A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  Feb. 18, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Feb. 18.

In 2001, a 25-year veteran member of the FBI was charged with spying for the Russians. Robert Hanssen was arrested near his suburban Washington home.

Also on this date in 2001, tragedy struck the race track. Dale Earnhardt Sr., NASCAR's top race driver, was killed in a crash in the final turn of the final lap of the Daytona 500. He was 49.

Jefferson Davis was sworn in as provisional president of the Confederate States of America on this date in 1861. Davis had been the acknowledged leader of the Southern bloc and a champion of states' rights in the years before the civil war. But he had little to do with the secessionist movement until his home state of Mississippi joined the Confederacy in January 1861. He resigned his U.S. Senate seat that same day.

Pluto, the outermost and ninth planet of the solar system, was discovered on this date in 1930 by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. It was not named after the Disney animated character but after the Roman god of the underworld. Actually, Pluto isn't always the furthermost planet -- its orbit is so eccentric that some years it's closer to the sun than Nepture, the eighth planet.

U.S. skater Dan Jansen ended his Olympic drought on this date in 1994 with a win in the men's 1,000-meter speedskating event at the 17th Olympic Winter Games in Norway.

And it was on this date in 1930 that the first cow flew in an airplane. While in flight, she was milked -- thus also becoming the first cow to be milked while flying in an airplane.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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