• On Feb. 19, 1847, the first rescuers reach surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of California bound emigrants stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Of the 89 original members of the Donner Party, only 45 reached California.
• On Feb. 22, 1918, swept along by hysterical fears of German spies, the Montana legislature passes a Sedition Law that severely restricts freedom of speech and assembly. The law made it illegal to criticize the federal government or the armed forces during time of war.
• On Feb. 18, 1930, Pluto is discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh. He discovered the tiny, distant planet using a new astronomic technique of photographic plates combined with a blink microscope.
• On Feb. 20, 1986, France and Britain announce the Chunnel, a tunnel to be built under the English Channel. Construction began in late 1987 and the chunnel was finally completed in 1994. Attempts to dig a channel tunnel date back to 1883, and Napoleon drew blueprints for a tunnel in 1802.
• On Feb. 23, 1940, folksinger Woody Guthrie writes one of his bestknown songs, “This Land is Your Land.” Many of his songs reflected a strong commitment to the common working people.
• On Feb. 21, 1994, CIA operative Aldrich Ames is arrested for selling secrets to the Soviet Union. At least 10 U.S. spies in Russia were killed after Ames revealed their identities, and more were sent to Russian gulags.
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