Today is Tuesday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2017. There are 320 days left in the year. This is Valentine’s Day.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Feb. 14, 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded her cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” at Atlantic Records in New York. The Turtles’ single “Happy Together” was released on the White Whale label.
On this date:
In 1778, the American ship Ranger carried the recently adopted Stars and Stripes to a foreign port for the first time as it arrived in France.
In 1849, President James K. Polk became the first U.S. chief executive to be photographed while in office as he posed for Matthew Brady in New York City.
In 1859, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.
In 1903, the Department of Commerce and Labor was established. (It was divided into separate departments of Commerce and Labor in 1913.)
In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union as President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation.
In 1929, the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone’s gang were gunned down.
In 1941, the Carson McCullers novel “Reflections in a Golden Eye,” previously serialized, was published in book form by Houghton Mifflin.
In 1962, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a televised tour of the White House in a videotaped special that was broadcast on CBS and NBC (and several nights later on ABC).
In 1979, Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.
In 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses,” a novel condemned as blasphemous.
In 1990, 92 people were killed when an Indian Airlines passenger jet crashed while landing at a southern Indian airport.
In 2013, Double-amputee and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in South Africa; he was later convicted of murder and is serving a six-year prison term.
Ten years ago: Challenged on the accuracy of U.S. intelligence, President George W. Bush told a news conference there was no doubt the Iranian government was providing armor-piercing weapons to kill American soldiers in Iraq, and said he would fight any attempt by the Democratic-controlled Congress to cut off money for the war. ConAgra recalled all Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter made at a Georgia plant because of a salmonella outbreak.
Five years ago: A fire broke out at the Comayagua farm prison in Honduras, killing 361 inmates. “Linsanity” continued as Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than a second to play to cap his finishing flurry of six straight points and New York rallied to beat the Raptors 90-87, extending its winning streak to six games. Malachy the Pekingese won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club in New York.
One year ago: Pope Francis condemned the drug trade’s “dealers of death” and urged Mexicans to shun the devil’s lust for money as he led a huge open-air Mass for more than 300,000 people in the poverty-stricken Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec (EHK’-ah-teh-PEHK’). The first NBA All-Star Game outside the U.S. was the highest-scoring ever, with the West defeating the East 196-173 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. “The Revenant” was named best picture at the British Academy Film Awards.
Today’s Birthdays: TV personality Hugh Downs is 96. Actor Andrew Prine is 81. Country singer Razzy Bailey is 78. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is 75. Jazz musician Maceo Parker is 74. Movie director Alan Parker is 73. Journalist Carl Bernstein is 73. Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is 70. TV personality Pat O’Brien is 69. Magician Teller (Penn and Teller) is 69. Cajun singer-musician Michael Doucet (doo-SAY’) (Beausoleil) is 66. Actor Ken Wahl is 60. Opera singer Renee Fleming is 58. Actress Meg Tilly is 57. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is 57. Singer-producer Dwayne Wiggins is 56. Actress Sakina Jaffey is 55. Actor Enrico Colantoni is 54. Actor Zach Galligan is 53. Actor Valente Rodriguez is 53. Rock musician Ricky Wolking (The Nixons) is 51. Tennis player Manuela Maleeva is 50. Actor Simon Pegg is 47. Rock musician Kevin Baldes (Lit) is 45. Rock singer Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty) is 45. Actor Matt Barr is 33. Actress Stephanie Leonidas (TV: “American Gothic”) is 33. Actor Jake Lacy is 31. Actress Tiffany Thornton is 31. Actor Brett Dier (TV: “Jane the Virgin”) is 27. Actor Freddie Highmore is 25.
Thought for Today: “I am living on hope and faith … a pretty good diet when the mind will receive them.” — Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet (1869-1935).