Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2016. There are 321 days left in the year. This is Valentine’s Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 14, 1849, President James K. Polk became the first U.S. chief executive to be photographed while in office as he posed for Matthew Brady in New York City.

On this date:

In 1778, the American ship Ranger carried the recently adopted Stars and Stripes to a foreign port for the first time as it arrived in France.

In 1859, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.

In 1895, Oscar Wilde’s final play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” opened at the St. James’s Theatre in London.

In 1903, the Department of Commerce and Labor was established. (It was divided into separate departments of Commerce and Labor in 1913.)

In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union as President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation.

In 1924, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. of New York was formally renamed International Business Machines Corp., or IBM.

In 1929, the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone’s gang were gunned down.

In 1941, the Carson McCullers novel “Reflections in a Golden Eye,” previously serialized, was published in book form by Houghton Mifflin.

In 1946, the film noir “Gilda,” starring Rita Hayworth, was released by Columbia Pictures.

In 1962, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a televised tour of the White House in a videotaped special that was broadcast on CBS and NBC (and several nights later on ABC).

In 1975, Anglo-American author P.G. Wodehouse, 93, died in Southampton, New York.

In 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses,” a novel condemned as blasphemous.

Ten years ago: Attorney Harry Whittington, who was accidentally shot by Vice President Dick Cheney, suffered a mild heart attack when a shotgun pellet traveled to his heart, but he recovered. Iran said it had resumed uranium enrichment; Russia and France immediately called on Iran to halt its work. At Turin, American Ted Ligety won Olympic gold in men’s combined skiing, while Bode Miller was disqualified for straddling a gate.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.7 trillion budget plan that would freeze or reduce some safety-net programs for the nation’s poor but turn aside Republican demands for more drastic cuts to shrink the government to where it was before he took office. Protesters took to the streets in Iran, Bahrain and Yemen, inspired by the popular uprising in Egypt that brought down President Hosni Mubarak. The TV game show “Jeopardy!” began airing the first of three episodes pitting human players Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings against an IBM computer named “Watson.” (Watson ended up winning with a cumulative total of $77,147 versus $24,000 for Jennings and $21,600 for Rutter.)

One year ago: A Danish gunman attacked a free-speech seminar and a synagogue in Copenhagen, killing two people; the shooter was later slain by a special police team. Actor Louis Jourdan, 93, died in Beverly Hills, California. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Levine, 87, died in Fresno, California.

Today’s Birthdays: TV personality Hugh Downs is 95. Actress-singer Florence Henderson is 82. Actor Andrew Prine is 80. Country singer Razzy Bailey is 77. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is 74. Jazz musician Maceo Parker is 73. Movie director Alan Parker is 72. Journalist Carl Bernstein is 72. Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is 69. TV personality Pat O’Brien is 68. Magician Teller (Penn and Teller) is 68. Cajun singer-musician Michael Doucet (doo-SAY’) (Beausoleil) is 65. Actor Ken Wahl is 59. Opera singer Renee Fleming is 57. Actress Meg Tilly is 56. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is 56. Singer-producer Dwayne Wiggins is 55. Actress Sakina Jaffey is 54. Actor Enrico Colantoni is 53. Actor Zach Galligan is 52. Actor Valente Rodriguez is 52. Rock musician Ricky Wolking (The Nixons) is 50. Tennis player Manuela Maleeva is 49. Actor Simon Pegg is 46. Rock musician Kevin Baldes (Lit) is 44. Rock singer Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty) is 44. Actor Matt Barr is 32. Actor Jake Lacy is 30. Actress Tiffany Thornton is 30. Actor Freddie Highmore is 24.

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