Feb 17, Alice Lee Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt’s irrepressible eldest daughter, married Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Ohio in an elaborate White House ceremony. Heedless of social convention, Alice’s behavior routinely shocked her family and friends. Once the president, when confronted with another of Alice’s escapades, remarked, “I can do one of two things, I can run the country or control Alice. I cannot do both.” Nevertheless, the world public was captivated with the first daughter, who seemed to embody the ideal Gay Nineties woman. In spite of its promising beginning, Alice’s 25-year marriage to Longworth was not a happy one, but Alice reigned as the grande dame of Washington, D.C. society for another 50 years.
January 14, Gaile Owens (33), the wife of Ron Owens, was sentenced to death for hiring a stranger to kill her abusive husband. In 2010 her sentenced was commuted to life. In 2011 she won parole.
Feb 17, At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald’swifeand 2 daughters were murdered. Dr. MacDonald was convicted of the murders but claimed that drug-crazed assailants were responsible. The book “Fatal Vision” by Joe McGinniss recounted the story. In 2005 evidence was presented that Helena Stoeckley (1953-1983), a defense witness, had admitted to a prosecutor that she was at MacDonald’s house on the night of the murder.
Feb 17, The U.S. women’s hockey team won the gold medal at Nagano, Japan, defeating Canada 3-1.
Feb 17, A jury in Fort Worth, Texas, convicted former Naval Academy midshipman Diane Zamora (20) of killing a 16-year-old romantic rival. Zamora and her ex-boyfriend, former US Air Force Academy cadet David Graham, were sentenced to life in prison in the slaying of Adrianne Jones.
Feb 17, In Chicago 3 women were found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in two apartments on the city’s far North Side. Police had a suspect in custody. All were Assyrian Christians, and recent immigrants to the US.