Wednesday, February 03, 2010

This day in history

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[February 03, 2010]  (AP)  Today is Wednesday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2010. There are 331 days left in the year.

InsuranceToday's highlight in history:

On Feb. 3, 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a German torpedo. Of the more than 900 men aboard, only some 230 survived. Four Army chaplains gave their life belts to four other men, and went down with the ship.

On this date:

In 1809, German composer Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg. Congress passed an act establishing the Illinois Territory effective March 1.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens held a shipboard peace conference off the Virginia coast; the talks deadlocked over the issue of Southern autonomy.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

In 1916, Canada's original Parliament Buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.

In 1924, the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died in Washington, D.C. at age 67.

In 1930, the chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons. (He died just over a month later.)

In 1959, rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died in a small plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. An American Airlines Lockheed Electra crashed into New York's East River, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.

In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.

In 1969, Yasser Arafat was elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee during a council meeting in Cairo, Egypt.

In 1989, Alfredo Stroessner, president of Paraguay for more than three decades, was overthrown in a military coup.

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Ten years ago: The flight data recorder from Alaska Airlines Flight 261 was recovered from the Pacific Ocean off California. The Senate voted 89-4 to confirm Alan Greenspan for a fourth term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Richard Kleindienst, who had served as U.S. attorney general during the Nixon administration and resigned during the Watergate scandal, died in Prescott, Ariz. at age 76.

Five years ago: Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation as attorney general. An interim report detailed conflicts of interest and flawed management in the U.N. oil-for-food program. An Afghan passenger jet carrying 104 people crashed east of Kabul, killing all on board.

One year ago: Eric Holder became the first black U.S. attorney general as he was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden. The White House announced that Tom Daschle had asked to be removed from consideration as health and human services secretary after acknowledging he'd failed to pay all his taxes. Iran sent its first domestically made satellite, Omid ("hope"), into orbit.

Today's birthdays: Comedian Shelley Berman is 84. Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) is 77. Football Hall-of-Famer Fran Tarkenton is 70. Actress Bridget Hanley is 69. Actress Blythe Danner is 67. Singer Dennis Edwards is 67. Football Hall-of-Famer Bob Griese is 65. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 63. Singer Melanie is 63. Actress Morgan Fairchild is 60. Actor Nathan Lane is 54. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 54. Actor Thomas Calabro is 51. Actor-director Keith Gordon is 49. Actress Michele Greene is 48. Country singer Matraca (muh-TRAY'-suh) Berg is 46. Actress Maura Tierney is 45. Actor Warwick Davis is 40. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 34. Musician Grant Barry is 33. Singer-songwriter Jessica Harp is 28. Rapper Sean Kingston is 20.

Thought for today: "Your friend will argue with you." -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer (1918-2008)

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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