Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Shrove (preceding Ash Wednesday) Tuesday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2016. There are 326 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 9, 1943, the World War II battle of Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific ended with an Allied victory over Japanese forces.

On this date:

In 1773, the ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison, was born in Charles City County, Virginia.

In 1825, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected provisional president of the Confederate States of America at a congress held in Montgomery, Alabama.

In 1870, the U.S. Weather Bureau was established.

In 1942, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff held its first formal meeting to coordinate military strategy during World War II. Daylight-saving “War Time” went into effect in the United States, with clocks turned one hour forward.

In 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., charged the State Department was riddled with Communists.

In 1964, The Beatles made their first live American television appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” broadcast from New York by CBS.

In 1971, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in California’s San Fernando Valley claimed 65 lives. The crew of Apollo 14 returned to Earth after man’s third landing on the moon.

In 1984, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov, 69, died 15 months after succeeding Leonid Brezhnev; he was followed by Konstantin U. Chernenko (chehr-NYEN’-koh).

In 1986, during its latest visit to the solar system, Halley’s Comet came closest to the sun (its next return will be in 2061).

In 2001, a U.S. Navy submarine, the USS Greeneville, collided with a Japanese fishing boat, the Ehime Maru (eh-hee-mee mah-roo), while surfacing off the Hawaiian coast, killing nine men and boys aboard the boat.

In 2002, Britain’s Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, died in London at age 71.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush defended U.S. surveillance efforts, saying spy work helped thwart terrorists plotting to use shoe bombs to hijack an airliner and crash it into the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast. Kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll appeared in a video aired on a private Kuwaiti TV station, appealing for her supporters to do whatever it took to win her release “as quickly as possible.” (She was freed on March 30, 2006.) British entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker died in Hollywood, Florida, at age 83.

Five years ago: Thousands of workers went on strike across Egypt, adding a new dimension to the uprising as public rage turned to the vast wealth President Hosni Mubarak’s family reportedly amassed while close to half the country struggled near the poverty line. Rep. Christopher Lee, R-N.Y., abruptly resigned with only a vague explanation of regret after gossip website Gawker reported that the married congressman had sent a shirtless photo of himself to a woman on Craigslist. Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to felony grand theft of a $2,500 necklace. (Lohan later pleaded no contest to taking the necklace without permission and served 35 days of house arrest.)

One year ago: President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meeting at the White House, rallied behind efforts to reach a long-shot diplomatic resolution in Ukraine. More than 2 feet of fresh snow piled up in parts of New England, breaking records set during the Blizzard of 1978. Ed Sabol, the NFL Films founder who revolutionized sports broadcasting, died in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 98.

Today’s Birthdays: Television journalist Roger Mudd is 88. Actress Janet Suzman is 77. Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee is 76. Actress-politician Sheila James Kuehl (kyool) (TV: “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 75. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 74. Actor Joe Pesci is 73. Singer Barbara Lewis is 73. Author Alice Walker is 72. Actress Mia Farrow is 71. Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is 70. Singer Joe Ely is 69. Actress Judith Light is 67. Rhythm-and-blues musician Dennis “DT” Thomas (Kool & the Gang) is 65. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 61. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is 59. Jazz musician Steve Wilson is 55. Country singer Travis Tritt is 53. Actress Julie Warner is 51. Country singer Danni Leigh is 46. Actress Sharon Case is 45. Actor Jason George is 44. Actress Amber Valletta is 42. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 40. Rock singer Chad Wolf (Carolina Liar) is 40. Actor A.J. Buckley is 39. Rock musician Richard On (O.A.R.) is 37. Actress Ziyi Zhang is 37. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Irina Slutskaya is 37. Actor David Gallagher is 31. Actor Michael B. Jordan is 29. Actress Rose Leslie is 29. Actress Marina Malota is 28. Actress Camille Winbush is 26. Actor Jimmy Bennett is 20.

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