Today’s Highlights 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 1961, The Beatles first gig at Liverpool’s Cavern Club; they would play there nearly 300 times over the next two years.
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: President Barack Obama freed 10 states from some of the toughest requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law. The Pentagon formally opened thousands of jobs to women in units that were closer to the front lines than ever before. Former skiing champion Jill Kinmont Boothe, who became a painter and a teacher after she was paralyzed during a race and was the subject of a book and two Hollywood films, died in Carson City, Nevada, at 75.
Five years ago: A federal appeals court refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations, unanimously rejecting the administration’s claim of presidential authority, questioning its motives and concluding that the order was unlikely to survive legal challenges. Trump reaffirmed America’s long-standing “one China” policy in a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, potentially alleviating concerns about a major shift in Washington’s relations with Beijing.
One year ago: The Senate moved ahead with a second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, rejecting arguments that the chamber could not proceed because Trump was no longer in office. House prosecutors opened the trial with graphic video of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and Trump’s own calls for a rally crowd to march to the iconic building and “fight like hell” against his reelection defeat; Trump’s lawyers insisted that his remarks were protected by the First Amendment. A team of international and Chinese scientists looking for the origins of COVID-19 said it most likely appeared in humans after jumping from an animal. Federal safety officials blamed the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others on the pilot’s decision to fly into clouds, where he became disoriented. Chick Corea, a jazz pianist who’d pushed the boundaries of the genre, died of cancer at 79.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Janet Suzman is 83. Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee is 82. Actor-politician Sheila James Kuehl (kyool) (TV: “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 81. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 80. Actor Joe Pesci is 79. Singer Barbara Lewis is 79. Author Alice Walker is 78. Actor Mia Farrow is 77. Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is 76.
Singer Joe Ely is 75. Actor Judith Light is 73. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 67. Actor Ed Amatrudo is 66. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is 65. Jazz musician Steve Wilson is 61. Country singer Travis Tritt is 59. Actor Julie Warner is 57. Country singer Danni Leigh is 52. Actor Sharon Case is 51. Actor Jason George is 50. Actor Amber Valletta is 48. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 46. Rock singer Chad Wolf (Carolina Liar) is 46. Actor A.J. Buckley is 45. Rock musician Richard On (O.A.R.) is 43. Actor Ziyi (zee yee) Zhang is 43. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Irina Slutskaya is 43. Actor Tom Hiddleston is 41. Actor David Gallagher is 37. Actor Michael B. Jordan is 35. Actor Rose Leslie is 35. Actor Camille Winbush is 32. Actor Jimmy Bennett is 26. Actor Evan Roe (TV: “Madam Secretary”) is 22