"An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason."

C.S. Lewis, English author (1898-1963)

Feb. 16, 1968: The nation's first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama.

1804: Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates during the First Barbary War.

1862: The Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee ended as some 12,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered; Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's victory earned him the nickname "Unconditional Surrender Grant."

1923: The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen's recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt by English archaeologist Howard Carter.

1937: Dr. Wallace H. Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont who'd invented nylon, received a patent for the synthetic fiber.

1945: American troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II.

1959: Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba a month and a half after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.

1961: The United States launched the Explorer 9 satellite.

1977: Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.

1988: Seven people were shot to death during an office rampage in Sunnyvale, California, by a man obsessed with a co-worker who was wounded in the attack.

1996: 11 people were killed in a fiery collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a Maryland commuter train in Silver Spring, Maryland. Former California Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 90.

1998: A China Airlines Airbus A300600R trying to land in fog near Taipei, Taiwan, crashed, killing all 196 people on board, plus six on the ground.

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