Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 10, the 41st day of 2015. There are 324 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 10, 1940, MGM released the animated short “Puss Gets the Boot,” the debut of Tom and Jerry (although in this cartoon, the cat is called “Jasper” by its owner while the mouse was dubbed “Jinx” by creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera).

On this date:

In 1763, Britain, Spain and France signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian War in North America).

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 1933, the first singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegram Co. in New York.

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

In 1959, a major tornado tore through the St. Louis area, killing 21 people and causing heavy damage.

In 1962, the Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States. Republican George W. Romney announced his ultimately successful candidacy for governor of Michigan.

In 1967, the 25th Amendment to the U.S. 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 1989, Ron Brown was elected the first black chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

In 1998, Dr. David Satcher was confirmed by the Senate to be surgeon general.

Ten years ago: Playwright Arthur Miller died in Roxbury, Connecticut, at age 89 on the 56th anniversary of the Broadway opening of “Death of a Salesman.” Britain’s Prince Charles announced he would marry his divorced lover, Camilla Parker Bowles, in April. North Korea boasted publicly for the first time that it possessed nuclear weapons. New York civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart was convicted of smuggling messages of violence from one of her jailed clients, radical Egyptian sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, to his terrorist disciples on the outside. (Stewart was initially sentenced to two years, four months in prison, but had that sentence increased to 10 years; she was released in Dec. 2013 because of her terminal cancer.)

Five years ago: Shuttle Endeavour arrived to a warm welcome at the International Space Station, delivering a new room and observation deck. Former Congressman Charlie Wilson, a Texas Democrat whose funding of Afghanistan’s resistance to the Soviet Union was chronicled in the movie and book “Charlie Wilson’s War,” died in Dallas at age 76.

One year ago: In Iraq, an instructor teaching his militant recruits how to make car bombs accidentally set off explosives in his demonstration, killing 21 of them in a blast that alerted authorities to the existence of a training camp north of Baghdad. Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won Olympic gold at Sochi in the super-combined less than a second ahead of both silver medalist Nicole Hosp of Austria and Julia Mancuso of the United States, who won the bronze. Actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black, 85, died at her home near San Francisco.

Today’s Birthdays: Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (Film: “Raiders of the Lost Ark”) is 102. Opera singer Leontyne Price is 88. Actor Robert Wagner is 85. Rock musician Don Wilson (The Ventures) is 82. Singer Roberta Flack is 78. Singer Jimmy Merchant (Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) is 75. Rock musician Bob Spalding (The Ventures) is 68. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Mark Spitz is 65. Walt Disney Co. chairman and chief executive Robert Iger is 64. Rock musician and composer Cory Lerios (Pablo Cruise) is 64. World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman is 60. Actress Kathleen Beller is 59. Country singer Lionel Cartwright is 55. Movie director Alexander Payne is 54. ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos is 54. Retired MLB All-Star Lenny Dykstra is 52. Political commentator Glenn Beck is 51. Actress Laura Dern is 48. Country singer Dude Mowrey is 43. Actor Jason Olive is 43. Actress Elizabeth Banks is 41. Pop singer Rosanna Taverez (Eden’s Crush) is 38. Actress Julia Pace Mitchell is 37. Reggaeton singer Don Omar is 37. Country musician Jeremy Baxter (Carolina Rain) is 35. Actress Uzo Aduba (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 34. Actor Max Brown is 34. Actor Barry Sloane (TV: “Revenge”) is 34. Rock singer Eric Dill is 33. Rock musician Ben Romans (The Click Five) is 33. Actress Emma Roberts is 24. Actress Makenzie Vega is 21. Actress Chloe Grace Moretz is 18. Actress Yara Shahidi (TV: “black-ish”) is 15.

Thought for Today: “Morality is moral only when it is voluntary.” – Lincoln Steffens, American journalist (1866-1936).

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