Today in History


Today is Thursday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2023. There are 331 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 9, 1971, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in California’s San Fernando Valley claimed 65 lives. The crew of Apollo 14 returned to Earth after man’s third landing on the moon.

On this date:

In 1825, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

In 1942, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff held its first formal meeting to coordinate military strategy during World War II.

In 1943, the World War II battle of Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific ended with an Allied victory over Japanese forces.

In 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin charged that the State Department was riddled with Communists.

In 1962, an agreement was signed to make Jamaica an independent nation within the British Commonwealth later in the year.

In 1963, the Boeing 727 went on its first-ever flight as it took off from Renton, Washington.

In 1964, the Beatles made their first live American television appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” broadcast from New York on CBS. The G.I. Joe action figure was introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

In 1984, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov, 69, died 15 months after succeeding Leonid Brezhnev; he was followed by Konstantin U. Chernenko (chehr-NYEN’-koh).

In 1986, during its latest visit to the solar system, Halley’s Comet came closest to the sun (its next return will be in 2061).

In 2002, Britain’s Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, died in London at age 71.

In 2009, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs, telling ESPN he’d used banned substances while with the Texas Rangers for three years.

In 2020, “Parasite,” from South Korea, won the best picture Oscar, becoming the first foreign-language film to take home the biggest honor in film.

Ten years ago: Hundreds of mourners and dignitaries, including first lady Michelle Obama, packed the funeral service for Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student who was shot and killed Jan. 29 as she stood with friends at a neighborhood park about a mile from President Barack Obama’s Chicago home in the Kenwood neighborhood.

Five years ago: President Donald Trump signed a $400 billion budget deal that sharply boosted spending, swelling the federal deficit; the measure ended a brief overnight federal government shutdown. At the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, North and South Korean athletes entered Olympic Stadium together, waving flags showing a unified Korea; it was their first joint Olympic march in more than a decade.

One year ago: It was revealed that Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skating superstar who had just led her team to an Olympic gold medal, tested positive for a banned heart medication before the Beijing Games. Actor Bob Saget’s family revealed that it was an accidental blow to the head that led to his death in a Florida hotel room a month earlier.

Today’s birthdays:

Actor Janet Suzman is 84. Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee is 83. Actor-politician Sheila James Kuehl (TV: “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 82. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 81. Actor Joe Pesci is 80. Singer Barbara Lewis is 80. Author Alice Walker is 79. Actor Mia Farrow is 78. Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is 77. Singer Joe Ely is 76. Actor Judith Light is 74. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 68. Actor Ed Amatrudo is 67. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is 66. Jazz musician Steve Wilson is 62. Country singer Travis Tritt is 60. Actor Julie Warner is 58. Country singer Danni Leigh is 53. Actor Sharon Case is 52. Actor Jason George is 51. Actor Amber Valletta is 49. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 47. Rock singer Chad Wolf (Carolina Liar) is 47. Actor A.J. Buckley is 46. Rock musician Richard On (O.A.R.) is 44. Actor Ziyi (zee yee) Zhang is 44. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Irina Slutskaya is 44. Actor Tom Hiddleston is 42. Actor David Gallagher is 38. Actor Michael B. Jordan is 36. Actor Rose Leslie is 36. Actor Camille Winbush is 33. Actor Jimmy Bennett is 27. Actor Evan Roe (TV: “Madam Secretary”) is 23.

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