Today’s moment of history:
On February 28, 1993, a shootout broke out at a religious complex near Wake, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried to arrest Division leader David Carash on charges of weapons; four agents and six Davids were killed when the 51-day confrontation began.
In 1844, a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded while the ship was sailing on the Potamac River, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Apshur, Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Gilmer and several others.
In 1849, the gold rush in California began in earnest when a regular shipping service began bringing gold diggers to San Francisco.
In 1911, President William Howard Taft nominated William H. Lewis as the first Black Assistant Attorney General of the United States.
In 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H. C. Crick announced that they had discovered the structure of DNA with a double helix.
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In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai issued a Shanghai communiqué calling for normalization of relations between their countries after Nixon’s historic visit to China.
In 1975, 42 people died in the London Underground when a train crashed into the end of a tunnel.
In 1996, British Princess Diana agreed to divorce Prince Charles. (Their 15-year marriage officially ended in August 1996; Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris a year later.)
In 2009, Paul Harvey, a news commentator and talk radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of the most familiar voices in the country, died in Phoenix at the age of 90.
In 2012, Republican Mitt Romney won the presidential primaries in Arizona and Michigan. Sen. Olympia Snow, R. Maine, has said she will not seek re-election, citing what she called Washington’s increasingly polarized climate. Matt Kensett won his second Daytona 500 race, holding Dale Earnhardt Jr. after midnight after the rain for the first time in 54-year history postponed the start of the race from Sunday to Monday.
In 2013, Benedict XVI became the first pope in 600 years to resign, ending his eight-year pontificate. (The following month, Benedict was succeeded by Pope Francis.)
In 2014, warning Moscow, President Barack Obama expressed deep concern over reports of Russian military activity inside Ukraine and warned that any intervention would cost money.
In 2017, announcing a “new chapter of American greatness,” President Donald Trump made a broad call for a review of the country’s health care system and a significant increase in military spending in an hour-long speech at a joint session of Congress. Amazon’s cloud computing service, Amazon Web Services, has experienced a five-hour shutdown in the eastern United States, causing unprecedented and widespread problems for thousands of websites and applications.
In 2018, Walmart announced it would no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people under the age of 21 and remove items resembling assault rifles from its website. Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced that it will stop selling machine guns and ban the sale of all weapons to persons under 21 years of age.
In 2020, the number of countries affected by the coronavirus rose to almost 60. The Dow Jones industrial index ended the week 12.4% lower, the worst weekly figure on the market since the 2008 financial crisis.
In 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuoma first acknowledged that some of his behavior with women “could be insensitive or too personal,” and said he would cooperate with an investigation into sexual harassment led by the state’s attorney general. Former President Donald Trump, speaking at a conservative conference in Florida in his first public speech since leaving office, called on everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “Nomadland” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won top awards in film at the Golden Globe Awards, ending the evening in which the winners, who came home, accepted their awards.