Sat, Feb 20

1950—Joe McCarthy delivers a five-hour, fact-free rant in the Senate; a four-month investigation ensues.

1945—At Iwo Jima, Jacklyn “Jack” Lucas, 17, dives onto one live grenade and pulls another under him. One goes off, one doesn’t. He sets off metal detectors until dying at 80.

1943—Hollywood embraces Office of War Information censorship.

1939—Fritz Kuhn, a German veteran of WW I and naturalized U.S. citizen, leads 22,000 people in a pro-Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden.

1933—At least 20 top German industrialists meet secretly at Reichstag President H. Göring’s official residence and conspire—yes, we said it—to raise funds to get Nazis elected.

1893—After the Reading Railroad fails, the free hand of the self-regulating market reaches for the economy’s throat and nearly chokes it to death.

1815—Almost two months after the Treaty of Ghent ends the War of 1812, the U.S.S. Constitution captures two British sloops off the coast of Portugal.

1792—The United States Post Office Department is established! Yay!

1725—Captain John Lovewell’s soldiers take 10 Indian scalps in Wakefield, N.H., which they later redeem in Boston for £100 each.

1524—In Germany, Count von Iggleheim is stoned to death by a mob angry at his refusal to let them board a three-story ark he had built to escape a predicted apocalyptic flood.

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