TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2022. There are 332 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 2, 1990, in a dramatic concession to South Africa’s Black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.

On this date:

In 1653, New Amsterdam — now New York City — was incorporated.

In 1887, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, held its first Groundhog Day festival.

In 1913, New York City’s rebuilt Grand Central Terminal officially opened to the public at one minute past midnight.

In 1914, Charles Chaplin made his movie debut as the comedy short “Making a Living” was released by Keystone Film Co.

In 1925, the legendary Alaska Serum Run ended as the last of a series of dog mushers brought a life-saving treatment to Nome, the scene of a diphtheria epidemic, six days after the drug left Nenana.

In 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman sent a 10-point civil rights program to Congress, where the proposals ran into fierce opposition from Southern lawmakers.

In 1980, NBC News reported the FBI had conducted a sting operation targeting members of Congress using phony Arab businessmen in what became known as “Abscam,” a codename protested by Arab-Americans.

In 2006, House Republicans elected John Boehner of Ohio as their new majority leader to replace the indicted Tom DeLay.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Tom Smothers is 85. Rock singer-guitarist Graham Nash is 80. Television executive Barry Diller is 80. Actor Bo Hopkins is 78. Country singer Howard Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 76. Model Christie Brinkley is 68. Singer Shakira is 45.