• On Feb. 16, 1878, supported by Western mining interests and farmers, the Bland-Allison Act, which provided for a return to the minting of silver coins, becomes law. It required the U.S. Treasury to resume purchasing silver and minting silver dollars as legal tender.
• On Feb. 13, 1915, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is founded to “assure that music creators are fairly compensated for the public performance of their works, and that their rights are properly protected.”
• On Feb. 10, 1957, Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the best-selling “Little House” series of children’s novels, dies at age 90 in Missouri. In 1932, Wilder, then in her 60s, published her first novel, “Little House in the Big Woods.”
• On Feb. 15, 1961, the entire 18-member U.S. figure skating team is killed in a plane crash in Belgium. The team was on its way to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships in Prague. U.S. women’s figure skating champion Laurence Owen, 16, was featured on the Feb. 13, 1961, cover of Sports Illustrated.
• On Feb. 12, 1972, the release of American POWs begins in Hanoi as part of the Paris peace settlement. The first 20 of 591 U.S. POWs arrived to a hero’s welcome at Travis AFB in California.
• On Feb. 14, 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini calls on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses,” and his publishers. Booksellers the world over refused to sell the novel for fear of retribution. Many who did sell it were bombed.
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