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On this day: February 19

Published On: Feb 18 2013 06:31:49 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 19 2014 01:00:00 AM CST

Rescuers reach the Donner Party, Edison patents the phonograph, the Soviet Union launches the Mir space station, and Fidel Castro resigns as Cuban president, all on this day.

OTD February 19 - Donner Party
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Public domain

1847: The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party, who were starving and feeble, with some having turned to cannibalism to survive. Weather conditions were so bad that three rescue groups were required to lead the rest of the survivors to California, the last group arriving in March. Forty-eight members out of an original group of 87 ultimately survived to live in California.

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