NASCAR is officially incorporated this day

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  • NASCAR is officially incorporated this day
    NASCAR is officially incorporated this day
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Sunday, February 21

The 52nd day of the year 313 days left

Today in History

On February 21, 1948, the National Association for Stock Car Racing—or NASCAR, as it will come to be widely known—is officially incorporated. NASCAR racing will go on to become one of America’s most popular spectator sports, as well as a multibillion-dollar industry.

The driving force behind the establishment of NASCAR was William “Bill” France Sr. (1909- 1992), a mechanic and auto-repair shop owner from Washington, D.C., who in the mid-1930s moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. The Daytona area was a gathering spot for racing enthusiasts, and France became involved in racing cars and promoting races. After witnessing how racing rules could vary from event to event and how dishonest promoters could abscond with prize money, France felt there was a need for a governing body to sanction and promote racing. He gathered members of the racing community to discuss the idea, and NASCAR was born, with its official incorporation in February 1948. France served as NASCAR’s first president and played a key role in shaping its development in the sport’s early decades.

Weather At 6:48 a.m

. Sunday 41°

Last 24 hours: High 45° Low 17°

Yesterday High 30° Low -1°

30 Years Ago Today High 62° Low 28°

50 Years Ago Today High 34° Low 26°

Extremes This Date High 77° in 1996 Low 1° in 1939

Moisture Received Last 24 hours 0.00”

Total for Month 3.77”

Average for Month 2.21”

Last precipitation February 17 3.50”

Driest February 1963 0.07”

Wettest February 1985 7.87”

Saturday, February 20

The 51st day of the year 314 days left

Today in History

In a highly controversial vote on February 20, 1985, the Irish government defies the powerful Catholic Church and approves the sale of contraceptives.

Up until 1979, Irish law prohibited the importation and sale of contraceptives. In a 1973 case, McGee v. The Attorney General, the Irish Supreme Court found that a constitutional right to marital privacy covered the use of contraceptives. Pressured by strong conservative forces in Irish society, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, the government was slow to change the law to reflect the court’s decision, and a number of proposed bills failed before reaching the books.

On February 20, 1985, a coalition of the Fine Gael and Labour parties led by Dr. Garret FitzGerald defeated the opposition of the conservative Fianna Fail party by an 83-80 vote. The new legislation made nonmedical contraceptives (condoms and spermicides) available without prescriptions to people over 18 at pharmacies; it also allowed for the distribution of these contraceptives at doctors’ offices, hospitals and family planning clinics. Though it was still illegal to advertise contraceptives and use of the birth control pill remained restricted, the vote marked a major turning point in Irish history—the first-ever defeat of the Catholic Church in a head-to-head battle with the government on social legislation.

Weather At 7 a.m.

Saturday 17°

Last 24 hours: High 30° Low -1°

Yesterday High 23° Low -1°

30 Years Ago Today High 48° Low 28°

50 Years Ago Today High 41° Low 31°

Extremes This Date High 75° in 2017 Low 6° in 1918

Moisture Received Last 24 hours 0.00”

Total for Month 3.77”

Average for Month 2.21”

Last precipitation February 17 3.50”

Driest February 1963 0.07”

Wettest February 1985 7.87”

Friday, February 19

The 50th day of the year 315 days left

Today in History

Operation Detachment, the U.S. Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima, is launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds, it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away.

The Americans began applying pressure to the Japanese defense of the island in February 1944, when B-24 and B-25 bombers raided the island for 74 days. It was the longest pre-invasion bombardment of the war, necessary because of the extent to which the Japanese—21,000 strong—fortified the island, above and below ground, including a network of caves. Underwater demolition teams (“frogmen”) were dispatched by the Americans just before the actual invasion. When the Japanese fired on the frogmen, they gave away many of their “secret” gun positions.

The amphibious landings of Marines began the morning of February 19 as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on them. By evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded. The capture of Mount Suribachi, the highest point of the island and bastion of the Japanese defense, took four more days and many more casualties. When the American flag was finally raised on Iwo Jima, the memorable image was captured in a famous photograph that later won the Pulitzer Prize

Weather At 7:20 a.m.

Friday -1°

Last 24 hours: High 23° Low -1°

Yesterday High 22° Low 5°

30 Years Ago Today High 51° Low 31°

50 Years Ago Today High 63° Low 41°

Extremes This Date High 75° in 2016 Low -4° in 1993

Moisture Received Last 24 hours 0.00”

Total for Month 3.77”

Average for Month 2.21”

Last precipitation February 17 3.50”

Driest February 1963 0.07”

Wettest February 1985 7.87”