Today is Tuesday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2016. There are 333 days left in the year. This is Groundhog Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 2, 1914, Charles Chaplin made his movie debut as the comedy short “Making a Living” was released by Keystone Film Co.
On this date:
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 1887, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, held its first Groundhog Day festival.
In 1925, the legendary Alaska Serum Run ended as the last of a series of dog mushers brought a life-saving treatment to Nome, the scene of a diphtheria epidemic, six days after the drug left Nenana.
In 1932, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra recorded “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” for Brunswick Records.
In 1942, a Los Angeles Times column by W.H. Anderson urged security measures against Japanese-Americans, arguing that a Japanese-American “almost inevitably … grows up to be a Japanese, not an American.”
In 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.
In 1964, Ranger 6, a lunar probe launched by NASA, crashed onto the surface of the moon as planned, but failed to send back any TV images.
In 1971, Idi Amin, having seized power in Uganda, proclaimed himself president.
In 1980, NBC News reported the FBI had conducted a sting operation targeting members of Congress using phony Arab businessmen in what became known as “Abscam,” a codename protested by Arab-Americans.
In 1990, in a dramatic concession to South Africa’s black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
In 1992, longtime “Miss America” emcee Bert Parks died in La Jolla (HOY’-uh), Calif., at age 77.
In 2007, tornadoes killed 21 people in central Florida. A grim report from the world’s leading climate scientists and government officials said that global warming was so severe, it would “continue for centuries” and that humans were to blame.
In 2014, Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, was found dead in his New York apartment from a combination of heroin, cocaine and other drugs.
Ten years ago: House Republicans elected John Boehner (BAY’-nur) of Ohio as their new majority leader to replace the indicted Tom DeLay. Tornadoes tore through New Orleans neighborhoods that had been hit hard by Hurricane Katrina five months earlier.
Five years ago: Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak charged into Cairo’s central square on horses and camels brandishing whips while others rained firebombs from rooftops in what appeared to be an orchestrated assault against protesters trying to topple Egypt’s leader of 30 years.
One year ago: President Barack Obama sent Congress a record $4 trillion budget that would boost tax credits for families and the working poor but also raise taxes on the wealthy. Parts of New England were buried in heavy snow for the second time in a week, with up to 18 inches falling in the Boston area. Jury selection in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was postponed, and a celebration for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots was pushed back a day.
Today’s Birthdays: Gossip columnist Liz Smith is 93. Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing (val-eh-REE’ ZHEES’-kahr deh-STANG’) is 90. Actor Robert Mandan is 84. Comedian Tom Smothers is 79. Rock singer-guitarist Graham Nash is 74. Television executive Barry Diller is 74. Actor Bo Hopkins is 72. Country singer Howard Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 70. TV chef Ina (EE’-nuh) Garten is 68. Actor Jack McGee is 67. Actor Brent Spiner (SPY’-nur) is 67. Rock musician Ross Valory (Journey) is 67. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is 64. The president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye (goon-hay), is 64. Model Christie Brinkley is 62. Actor Michael Talbott is 61. Actress Kim Zimmer is 61. Actor Michael T. Weiss is 54. Actor-comedian Adam Ferrara is 50. Rock musician Robert DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 50. Actress Jennifer Westfeldt is 46. Rock musician Ben Mize is 45. Rapper T-Mo is 44. Actress Marissa Jaret Winokur is 43. Actress Lori Beth Denberg is 40. Singer Shakira is 39. Actor Rich Sommer (TV: “Mad Men”) is 38. Country singer Blaine Larsen is 30. Actress Zosia Mamet (TV: “Girls”) is 28.
Thought for Today: “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” — James Joyce (1882-1941).