Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 4, the 35th day of 2015. There are 330 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 4, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.

On this date:

In 1783, Britain’s King George III proclaimed a formal cessation of hostilities in the American Revolutionary War.

In 1789, electors chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.

In 1861, delegates from six southern states that had recently seceded from the Union met in Montgomery, Alabama, to form the Confederate States of America.

In 1919, Congress established the U.S. Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the Navy Cross.

In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid.

In 1941, the United Service Organizations (USO) came into existence.

In 1962, a rare conjunction of the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn occurred.

In 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, 19, was kidnapped in Berkeley, California, by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army.

In 1983, pop singer-musician Karen Carpenter died in Downey, California, at age 32.

In 1987, pianist Liberace died at his Palm Springs, California, home at age 67.

In 1997, a civil jury in Santa Monica, California, found O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

In 2004, the Massachusetts high court declared that gay couples were entitled to nothing less than marriage, and that Vermont-style civil unions would not suffice. The social networking website Facebook had its beginnings as Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg launched “Thefacebook.”

Ten years ago: Gunmen kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena in Baghdad. (Sgrena was freed a month later; however, an Italian agent who’d secured her release was killed by U.S. gunfire at a checkpoint.) Actor and civil rights activist Ossie Davis died in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 87.

Five years ago: Republican Scott Brown took over the seat of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy as he was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden at a Capitol Hill ceremony. The first National Tea Party Convention opened in Nashville.

One year ago: The Congressional Budget Office said several million American workers would reduce their hours on the job or leave the workforce entirely because of incentives built into President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Phipps is 93. Former Argentinian President Isabel Peron is 84. Actor Gary Conway is 79. Movie director George A. Romero is 75. Actor John Schuck is 75. Rock musician John Steel (The Animals) is 74. Singer Florence LaRue (The Fifth Dimension) is 73. Former Vice President Dan Quayle is 68. Rock singer Alice Cooper is 67. Actor Michael Beck is 66. Actress Lisa Eichhorn is 63. Football Hall-of-Famer Lawrence Taylor is 56. Actress Pamelyn Ferdin is 56. Rock singer Tim Booth is 55. Rock musician Henry Bogdan is 54. Country singer Clint Black is 53. Rock musician Noodles (The Offspring) is 52. Country musician Dave Buchanan (Yankee Grey) is 49. Actress Gabrielle Anwar is 45. Actor Rob Corddry is 44. Singer David (dah-VEED’) Garza is 44. Actor Michael Goorjian is 44. TV personality Nicolle Wallace (TV: “The View”) is 43. Olympic gold medal boxer Oscar De La Hoya is 42. Rock musician Rick Burch (Jimmy Eat World) is 40. Singer Natalie Imbruglia (em-BROO’-lee-ah) is 40. Rapper Cam’ron is 39. Rock singer Gavin DeGraw is 38. Olympic gold medal gymnast-turned-singer Carly Patterson is 27.

Thought for Today: “Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.” – Edith Wharton, American author (1862-1937).

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