Today in History

  • Tuesday, February 4, 2014 5:29pm
  • Life

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 5, the 36th day of 2014. There are 329 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Feb. 5, 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.

On this date:

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

In 1811, George, the Prince of Wales, was named Prince Regent because of the mental illness of his father, Britain’s King George III.

In 1914, “Beat Generation” author William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis.

In 1919, movie studio United Artists was incorporated by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Charles Chaplin.

In 1922, the first edition of Reader’s Digest was published.

In 1940, Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded “Tuxedo Junction” for RCA Victor’s Bluebird label.

In 1953, Walt Disney’s animated feature “Peter Pan” was first released.

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 1973, services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for U.S. Army Col. William B. Nolde, the last official American combat casualty before the Vietnam cease-fire took effect.

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

In 1994, white separatist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted in Jackson, Miss., of murdering civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963, and was immediately sentenced to life in prison. (Beckwith died Jan. 21, 2001, at age 80.) Sixty-eight people were killed when a mortar shell exploded in a marketplace in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Ten years ago: CIA Director George Tenet offered a forceful defense of prewar intelligence in a speech at Georgetown University. Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pardoned the country’s top nuclear scientist, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, for leaking weapons technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Five years ago: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer. USA Swimming suspended Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps for three months after a photo showing him inhaling from a marijuana pipe became public.

One year 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.)

Associated Press

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