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Monday, February 02, 2009

This day in history

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[February 02, 2009]  (AP)  Today is Monday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2009. There are 332 days left in the year. This is Groundhog Day.

Today's highlight in history:

On Feb. 2, 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.

On this date:

In 1536, present-day Buenos Aires, Argentina, was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.

In 1653, New Amsterdam -- now New York City -- was incorporated.

In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War, was signed.

In 1870, the "Cardiff Giant," supposedly the petrified remains of a human discovered in Cardiff, N.Y., was revealed to be nothing more than carved gypsum.

In 1876, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was formed in New York.

In 1897, fire destroyed the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg. (A new statehouse was dedicated on the same site in 1906.)

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman sent a 10-point civil rights program to Congress, where the proposals ran into fierce opposition from southern lawmakers.

In 1959, public schools in Arlington and Norfolk, Va., were racially desegregated without incident.

In 1969, actor Boris Karloff died in Midhurst, England, at age 81.

In 1988, in a speech the broadcast television networks declined to carry live, President Ronald Reagan pressed his case for aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.

Ten years ago: A federal jury in Portland, Ore., ordered abortion foes who had created "wanted" posters and a Web site listing the names and addresses of "baby butchers" to pay $107 million in damages. (Courts later reduced the judgment to more than $16 million; the U.S. Supreme Court has refused three times to hear an appeal by the defendants.)

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Five years ago: President George W. Bush unveiled a $2.4 trillion budget featuring a record deficit, as well as big increases for defense and homeland security. Deadly ricin was discovered in offices used by Senate majority leader Bill Frist. Israel killed a leader of Islamic Jihad and three other militants in a Gaza raid. An 11-story apartment building collapsed in Konya, Turkey, killing 92 people.

One year ago: A gunman killed five women at a Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park, Ill., in an apparent botched robbery attempt. (The case remains unsolved.) French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former supermodel Carla Bruni were married at the presidential Elysee Palace. Former Washington Redskins players Art Monk and Darrell Green were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with New England linebacker Andre Tippett, San Diego/San Francisco defensive end Fred Dean, Minnesota/Denver tackle Gary Zimmerman and senior committee choice, Kansas City cornerback Emmitt Thomas. Former Agriculture Secretary Earl L. Butz died in Washington, D.C., at age 98. Actor Barry Morse died in London at age 89.

Today's birthdays: Actress Elaine Stritch is 84. Actor Robert Mandan is 77. Comedian Tom Smothers is 72. Rock singer-guitarist Graham Nash is 67. Actor Bo Hopkins is 67. Television executive Barry Diller is 67. Country singer Howard Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 63. Actress Farrah Fawcett is 62. Actor Jack McGee is 60. Actor Brent Spiner is 60. Rock musician Ross Valory (Journey) is 60. Model Christie Brinkley is 55. Actor Michael Talbott is 54. Actress Kim Zimmer is 54. Rock musician Robert DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 43. Actress Jennifer Westfeldt is 39. Rock musician Ben Mize (Counting Crows) is 38. Rapper T-Mo is 37. Actress Marissa Jaret Winokur is 36. Actress Lori Beth Denberg is 33. Singer Shakira is 32. Country singer Blaine Larsen is 23.

Thought for today: "Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great." -- Bussy-Rabutin, French soldier and writer (1618-1693)

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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