Today in History: Roger Williams arrives and thanks Sweden!

Today in History

By The Associated Press.

Today in History

Today is Monday, Feb. 5, the 36th day of 2018. There are 329 days left in the year.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 5, 1918, during World War I, the Cunard liner SS Tuscania, which was transporting about 2,000 American troops to Europe, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Irish Sea with the loss of more than 200 people.

On this date:

In 1631, the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and his wife, Mary, arrived in Boston from England.

- Advertisement -

In 1783, Sweden recognized the independence of the United States.

In 1887, Verdi’s opera “Otello” premiered at La Scala.

In 1917, Mexico’s present constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Santiago de Queretaro. The U.S. Congress passed, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto, an act severely curtailing Asian immigration.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices; the proposal, which failed in Congress, drew accusations that Roosevelt was attempting to “pack” the nation’s highest court.

- Advertisement -

In 1943, “The Outlaw,” Howard Hughes’ controversial Western featuring the screen debut of Jane Russell, premiered in San Francisco.

In 1958, Gamal Abdel Nasser was formally nominated to become the first president of the new United Arab Republic (a union of Egypt and Syria which lasted until 1961).

In 1967, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” premiered on CBS-TV.

In 1971, Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell stepped onto the surface of the moon in the first of two lunar excursions.

In 1988, the Arizona House impeached Republican Gov. Evan Mecham (MEE’-kuhm), setting the stage for his trial in the state Senate, where he was convicted of obstructing justice and misusing state funds allegedly funneled to his Pontiac dealership.

In 1989, the Soviet Union announced that all but a small rear-guard contingent of its troops had left Afghanistan.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, granting workers up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for family emergencies.

Ten years ago: More than 80 tornadoes began touching down in the midwestern and southern U.S.; the deadliest of the twisters claimed 57 lives. Sen. John McCain seized command of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, winning delegate-rich primaries from the East Coast to California on Super Tuesday; Sen. Barack Obama, trailing much of the night, nearly pulled even with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the contest for Democratic delegates. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru to the Beatles who introduced the West to transcendental meditation, died at his home in the Dutch town of Vlodrop; he was believed to be about 90.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama asked Congress for a short-term deficit reduction package of spending cuts and tax revenue that would delay the effective date of steeper automatic cuts scheduled to kick in on March 1. (The president and congressional leaders failed to reach an agreement, and the $85 billion in federal spending cuts, known as sequester, went into effect.)

One year ago: Tom Brady led one of the greatest comebacks in sports history highlighted by an unbelievable Julian Edelman catch that helped lift New England from a 25-point hole against the Atlanta Falcons to the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl victory, 34-28, the first ever in overtime.

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron is 84. Actor Stuart Damon is 81. Tony-winning playwright John Guare (gwayr) is 80. Financial writer Jane Bryant Quinn is 79. Actor David Selby is 77. Singer-songwriter Barrett Strong is 77. Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach is 76. Movie director Michael Mann is 75. Rock singer Al Kooper is 74. Actress Charlotte Rampling is 72. Racing Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip is 71. Actress Barbara Hershey is 70. Actor Christopher Guest is 70. Actor Tom Wilkinson is 70. Actor-comedian Tim Meadows is 57. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is 56. Actress Laura Linney is 54. Rock musician Duff McKagan (Velvet Revolver) is 54. World Golf Hall of Famer Jose Maria Olazabal is 52. Actor-comedian Chris Parnell is 51. Rock singer Chris Barron (Spin Doctors) is 50. Singer Bobby Brown is 49. Actor Michael Sheen is 49. Actor David Chisum is 48. Country singer Sara Evans is 47. Country singer Tyler Farr is 34. Neo-soul musician Mark Shusterman (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 33. Actor-singer Darren Criss is 31. Actor Alex Brightman is 31. Rock musician Kyle Simmons (Bastille) is 30. Actor Jeremy Sumpter is 29. Drummer Graham Sierota (Echosmith) is 19.

Thought for Today: “The greater the philosopher, the harder it is for him to answer the questions of common people.” — Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish author (1846-1916).