Today in History

Monday, February 6, 2012

Today is Monday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2012. There are 329 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 6, 1952, Britain's King George VI died at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England; he was succeeded as monarch by his daughter, who became Queen Elizabeth II.

On this date:

In 1778, the United States won official recognition from France with the signing of a Treaty of Alliance in Paris.

In 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1862, during the Civil War, Fort Henry in Tennessee fell to Union forces.

In 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate.

In 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Ill.

In 1912, Adolf Hitler's longtime companion, Eva Braun, was born in Munich.

In 1922, Cardinal Archille Ratti was elected pope; he took the name Pius XI.

In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the so-called "lame duck" amendment, was proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson.

In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral.

In 1978, Muriel Humphrey took the oath of office as a United States senator from Minnesota, filling the seat of her late husband, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

In 1987, Wall Street Journal reporter Gerald Seib (syb) was released after being detained six days by Iran, accused of being a spy for Israel; Iran said the detention was a result of misunderstandings.

In 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind.

Ten years ago: A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., ordered John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," held without bail pending trial. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II reached a bittersweet milestone, somberly marking 50 years as monarch on the anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI.

Five years ago: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki complained that the long-awaited Baghdad security operation was off to a slow start, but he also reassured Iraqis that security forces would live up to their responsibilities. Singer Frankie Laine died in San Diego at age 93.

One year ago: Egypt's vice president met with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups and offered sweeping concessions, including granting press freedom and rolling back police powers in the government's latest attempt to end two weeks of upheaval. The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady became the first unanimous choice for The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor is 95. Actor Patrick Macnee is 90. Actor Rip Torn is 81. Actress Mamie Van Doren is 81. Actor Mike Farrell is 73. Former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw is 72. Singer Fabian is 69. Actress Gayle Hunnicutt is 69. Actor Michael Tucker is 68. Producer-director-writer Jim Sheridan is 63. Singer Natalie Cole is 62. Actor Jon Walmsley is 56. Actress Kathy Najimy is 55. Rock musician Simon Phillips (Toto) is 55. Actor-director Robert Townsend is 55. Actor Barry Miller is 54. Actress Megan Gallagher is 52. Rock singer Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses) is 50. Country singer Richie McDonald is 50. Singer Rick Astley is 46. Rock musician Tim Brown (Boo Radleys) is 43. Actor Brandon Hammond is 28. Actress Alice Greczyn is 26.

Thought for Today: "Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." -- Robert E. Lee, Confederate general (1807-1870).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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