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Friday, February 08, 2008

This Day in History

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[February 08, 2008]  (AP)  Today is Friday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2008. There are 327 days left in the year.

Today's highlight in history:

On Feb. 8, 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, S.C., during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley.

On this date:

In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

In 1837, the Senate selected the vice president of the United States, choosing Richard Mentor Johnson after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War, a conflict over control of Manchuria and Korea, began as Japanese forces attacked Port Arthur.

In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

In 1915, D.W. Griffith's groundbreaking as well as controversial silent movie epic about the Civil War, "The Birth of a Nation," premiered in Los Angeles.

In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.

In 1974, the last three-man crew of the Skylab space station returned to Earth after spending 84 days in space.

In 1978, the deliberations of the Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time as members opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties.

In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.

Ten years ago: Olga Danilova of Russia won the first gold medal of the Nagano Winter Games in 15-kilometer classical cross-country skiing.

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Five years ago: The chief U.N. arms inspectors arrived in Baghdad for a new round of crucial talks with Iraqi officials. In a jab at major U.S. allies, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told a security conference in Munich that countries such as France and Germany that favored giving Iraq another chance to disarm were undermining what slim chance existed to avoid war. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for leading a two-month strike against President Hugo Chavez.

One year ago: Model, actress and tabloid sensation Anna Nicole Smith died in Florida at age 39 of an accidental drug overdose. A federal judge in Fargo, N.D., sentenced Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. to death for the slaying of college student Dru Sjodin. Rival Palestinian leaders signed an agreement on a power-sharing government at Saudi-brokered talks in Mecca.

Today's birthdays: Composer-conductor John Williams is 76. Actor Jack Larson is 75. Former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel is 68. Actor Nick Nolte is 67. Comedian Robert Klein is 66. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 65. Country singer Dan Seals is 60. Singer Ron Tyson is 60. Actress Brooke Adams is 59. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 55. Author John Grisham is 53. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 47. Rock singer-musician Sammy LLanas (The BoDeans) is 47. Actor Gary Coleman is 40. Actress Mary McCormack is 39. Actor Seth Green is 34. Actor Josh Morrow is 34. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 31. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 20. Actress Karle Warren ("Judging Amy") is 16.

Thought for today: "To maintain one's ideals in ignorance is easy." -- Uta Hagen, German-born actress (1919-2004)

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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