assault from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the Independent Counsel Act will likely undergo a major overhaul, if it survives at all. Battered by years of criticism first by Republican administrations under investigation, and now by Democrats in the wake of Kenneth Starr's five-year investigation of President Bill Clinton, the statute has few fans on Capitol Hill.
1990 Nicaraguans went to the polls in an election that resulted in an upset victory for the alliance opposed to the ruling Sandinistas.
1989 first independent blue-collar labor union in Communist Hungary forms
1988 South Korea adopts constitution
1986 Iran conquerors Iraq peninsula Fao
1981 L. Calvo Sotelo elected premier of Spain.
1966 Syrian military coup under Hafiz al-Assad.
1964 Austrian chancellor Alfons Gorbach resigns.
1962 India Congress Party wins elections.
1956 Khrushchev denounces Stalin at 20th Soviet Party Conference.
1948 Communists seize Czechoslovakia/C Gottwald becomes premier
| 1945 US carrier-based planes attack Tokyo.
1944 US first Army completes invasion plan.
1943 Vietminh forms Indo Chinese Democratic Front.
1938 British Lord Halifax becomes Foreign Minister.
1932 Immigrant Adolf Hitler gets German citizenship.
1927 Gdansk and Polish accord concerning traffic through Polish corridor.
1926 Kwo-Min-Tang (Guomindang) declares war on government/warlords.
1926 Francisco Franco becomes General of Spain.
1921 Georgian SSR proclaimed.
1919 Oregon becomes the first US state to tax gasoline.
1916 German troops conquer Fort Douaumont near Verdun.
1907 US proclaims protectorate over Dominican Republic.
1888 Juan Benlloch y Vivó [29 Dec 1864 – 14 Feb 1926] is ordained a Catholic priest. He would become Archbishop of Burgos on 07 January 1919 and a cardinal on 07 March 1921.
1875 Kiowa Indians under Lone Wolf (Guipago) surrender at Ft Sill
1864 Engagement at Buzzard's Roost, Georgia as Union General George H. Thomas makes a forced reconnaissance towards Dalton.
1862 Federal troops occupy Nashville, Tennessee.
1862 Paper currency (greenbacks) introduced in US by President Abraham Lincoln.
1803 1800 sovereign German states unite into 60 states.
1779 In the morning, Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, elder brother of explorer William Clark, accepts British Lt. Gov. Henry Hamilton's unconditional surrender of Fort Sackville at Vincennes, Indiana.
1793 At his home, George Washington convenes the first US Cabinet meeting on record.
1751 first performing monkey exhibited in America, NYC (admission 1¢)
1746 Cumberlands troops occupy Aberdeen
1623 Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria becomes monarch of Palts
1605 Portuguese garrison on Ambon surrenders to Admiral Van der Haghen.
1570 Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated by Pope Pius V for her severe persecution of Roman Catholics in England, and he absolves her subjects from allegiance (It was the last such judgment made against a reigning monarch by any pope.)
1540 Francisco Vásquez de Coronado searches for 7 cities of Cibola México.
1502 Austrian emperor Maximilian I reformats government machine
1497 Italians troops reconquer Taranto from France.
which occurred on a 25 February:
2003 Ahmed Abu Elwan, 13, Palestinian, by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell hitting a car in the Rafah refugee camp, Gaza Strip.
2003 Ala Abu Sarah, 23, of wounds received during a gunfight with Israeli soldiers in Nablus, West Bank, a few days earlier.
2003 Four persons, including a man of 55, by pistol shots at 06:25 (11:25 UT) from Emmanuel after he was hit in the face during an argument about a CD-player and $20, at the front counter of the local office of Labor Ready at 726 Arcadia Circle, Huntsville, Alabama. One person is wounded. Emmanuel shoots first the man with whom he was having the argument, then that one's father who was trying to have them go outside, then Emmanuel aims at uninvolved bystanders, his gun misfiring a couple of times. Then Emmanuel goes to his apartment on Baker Road near Oakwood Road, which police surround after he shoots at them, and, hours later, they arrest him. Labor Ready (LRW) is the US's largest employment agency for temporary manual laborers in light industry and small businesses. On the New York Stock Exchange 375'000 of the 41 million LRW shares are traded, dropping from their previous close of $5.64 and closing at $5.40
2003 At least 400 civilians, on 24 and 25 February, in Bogoro, Congo-Kinshasa, in attack by RCD-ML (Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie) and allied Lendu tribesmen against the UPC (Union des Patriotes Congolais), according to the leader of UPC, Thomas Lubanga. Both factions are among the rebel groups which, in December 2002, signed a power-sharing agreement with the Kabila government, so as to end a four-and-a-half-year civil war.
2001 Madurese immigrants continue to be horribly massacred in Indonesian Borneo, by gangs of native Dayaks.This started on 18 February. Since then hundreds have been killed, homes are being burned down, thousands of refugees try to flee, and the Indonesian police and army do little to stop the carnage. Indonesia had resettled on Borneo people from overcrowded Madura island.
1994 29 Palestinians, massacred, and their killer, Baruch Goldstein, in Hebron. American-born Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank, killing 29 Muslims before he was beaten to death by worshippers.
1991: 28 killed by SCUD missile, which hits a US barrack in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
1988 Mahler, mathematician.
1983 Tennessee Williams, 71, writer (Streetcar Named Desire), chokes to death on a bottle cap.
1983 Jeanine Nicarico, 10, raped and bludgeoned, in Naperville, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. In February 1985 Rolando Cruz and Alejandro “Alex Hernández would be wrongfully sentenced to death for the crime, because of the lies and falsification of evidence by prosecutors Patrick King, Thomas Knight, and Robert Kilander, and DuPage County Sheriff's officers Lt. James Montesano, Lt. Robert Winkler and Detectives Dennis Kurzawa and Thomas Vosburgh (all seven of whom would go on trial for that and, on 04 June 1999, be acquitted). Later in 1985, while confessing to two unrelated murders, Brian Dugan, a convicted sex offender, acknowledged killing Jeanine Nicarico. Notwisthanding Dugan's confession, Cruz and Hernandez spent more than ten years in prison before being released in November of 1995. As for Dugan, while his DNA closely matches the genetic material found at the crime scene, he has not been charged. He is serving two consecutive life sentences in an Illinois prison for the rape and murder of Donna Schnorr and Melissa Ackerman, who were both killed after Jeanine Nicarico.
1975 Elijah “Muhammad”, of congestive heart failure, born Elijah Poole on 07 October 1897, leader of the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims), in Chicago
1972 Four US dead and 47 wounded, 68 km east of Saigon, in biggest US battle in nearly a year. It lasts 5 hour and resultes in almost half the US weekly casualties.
1972 Steinhaus, mathematician.
1969 Bui Van Vat, his wife Luu Thi Canh, two of their
granddaughters, a grandson, and some 15 other unarmed Vietnamese women and
children, massacred by US Navy Seals, in Thanh Phong.
On 25 April 2001 a reporter's two-year investigation forces ex-US-Senator Bob Kerrey to admit a (probably greatly minimized) murderous role as a member of the Navy Seals leading a mission in Vietnam that somehow went horribly wrong. As an inexperienced, 25-year-old lieutenant, Kerrey led a commando team on a raid of an isolated peasant hamlet called Thanh Phong in Vietnam's eastern Mekong Delta. While witnesses and official records give varying accounts of exactly what happened, one thing is certain: around midnight in the night of 25 to 26 February 1969, Kerrey and his men killed at least 13 unarmed women and children. The operation was brutal.
In the winter of 1969, a couple of days after the Super Bowl, a military plane lifted off from North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, California. In it were Kerrey and his team, on their way to Vietnam. Seals (the name stands for Sea-Air-Land units) commandos began as underwater demolition teams in the Second World War. During the Vietnam era, they evolved into special forces units, trained to operate behind enemy lines, collect intelligence and carry out assassinations. Officially, Kerrey's group was called Delta Platoon, Seals Team One, Fire Team Bravo. Unofficially, they were Kerrey's Raiders. Only two of the men, Mike Ambrose and Gerhard Klann, had previous experience on Seals teams in Vietnam. The others were William H. Tucker III, Gene Peterson, Rick Knepper, a medic named Lloyd Schreier and Kerrey himself.
Delta Platoon was assigned to the Navy's Task Force 115, based at Cam Ranh Bay and commanded by Capt. Roy Hoffmann.
For several weeks, Kerrey and his team operated in the relatively safe environs of Cam Ranh Bay, the Navy's largest base in what was then South Vietnam, about midway up the coast. Then they began looking for a true war mission. They moved south to Cat Lo, a regional Navy command post where one of Hoffmann's senior deputies, Paul Connolly, would oversee their missions. The Navy kept a fleet of "swift boats" a few kilometers away, in the port of Vung Tau 50-foot, aluminum-skinned crafts equipped with two .50-caliber machine guns and twin 480-horsepower Detroit Diesels that moved Kerrey's squad on missions in the Mekong Delta.
Vung Tau was the stepping-off point for operations in the "Thanh Phu Secret Zone," in the tropical Mekong Delta, about 120 km southeast of Saigon. It was considered among the most dangerous parts of Vietnam. Five of its eight villages including Thanh Phong were said to be under the control of the rebel Vietcong forces.
Much of the Thanh Phu district was a "free-fire zone," where peasants who did not relocate to government refugee centers, called "strategic hamlets," were labeled as Vietcong or as enemy sympathizers
Thanh Phong was a village of between 75 and 150 people on the South China Sea. It consisted of groups of four or five hooches (thatch huts) strung out over about a 500 m of shoreline. On Feb. 13, 1969, Kerrey's team entered a section of Thanh Phong, searched two hooches and interrogated 14 women and small children, looking for the village secretary.
Kerrey's squad would not return until Feb. 25, when intelligence sources again indicated that the village secretary would be holding a meeting, this time with a Vietcong military leader.
On Feb. 25, the district chief, Tiet Lun Duc, issued a blunt warning to the area's villagers. This was in response to an atrocity, in which two Vietcong were said to have thrown a grenade into a hooch at 02:00, killing a 5-year-old and wounding a number of others. Duc said: "We want people to be government of Vietnam. Come out with us, and we will take this area back. You who do not come out, we will consider you to be Vietcong. You are the enemy. You will die."
"It's entirely possible that I'm blacking a lot of it out," Kerrey admitted in an April 2001 interview. A more reliable version, would be given by Kerrey's most experienced commando, Gerhard Klann, consistent with the accounts given in interviews with one Vietnamese woman, Pham Tri Lanh, who claims to have witnessed the whole tragedy and with two people who say they are relatives of the victims.
As Kerrey's commando approached Thanh Phong that night, they came upon a hooch not mentioned in their intelligence reports. In it were an old man, an old woman, and three children under 12. Ordered by Kerrey, the commando killed them with knives, to preserve the secrecy of the mission.
The Vietnamese woman, Pham Tri Lanh, witnessed all these killings. Then 30 years old and the wife of a Vietcong fighter, she quickly snuck up on the scene at the first hooch after hearing cries. "I was hiding behind a banana tree, and I saw them cut the man's neck, first here and then there," she says. "His head was still attached at the back." She also saw the commandos kill a woman and three children with their knives. Lanh says that the man and woman were the grandparents of the three young children. A woman claiming to be a relative of these victims showed a graveyard where a man named Bui Van Vat, his wife, Luu Thi Canh, and, in three small graves, their grandchildren two girls and a boy are buried. The date on the adults' gravestones, which were erected 10 years after the fact, is 24 February 1969.
About 15 minutes later, the team arrived at the cluster of hooches. The squad rounded up women and children from a group of hooches on the fringes of the village. They questioned them about the whereabouts of the village secretary. A quick search of the hooches turned up nothing.
Approaching the village the commando fired rockets and guns, 1200 round of ammunition in all. Arriving at the hooches they found some 14 dead women and children. Sometime later they fired at several people who were running away.
To prevent these people from accusing them of the first killings, or of alerting the Viet Cong and endanger the commando, deep in enemy territory, they decided to kill them. Lanh, who had been checking to see that her children were safe, crept close enough to witness what happened next. Kerrey gave the order and the team, standing between 3 and 5 m away, started shooting raking the group with automatic-weapons fire for about 30 seconds. They were moans, so they began firing again, for another 30 seconds.
There was one final cry, from a baby. The baby was the last one alive. There were blood and guts splattering everywhere.
On the boat going out, the commando radioed that they had killed 21 Viet Cong, no mention of civilians.
Reports of the atrocities were not investigated. The Navy awarded Kerrey a Bronze Star for this mission. Later Kerrey was wounded and lost the lower part of a leg. He then received the Medal of Honor, which he now admits was undeserved.
Nine months later, news broke about the slaughter of at least 350 innocent villagers at My Lai by forces under the command of Lt. William L. Calley Jr. Calley, who would ultimately be convicted of the premeditated murder of 22 unarmed civilians, was sentenced to life at hard labor but served only three years under house arrest at Fort Benning. My Lai was a watershed, an event that finally convinced great segments of the American public that the Vietnam War was immoral, if not unwinnable. And in February 1970, about a year after Thanh Phong, a five-man Marine patrol entered the hamlet of Son Thang, about 20 miles south of Danang, and killed 16 women and children. The marines were charged with murder and prosecuted. Two of the accused, including the leader, were acquitted; one was given immunity and two were convicted of murder. Neither served more than 10 months in jail.
Gary Solis, a war-crimes expert at the US Military Academy at West Point, who wrote a book on Son Thang, says that atrocities were more common in Vietnam than we knew. While there were 122 convictions for war crimes in Vietnam, he says, "In my opinion, war crimes occurred that were never reported."
|1968 Camille Huysmans, 96, Belgian premier (1946-47)
1950 Luzin, mathematician
1899 Paul Julius von Reuter founder of the news agency (Reuters)
1852 Thomas Moore writer (Utopia), dies
1723 Sir Christopher Wren, 90, England, mathematician, astronomer, architect
1713 Frederik I King of Prussia (1701-13), dies at 55
1601 Earl of Essex executed for treason in revolt against Queen Elizabeth
1601 Robert Devereux Earl of Essex, executed for treason against Elizabeth
0779 Walburgis Anglo-Saxon abbess/saint (Walpurgis Night)
| Births which
occurred on a February 25:
1919 League of Nations set up by Paris Treaty
1905 Adele Davis (nutritionist: "You Are What You Eat."; author: Let's Cook it Right, Let's Eat Right and Keep Fit)
1902 Oscar Cullmann Swiss New Testament scholar. Best known for pioneering a "salvation history" view of the NT, Cullmann's best-known works are Das Petrusproblem, Christ and His Time (1946), and Christology of the New Testament (1959).
1901 US Steel Corporation is s incorporated by J.P. Morgan
1901 [Herbert] Zeppo Marx New York NY, comedian/actor (Marx Brothers)
1873 Enrico Caruso Naples Italy, operatic tenor (Faust)
1848 Edward Harriman, railroad
baron, in Hempstead, New York.
He would become the controversial savior of the transcontinental Union Pacific Railroad.. The son of an Episcopal minister, Harriman disliked school and dropped out to become a broker's boy when he was 14. To the amazement of the stockbrokers on Wall Street, the young Harriman demonstrated an uncanny ability to pick winning stocks, and he had his own seat on the stock exchange by the age of 21. Harriman's involvement with railroads began when he attempted to rehabilitate some tired old lines owned by his wife's relatives. He soon developed a passion for every aspect of railroads, from steam technology to traffic flow problems, and he particularly enjoyed reviving once great lines that had fallen on hard times. In 1897, Harriman took on his most ambitious railroad project ever: the salvation of the bankrupt Union Pacific Railroad. The first transcontinental line to link East and West, the Union Pacific had once been the queen of railroads but had become an outdated and inefficient money pit. Over 10 years, Harriman restored the Union Pacific to its glory days, transforming it into one of the best-built and -managed lines in the nation. In pursuit of efficiency and predictable profits, Harriman gradually gained control over many of the central western and southwestern lines in the United States. Alarmed by this concentration of control over a technology that was essential to the American economy, President Theodore Roosevelt sued Harriman for violation of federal antitrust regulations. In 1904, the Supreme Court directed that much of Harriman's system be dissolved. As a result of the antitrust litigation, Harriman became a favorite target for turn-of-the-century resentment of big business, and he was often accused of having built his railroad monopolies simply to increase his own profits. The truth was more complicated. Harriman certainly sought good profits, but his brilliant transformation of the Union Pacific and other decrepit lines was motivated as much by a desire to maximize efficiency as profits. Frank to the point of bluntness, Harriman rarely deigned to explain and defend his complex ideas about railroads to the public, guaranteeing that he would be largely remembered as little more than a greedy robber baron.
|1837 first US electric printing press patented by Thomas
1836 First revolving barrel multishot firearm is patented by Samuel Colt.
1831 Mary Jane Goodwin (Mrs. Austin), who died on 30 March 1894. US author of Fairy Dreams: or, Wanderings in Elf-Land (1859) — Kinah's Curse! A Story of Love, Intrigue, Revenge and War (1864) — The Tailor Boy (1865) — Dora Darling: The Daughter of the Regiment (1865) — The Novice...A Tale of the Great Earthquake in 1755 (1865) — The Outcast...An American Story (1865) — Cipher: A Romance (1869) — The Shadow of Moloch Mountain (1870) — Moonfolk, A True Account of the Home of the Fairy Tales (1874) — Mrs. Beauchamp Brown (1880) — The Nameless Nobleman (1881) — The Desmond Hundred (1882) — Nantucket Scraps: Being the Experience of an Off-Islander (1883) — The Story of a Storm (1886) — Standish of Standish (1889) — Dr Le Baron and his Daughters: A Story of the Old Colony (1890) — Dolores, A Novel (1890) — Queen Tempest (1890) — Betty Alden: The First Born Daughter of Pilgrims (1891) — David Alden's Daughter and Other Stories of Colonial Times (1892) — The Twelve Great Diamonds (1892) — It Never Did Run Smooth (1892) — The Cedar Swamp Mystery (1901) — AUSTIN ONLINE: Outpost, or Dora Darling and Little Sunshine (1867)
1827 Henry Watson, mathematician.
1811 Carl Schubert composer
1778 José Francisco de San Martín liberated Argentina, Chile and Perú
1725 Armand-Louis Couperin Paris France, composer/organist (Notre Dame)
|Why do cows wear bells? [watch for answer one of these days]|