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.
Births On This Day,
1953 Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Argentinian politician, 55th President of Argentina
1865 Sven Hedin
Swedish geographer, explorer
1473 Nicolaus Copernicus
Polish mathematician, astronomer
Deaths On This Day,
2001 Stanley Kramer
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