Today in history


Today is Saturday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2020. There are 334 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members: commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; payload commander Michael Anderson; mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN’ rah-MOHN’), the first Israeli in space.

On this date:

In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)

In 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.

In 1896, Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” premiered in Turin.

In 1942, during World War II, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.

In 1943, during World War II, one of America’s most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.

In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they’d been refused service.

In 1962, the Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was first published by Viking Press.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam’s police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured by news photographers. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1979, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY’-nee) received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

In 1982, “Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC.

In 1991, 34 people were killed when an arriving USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Ore., to racketeering for his part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in exchange for a 24-month sentence (he ended up serving six) and a $100,000 fine.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama unveiled a multitrillion-dollar spending plan, pledging an intensified effort to combat high unemployment and asking Congress to quickly approve new job-creation efforts that would boost the deficit to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion.

Five years ago: An interception at the goal line by rookie Malcom Butler preserved a 28-to-24 win by the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

One year ago: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker joined the 2020 presidential race with a call for Americans to unite in a time of bitter polarization. Democratic allies urged Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page. (After initially acknowledging that he appeared in the photo, Northam denied he was pictured, but admitted to wearing blackface as a young man.) The Trump administration said the U.S. was withdrawing from a 1987 nuclear arms treaty with Russia, accusing Russia of violating the treaty by deploying banned missiles. American skier Lindsey Vonn announced that she would retire from ski racing after the upcoming world championships in Sweden.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Stuart Whitman is 92. Folk singer Bob Shane (The Kingston Trio) is 86. Singer Don Everly is 83. Actor Garrett Morris is 83. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 81. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 79. Comedian-actor-director Terry Jones is 78. Political commentator Fred Barnes is 77. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is 76. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 70. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 69. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy (MOO’-mee) is 66. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 64. Actor Linus Roache is 56. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 55. Country musician Dwayne Dupuy (Ricochet) is 55. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 55. Lisa Marie Presley is 52. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 52. Actor Brian Krause is 51. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 51. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 51. Actor Michael C. Hall is 49. Rock musician Ron Welty is 49. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 45. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 41. Country singer Julie Roberts is 41. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 38. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 37. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 34. Actress-singer Heather Morris is 33. Actress and mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey is 33. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 26.

Thought for Today: “It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn’t know — and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything.” — Joyce Cary, English author (1888-1957).

By the Associated Press

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