Today in History

Article excerpt

Today is Friday, February 20, the 51st day of 2009. There are 314 days left in the year. Highlights in history on this date:

* 1437 - Scotland's King James I is murdered by would-be usurpers in Scottish city of Perth.

* 1507 - Painter Gentile Bellini, son of Renaissance artist Jacopo Bellini and famed for his own scenes of Venice, dies.

* 1876 - Submarine cable connected between NSW and New Zealand.

* 1962 - Astronaut John Glenn becomes first American to orbit earth.

* 1965 - The Ranger 8 spacecraft crashes on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of the lunar surface.

* 1979 - Some 175 people killed by an eruption of the Sinira volcano in Indonesia.

* 1981 - In a first inquest, Alice Springs Coroner determines that Azaria Chamberlain was killed by a dingo.

* 1985 - Sale of contraceptives is made legal in Ireland.

* 1986 - Russia launches the Mir space station; Widespread religious violence involving Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs flares in India, and city curfews are imposed in three states. …