Today in History
Today is Friday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2019. There are 326 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Feb. 8, 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
On this date:
In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in the Virginia Colony.
In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, ended in victory for Union forces led by Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.
In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War, a conflict over control of Manchuria and Korea, began as Japanese forces attacked Port Arthur.
In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated. Their motto is “Be Prepared.”
In 1922, President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.
In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.
In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her accession to the British throne following the death of her father, King George VI.
In 1965, Eastern Air Lines Flight 663, a DC-7, crashed shortly after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport; all 84 people on board were killed. The Supremes’ record “Stop! In the Name of Love!” was released by Motown.
In 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation between demonstrators and highway patrolmen at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg in the wake of protests over a whites-only bowling alley. The science-fiction film “Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, had its world premiere in New York (it went into general release the following April.)
In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.
In 1992, the XVI Olympic Winter Games opened in Albertville, France.
In 1993, General Motors sued NBC, alleging that “Dateline NBC” had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that 1973-to-87 GM pickups were prone to fires in side impact crashes. (NBC settled the lawsuit the following day and apologized for its “unscientific demonstration.”)
Ten years ago: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss won five Grammys, including album of the year, for “Raising Sand.” R&B singer Chris Brown was arrested on suspicion of making a criminal threat (he was later sentenced to five years of probation for beating his longtime girlfriend, singer Rihanna). The NFC rallied to a 30-21 victory over the AFC in the Pro Bowl.
Five years ago: In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that same-sex spouses could not be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and were entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates in opposite-sex marriages. On the first day of medal competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands led a clean sweep by the Dutch in the men’s 5,000-meter speed skating while in slopestyle’s Olympic debut, U.S. snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won the first gold medal of the games.
One year ago: The federal government stumbled into a shutdown that would end by morning, its second in less than a month, as rogue Senate Republicans blocked a speedy vote on a massive, bipartisan, budget-busting spending deal. For the second time in a week, the Dow Jones industrials plunged by more than 1,000 points as a sell-off in the stock market deepened. Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of Philadelphia as the Eagles celebrated their Super Bowl victory with a parade.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer-conductor John Williams is 87. Newscaster Ted Koppel is 79. Actor Nick Nolte is 78. Comedian Robert Klein is 77. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 76. Singer Ron Tyson is 71. Actress Brooke Adams is 70. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 66. Author John Grisham is 64. Retired NBA All-Star and College Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Johnson is 63. Actor Henry Czerny is 60. The former president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, is 59. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 58. Rock singer-musician Sammy Llanas (YAH’-nus) (The BoDeans) is 58. Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson is 57. Movie producer Toby Emmerich is 56. Actress Missy Yager is 51. Actress Mary McCormack is 50. Rock musician Keith Nelson is 50. Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning is 49. Actress Susan Misner is 48. Dance musician Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk) is 45. Actor Seth Green is 45. Actor Josh Morrow is 45. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 42. Actor William Jackson Harper is 39. Actor Jim Parrack is 38. Folk singer-musician Joey Ryan (Milk Carton Kids) is 37. Actress-comedian Cecily Strong is 35. Rock musician Jeremy Davis is 34. Hip-hop artist Anderson.Paak is 33. Rock musician Max Grahn (Carolina Liar) is 31. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 31. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is 29. Actress Karle Warren is 27.
Thought for Today: “If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own… how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.” — William Allen White, American journalist (1868-1944).