Today is Sunday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2014. There are 332 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. (Five days later, Keystone released “Kid Auto Races at Venice,” in which Chaplin first played his famous Tramp character.)
On this date:
In 1536, present-day Buenos Aires, Argentina, was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
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, Pa., held its first Groundhog Day festival.
In 1914, the musical “Shameen Dhu,” featuring the song “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral,” opened on Broadway.
In 1922, the James Joyce novel “Ulysses” was published in Paris on Joyce’s 40th birthday.
In 1934, the Export-Import Bank of the United States had its beginnings as the Export-Import Bank of Washington was established.
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 1988, in a speech the broadcast television networks declined to carry live, President Ronald Reagan pressed his case for aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.
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.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush unveiled a $2.4 trillion budget featuring a record deficit, as well as big increases for defense and homeland security. Deadly ricin was discovered in offices used by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. An eleven-story apartment building collapsed in Konya, Turkey, killing 92 people.
Five years ago: Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as U.S. secretary of state. The Senate confirmed Eric Holder, 75-21, to be attorney general. President Barack Obama’s choice for health secretary, Tom Daschle, apologized for failing to pay more than $120,000 in taxes. (Daschle ended up withdrawing his nomination.) Gunmen abducted American U.N. worker John Solecki in Quetta, Pakistan, killing his driver. (Solecki was released unharmed two months later.) Moammar Gadhafi of Libya was elected leader of the African Union. Iran sent its first domestically made satellite, Omid (“hope”), into orbit.
One year ago: Former Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle was fatally shot along with a friend, Chad Littlefield, at a gun range west of Glen Rose, Texas; suspect Eddie Ray Routh has been charged with two counts of capital murder. Coach Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings closed out the season with two of the top NFL awards from The Associated Press: Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Elaine Stritch is 89. Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing is 88. Actor Robert Mandan is 82. Comedian Tom Smothers is 77. Rock singer-guitarist Graham Nash is 72. Television executive Barry Diller is 72. Actor Bo Hopkins is 70. Country singer Howard Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 68. TV chef Ina Garten is 66. Actor Jack McGee is 65. Actor Brent Spiner is 65. Rock musician Ross Valory (Journey) is 65. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is 62. The president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, is 62. Model Christie Brinkley is 60. Actor Michael Talbott is 59. Actress Kim Zimmer is 59. Actor Michael T. Weiss is 52. Actor-comedian Adam Ferrara is 48. Rock musician Robert DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 48. Actress Jennifer Westfeldt is 44. Rock musician Ben Mize is 43. Rapper T-Mo is 42. Actress Marissa Jaret Winokur is 41. Actress Lori Beth Denberg is 38. Singer Shakira is 37. Actor Rich Sommer (TV: “Mad Men”) is 36. Country singer Blaine Larsen is 28. Actress Zosia Mamet (TV: “Girls”) is 26.
Thought for Today: “It was naive of the 19th century optimists to expect paradise from technology — and it is equally naive of the 20th century pessimists to make technology the scapegoat for such old shortcomings as man’s blindness, cruelty, immaturity, greed and sinful pride.” — Peter F. Drucker, Austrian-born American business management consultant (1909-2005).