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On this day in history - February 19

What Happened On This Day – February 19

  • 2008 Fidel Castro steps down as Cuba's president

    Castro was 81 years old at the time and had been in power for 49 years.

  • 1986 The “Mir” Space Station is launched

    The Soviet vehicle was the world's first modular space station and remained in orbit for 15 years.

  • 1985 Iberia Airlines Flight 610 crashes

    All 148 people on board died in the accident that was blamed on pilot error.

  • 1945 U.S. troops land on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima

    The photo showing 4 marines erecting a U.S. flag on the island has become one of the best-known images of World War II.

  • 1878 Thomas Edison patents the phonograph

    It was the first machine able to reproduce recorded sound.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
February 19

  • 1963 Seal

    English singer-songwriter

  • 1957 Falco

    Austrian singer-songwriter

  • 1953 Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

    Argentinian politician, 55th President of Argentina

  • 1865 Sven Hedin

    Swedish geographer, explorer

  • 1473 Nicolaus Copernicus

    Polish mathematician, astronomer

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
February 19

  • 2001 Stanley Kramer

    American director

  • 2000 Friedensreich Hundertwasser

    Austrian/New Zealand painter, architect, designed the Kuchlbauer Tower, Waldspirale

  • 1997 Deng Xiaoping

    Chinese politician, diplomat

  • 1952 Knut Hamsun

    Norwegian writer, Nobel Prize laureate

  • 1916 Ernst Mach

    Austrian physicist