Today in History
Today is Sunday, Feb. 5, the 36th day of 2012. There are 330 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 5, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices; critics accused Roosevelt of attempting to "pack" the nation's highest court. (The proposal failed in Congress.)
On this date:
In 1631, the co-founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and his wife, Mary, arrived in Boston from England.
In 1762, an estimated 30,000 Sikhs were slain by Muslims in Punjab in present-day India.
In 1783, Sweden recognized the independence of the United States.
In 1811, George, the Prince of Wales, was named Prince Regent due to the mental illness of his father, Britain's King George III.
In 1887, Verdi's opera "Otello" premiered at La Scala.
In 1917, Congress passed, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, an immigration act severely curtailing the influx of Asians. Mexico's constitution was adopted.
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 1958, Gamal Abdel Nasser was formally nominated to become the first president of the new United Arab Republic (a union of Syria and Egypt).
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 1982, Laker Airways, founded by Sir Freddie Laker, collapsed in bankruptcy.
In 1989, the Soviet Union announced that all but a small rear-guard contingent of its troops had left Afghanistan.
Ten years ago: A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., indicted John Walker Lindh on 10 charges, alleging he was trained by Osama bin Laden's network and then conspired with the Taliban to kill Americans. (Lindh later pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.) Congressional committees decided to subpoena former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay to appear to tell what he knew of Enron's complex financial dealings. (Lay did appear, but refused to testify, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.) At a Senate hearing, Deborah Perrotta, a laid-off Enron employee, wept as she described how her retirement savings all but disappeared when the company failed.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush unveiled a $2.9 trillion budget which proposed a big spending increase for the Pentagon while pinching domestic programs. NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested in Orlando, Fla., accused of trying to kidnap a perceived rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot. (Nowak was sentenced in 2009 to a year of probation in the altercation after pleading guilty to burglary charges; she was drummed out of the astronaut corps as well as the U.S. Navy.)
One year ago: The leadership of Egypt's ruling party stepped down as the military figures spearheading the transition tried to placate protesters without giving them the one resignation they were demanding, that of President Hosni Mubarak. Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders led a class of seven voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; joining them were Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Ed Sabol, Les Richter and Chris Hanburger. J. Paul Getty III, the troubled grandson of the billionaire oil magnate, died outside London at age 54.
Today's Birthdays: Country singer Claude King is 89. The Rev. Andrew M. Greeley is 84. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron is 78. Actor Stuart Damon is 75. Tony-winning playwright John Guare is 74. Financial writer Jane Bryant Quinn is 73. Actor David Selby is 71. Singer-songwriter Barrett Strong is 71. Football Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubach is 70. Singer Cory Wells (Three Dog Night) is 70. Movie director Michael Mann is 69. Rock singer Al Kooper is 68. Actress Charlotte Rampling is 66. Racing Hall-of-Famer Darrell Waltrip is 65. Actress Barbara Hershey is 64. Actor Christopher Guest is 64. Actor Tom Wilkinson is 64. Actor-comedian Tim Meadows is 51. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is 50. Actress Laura Linney is 48. Rock musician Duff McKagan (Velvet Revolver) is 48. World Golf Hall-of-Famer Jose Maria Olazabal is 46. Actor-comedian Chris Parnell is 45. Rock singer Chris Barron (Spin Doctors) is 44. Singer Bobby Brown is 43. Actor Michael Sheen is 43. Country singer Sara Evans is 41. Actor-singer Darren Criss (TV: "Glee") is 25. Actor Jeremy Sumpter is 23.
Thought for Today: "Impatience is the mark of independence, not of bondage." -- Marianne Moore, American poet (born 1887, died this day in 1972).
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.