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Today in History

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today is Friday, Feb. 10, the 41st day of 2012. There are 325 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 10, 1962, the Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States.

On this date:

In 1763, Britain, Spain and France signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years' War.

In 1840, Britain's Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

In 1841, Upper Canada and Lower Canada were proclaimed united under an Act of Union passed by the British Parliament.

In 1912, Joseph Lister, the "Father of Antiseptic Surgery," died in Walmer, Kent, England, at age 84.

In 1942, the former French liner Normandie capsized in New York Harbor a day after it caught fire while being refitted for the U.S. Navy. RCA Victor presented Glenn Miller and his Orchestra with a "gold record" for their recording of "Chattanooga Choo Choo," which had sold more than 1 million copies.

In 1949, Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" opened at Broadway's Morosco Theater with Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman.

In 1962, Republican George W. Romney announced his ultimately successful candidacy for governor of Michigan.

In 1967, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, dealing with presidential disability and succession, was ratified as Minnesota and Nevada adopted it.

In 1968, U.S. figure skater Peggy Fleming won America's only gold medal of the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France.

In 1981, eight people were killed when a fire set by a busboy broke out at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino.

In 1992, boxer Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America contestant. (Tyson served three years in prison.) Author Alex Haley died in Seattle at age 70.

In 2005, playwright Arthur Miller died in Roxbury, Conn., at age 89 on the 56th anniversary of the Broadway opening of his "Death of a Salesman."

Ten years ago: Snowboarder Kelly Clark won America's first gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics in women's halfpipe. Claudia Pechstein of Germany shattered her own world record in the 3,000-meter speedskating event, crossing the line in 3:57.70. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 135-120, in the NBA All-Star Game. Former U.N. ambassador Vernon A. Walters died in West Palm Beach, Fla., at age 85. Convict-author Jack Henry Abbott committed suicide in his cell; he was 58.

Five years ago: Less than a month after launching his presidential bid online, Democrat Barack Obama announced his candidacy in person, telling thousands outside the Illinois state capital in Springfield: "Let us transform this nation." Gen. David Petraeus took charge of U.S. forces in Iraq. The AFC defeated the NFC 31-28 in the Pro Bowl.

One year ago: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refused to step down or leave the country and instead handed his powers to his vice president, stunning protesters in central Cairo who waved their shoes in contempt and shouted, "Leave, leave, leave." (Mubarak resigned the next day.)

Today's Birthdays: Opera singer Leontyne Price is 85. Actor Robert Wagner is 82. Rock musician Don Wilson (The Ventures) is 79. Singer Roberta Flack is 75. Singer Jimmy Merchant (Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) is 72. Rock musician Bob Spalding (The Ventures) is 65. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Mark Spitz is 62. Walt Disney Co. president and chief executive Robert Iger is 61. World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman is 57. Actress Kathleen Beller is 56. Country singer Lionel Cartwright is 52. Movie director Alexander Payne is 51. ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos is 51. Political commentator Glenn Beck is 48. Actress Laura Dern is 45. Country singer Dude Mowrey is 40. Actress Elizabeth Banks is 38. Pop singer Rosanna Taverez (Eden's Crush) is 35. Actress Julia Pace Mitchell is 34. Country musician Jeremy Baxter (Carolina Rain) is 32. Rock singer Eric Dill is 30. Rock musician Ben Romans (The Click Five) is 30. Actress Emma Roberts is 21. Actress Makenzie Vega is 18. Actress Chloe Grace Moretz is 15.

Thought for Today: "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone." -- Audrey Hepburn, Belgian-born British actress (1929-1993).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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