Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 6, 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, the United States won official recognition and military support from France with the signing of a Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
On this date:
In 1756, America’s third vice president, Aaron Burr, was born in Newark, N.J.
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 1862, during the Civil War, Fort Henry in Tennessee fell to Union forces.
In 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois.
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 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.
In 1991, comedian and television performer Danny Thomas died in Los Angeles at age 79.
In 1993, tennis Hall of Famer and human rights advocate Arthur Ashe died in New York at age 49.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Carl Wilson, a founding member of The Beach Boys, died in Los Angeles at age 51.
In 2003, edging closer to war, President George W. Bush declared “the game is over” for Saddam Hussein and urged skeptical allies to join in disarming Iraq.
In 2008, the Bush White House defended the use of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, saying it was legal — not torture as critics argued — and had saved American lives.
Ten years ago: Egypt’s vice president met with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups and offered sweeping concessions, including granting press freedom and rolling back police powers in the government’s latest attempt to end two weeks of upheaval. The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV (45), defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady became the first unanimous choice for The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award.
Five years 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.
One year ago: A 57-year-old woman died in California’s Santa Clara County; autopsy results would later reveal that the woman, identified by family members as Patricia Dowd of San Jose, had the coronavirus, despite not having traveled outside the country to a coronavirus outbreak area. (The death came some three weeks before health officials in the Seattle area announced what were believed then to be the first U.S. deaths from the virus.) A Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang, who got in trouble with authorities there for sounding an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak, died after coming down with the illness. Roger Kahn, the writer who wove memoir and baseball in “The Boys of Summer,” a romantic account of the Brooklyn Dodgers, died in a New York suburb; he was 92.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Mamie Van Doren is 90. Actor Mike Farrell is 82. Former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw is 81. Singer Fabian is 78. Actor Gayle Hunnicutt is 78. Actor Michael Tucker is 76. Producer-director-writer Jim Sheridan is 72. Actor Jon Walmsley is 65. Actor Kathy Najimy is 64. Rock musician Simon Phillips (Toto) is 64. Actor-director Robert Townsend is 64. Actor Barry Miller is 63. Actor Megan Gallagher is 61. Rock singer Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) is 59. Country singer Richie McDonald is 59.
Singer Rick Astley is 55. Rock musician Tim Brown (Boo Radleys) is 52. “Good Morning America” co-host Amy Robach is 48. Actor Josh Stewart is 44. Actor Ben Lawson is 41. Actor Brandon Hammond is 37. Actor Crystal Reed (TV: “Teen Wolf”) is 36. Actor Alice Greczyn (GREH’-chihn) is 35. Actor Anna Diop is 33. R&B singer/actor Tinashe is 28.