Today is Wednesday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2019. There are 314 days left in the year.
On Feb. 20, 2003, a fire sparked by pyrotechnics broke out during a concert by the group Great White at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, killing 100 people and injuring about 200 others.
On this date:
In 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the United States Post Office Department.
In 1862, William Wallace Lincoln, the 11-year-old son of President Abraham Lincoln and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, died at the White House, apparently of typhoid fever.
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded "idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, insane persons" from being admitted to the United States.
In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Project Mercury's Friendship 7 spacecraft, which circled the globe three times in a flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds before splashing down safely in the Atlantic Ocean 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.
In 1965, America's Ranger 8 spacecraft crashed on the moon, as planned, after sending back thousands of pictures of the lunar surface.
In 1987, a bomb left by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski exploded behind a computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring store owner Gary Wright. Soviet authorities released Jewish activist Josef Begun.
Today's birthdays: Socialite Gloria Vanderbilt is 95. Actor Sidney Poitier is 92. Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito is 77. Actress Sandy Duncan is 73. Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is 65. Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is 56. Singer Rihanna is 31.