On This Day February 19
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1940 – “King of Motown,” Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Smokey Robinson (“You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “I Second That Emotion,” “The Tears of a Clown,” “Cruisin’,” “Being With You”)
1878 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for a pioneering invention—the phonograph, the first device to both record sound and play it back. U.S. Patent No. 200,521 is just one of the more than one thousand issued to Edison for his inventions.
1942 – Amid World War II hysteria following the Pearl Harbor attack, President Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, which sends 117,000 Japanese-Americans living along the Pacific coast to internment camps in remote areas around the U.S. A smaller number of Americans of Italian and German descent are also detained.
2010 – Golf superstar Tiger Woods holds a televised news conference in which he apologizes for marital infidelities and admits to “selfish” and “foolish” behavior. Woods’ statement comes three months after he crashed his car near his Florida home in the middle of the night.
1972 – Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” begins a four-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The ballad, which was first recorded by Badfinger in 1970, garners Nilsson a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal.
1977 – At the 19th Annual Grammy Awards, Stevie Wonder captures top honors for Best Album for “Songs in the Key of Life” as well as Best Male Pop Vocalist and Best Producer. Most music critics still consider the double-album Wonder’s finest work.