10 years ago

From the Journal Tribune: “Four employees may not sound like a lot for a large organization, but for the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center at the University of New England, which has traditionally had only two employees, the recent addition of two new positions has doubled the size of their workforce.”

50 years ago

From the Biddeford-Saco Journal: “A heavy turnout is forecast in Biddeford-Saco liquor sales referendum Monday. The measure is expected to receive general support among the local citizenry. Voters expressing their opinions by the use of absentee ballot are doing so in larger numbers than in some previous state referenda, according to Saco City Clerk Joan Lamontagne.”

100 years ago

From the Biddeford Daily Journal: “Announcement was made at the office of the state highway commission today that the first work of the present year will doubtless begin on the stretch of road from Saco to Scarboro, a distance of a little over four miles. This road, which will be built of Portland cement concrete, is the last link of unimproved road between Portland and Portsmouth, N.H. and will complete what is popularly termed the gateway of Maine.”

— Krysteana Scribner

Today in History

Today is Friday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2016. There are 316 days left in the year.

On this date: In 1881, Kansas prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. In 1934, a blizzard began inundating the northeastern United States, with the heaviest snowfall occurring in Connecticut and Massachusetts. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, clearing the way for the U.S. military to relocate and intern people of Japanese ancestry (including U.S.-born citizens) during World War II. In 1945, Operation Detachment began during World War II as some 30,000 U.S. Marines began landing on Iwo Jima, where they commenced a successful month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces. In 1959, an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus its independence. In 2001, President George W. Bush opened a museum dedicated to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Movie producer-director Stanley Kramer died in Woodland Hills, California, at age 87. In 2008, an ailing Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power; his brother Raul was later named to succeed him.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 19, 1986, the U.S. Senate approved, 83-11, the Genocide Convention, an international treaty outlawing “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” nearly 37 years after the pact had first been submitted for ratification.

Ten years ago A gas explosion in northern Mexico killed 65 miners. Israel halted the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money to the Palestinians after Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament. Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500.

Five years ago Security forces in Libya and Yemen fired on prodemocracy demonstrators as the two hard-line regimes struck back against the wave of protests that had already toppled autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia. The world’s dominant economies, meeting in Paris, struck a watered-down deal on how to smooth out trade and currency imbalances blamed for a global financial crisis.

One year ago President Barack Obama urged delegates from 63 countries at a summit on violent extremism to “confront the warped ideology” espoused by terror groups, particularly using Islam to justify violence.

— By The Associated Press