Today in history


Today is Monday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2017. There are 328 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 6, 1952, Britain’s King George VI, 56, died at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England; he was succeeded as monarch by his 25-year-old elder daughter, who became Queen Elizabeth II.

On this date:

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

In 1815, the state of New Jersey issued the first American railroad charter to John Stevens, who proposed a rail link between Trenton and New Brunswick. (The line, however, was never built.)

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, Illinois.

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

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

In 1943, a Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape.

In 1958, British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on takeoff from Munich, West Germany, killing 23 of the 44 people on board.

In 1973, Dixy Lee Ray was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be the first woman to head the Atomic Energy Commission.

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, Indiana.

In 1995, the space shuttle Discovery flew to within 37 feet of the Russian space station Mir in the first rendezvous of its kind in two decades.

Ten years ago: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO’-ree ahl-MAHL’-ih-kee) complained that a 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.

Five years ago: The U.S. closed its embassy in Syria and Britain recalled its ambassador to Damascus in a new Western push to get President Bashar Assad to leave power and halt the murderous grind in Syria. Jeremy Lin of the Knicks scored a career-high 28 points in his first career start as New York beat the Utah Jazz 99-88.

One year ago: Seven GOP Republican hopefuls faced off three days before the New Hampshire primary; Marco Rubio, a first-term senator on the rise in the presidential race, faced a barrage of attacks while Sen. Ted Cruz, fresh off his victory in the Iowa caucuses, also came under withering criticism. A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Tainan, Taiwan, killing 116 people. Brett Favre, Ken Stabler, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace and Tony Dungy were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton won The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award in a landslide.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Rip Torn is 86. Actress Mamie Van Doren is 86. Actor Mike Farrell is 78. Former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw is 77. Singer Fabian is 74. Actress Gayle Hunnicutt is 74. Actor Michael Tucker is 73. Producer-director-writer Jim Sheridan is 68. Actor Jon Walmsley is 61. Actress Kathy Najimy is 60. Rock musician Simon Phillips (Toto) is 60. Actor-director Robert Townsend is 60. Actor Barry Miller is 59. Actress Megan Gallagher is 57. Rock singer Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) is 55. Country singer Richie McDonald is 55. Singer Rick Astley is 51. Rock musician Tim Brown (Boo Radleys) is 48. “Good Morning America” co-host Amy Robach is 44. Actor Brandon Hammond is 33. Actress Alice Greczyn (GREH’-chihn) is 31. Rhythm and blues singer/actress Tinashe is 24.

Thought for Today: “Work is much more fun than fun.” — Sir Noel Coward, British actor, dramatist and songwriter (1899-1973).

By The Associated Press

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