Today's highlight in history:
On Feb. 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as provisional
president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Ala.
On this date:
In 1546, Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in
Germany, died in Eisleben.
In 1564, artist Michelangelo died in Rome.
In 1735, the first opera presented in America, "Flora, or Hob in the
Well," was performed in present-day Charleston, S.C.
In 1885, Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published
in the U.S. for the first time.
In 1930, photographic evidence of Pluto (now designated a "dwarf
planet") was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory
in Flagstaff, Ariz.
In 1953, "Bwana Devil," the movie that heralded the 3D fad of the
1950s, had its New York opening.
In 1960, the 8th Winter Olympic Games were formally opened in Squaw
Valley, Calif., by Vice President Richard M. Nixon.
In 1970, the "Chicago Seven" defendants were found not guilty of
conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national
convention; five were convicted of violating the Anti-Riot Act of
1968 (those convictions were later reversed).
In 1972, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's death
In 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747,
went on its maiden "flight" above the Mojave (moh-HAH'-vee) Desert.
In 1984, Italy and the Vatican signed an accord under which Roman
Catholicism ceased to be the state religion of Italy.
In 2001, auto racing star Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash at the
Daytona 500; he was 49.
Ten years ago: Andrea Yates went on trial in Houston, charged
with two counts of capital murder for the drownings of three of her
five children, ages 6 months to 7 years. (Yates was found guilty,
but her convictions were overturned; she was acquitted in a retrial
by reason of insanity.) France's Marina Anissina and Gwendal
Peizerat (PEH'-zeh-rah) narrowly won the Olympic ice dancing gold
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Five years ago: A military helicopter crashed in southeastern
Afghanistan, killing eight U.S. service members; 14 survived with
injuries. Twin car bombs blew up in a mostly Shiite area of Baghdad,
killed at least 62 people. A pair of bombs on a train headed from
India to Pakistan killed 68 people. Kevin Harvick nosed out Mark
Martin in a frantic wreck-filled finish to win the Daytona 500. The
West routed the East, 153-132, in the NBA All-Star game.
One year ago: The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution that
would have condemned Israeli settlements as illegal and called for a
halt in all settlement building; the 14 other Security Council
members voted in favor of the measure.
Today's birthdays: Former Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley
Brown is 90. Actor George Kennedy is 87. Former Sen. John Warner, R-Va.,
is 85. Author Toni Morrison is 81. Movie director Milos (MEE'-lohsh)
Forman is 80. Singer Yoko Ono is 79. Singer-songwriter Bobby Hart is
73. Singer Irma Thomas is 71. Singer Herman Santiago (Frankie Lymon
and the Teenagers) is 71. Singer Dennis DeYoung is 65. Actress
Sinead Cusack is 64. Actress Cybill Shepherd is 62. Singer Juice
Newton is 60. Singer Randy Crawford is 60. Rock musician Robbie
Bachman is 59. Rock musician Larry Rust (Iron Butterfly) is 59.
Actor John Travolta is 58. Game show host Vanna White is 55. Actress
Jayne Atkinson is 53. Actress Greta Scacchi (SKAH'-kee) is 52. Actor
Matt Dillon is 48. Rapper Dr. Dre is 47. Actress Molly Ringwald is
44. Actress Sarah Brown is 37. Actor Kristoffer Polaha is 35.
Singer-musician Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) is 35. Actor Tyrone
Burton is 33. Rock-singer musician Regina Spektor is 32. Actor Shane
Lyons is 24. Actress Maiara Walsh is 24.
Thought for today: "Opinion is that exercise of the human
will which helps us to make a decision without information." -- John Erskine,
American author and educator (1879-1951)
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