1859:Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.

1876:Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied separately for patents related to the telephone. (The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled Bell the rightful inventor.)

1912:Arizona became the 48th state of the Union as President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation.

1929:The "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone's gang were gunned down.

1945:During World War II, British and Canadian forces reached the Rhine River in Germany.

1949:Israel's Knesset convened for the first time.

1967:Aretha Franklin recorded her cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" at Atlantic Records in New York.

1979:Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.

1984:6-year-old Stormie Jones became the world's first heart-liver transplant recipient when the surgery was performed at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (she lived until November 1990).

1985:Cable News Network reporter Jeremy Levin, held hostage by extremists in Lebanon, escaped from his captors.

2013:Double-amputee and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria, South Africa; he was later convicted of murder and is serving a 13-year prison term. American Airlines and US Airways announced an $11 billion merger that turned American into the world's biggest airline.

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