Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 10, 1962, the Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States.
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 (KOH’-borg) and Gotha (GAH’-thuh).
In 1936, Nazi Germany’s Reichstag passed a law investing the Gestapo secret police with absolute authority, exempt from any legal review.
In 1959, a major tornado tore through the St. Louis area, killing 21 people and causing heavy damage.
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 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 1992, boxer Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America contestant. (Tyson served three years in prison.) “Roots” author Alex Haley died in Seattle at age 70.
In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov lost the first game of a match in Philadelphia against an IBM computer dubbed “Deep Blue.” (Kasparov ended up winning the match, 4 games to 2; he was defeated by Deep Blue in a rematch the following year.)
In 2005, North Korea boasted publicly for the first time that it possessed nuclear weapons.
In 2015, NBC announced it was suspending Brian Williams as “Nightly News” anchor and managing editor for six months without pay for misleading the public about his experiences covering the Iraq War. Jon Stewart announced he would step down as host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central later in the year.
In 2020, U.S. health officials confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus among the hundreds of people who’d been evacuated from China to military bases in the United States; it was among the 13 confirmed cases in the U.S. Britain declared the new coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health” and said people with the virus could now be forcibly quarantined.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, under fierce election-year fire, abruptly abandoned his stand that religious organizations had to pay for birth control for workers, demanding that insurance companies step in to provide the coverage instead.
Five years ago: President Donald Trump, fresh off patching up ties with China, reassured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House that the U.S. would defend its close ally. Retired Lt. Gen. Harold G. “Hal” Moore, the American hero known for saving most of his men in the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War, died in Auburn, Alabama, at age 94. Billionaire businessman Mike Ilitch, who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire before buying the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers, died at age 87.
One year ago: At the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Democrats presented security footage, social media videos, police radio calls and Trump’s own Twitter posts to argue that he stoked the flames of violence, incited the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and failed to act quickly to send help or call his supporters off. A new government study found that wearing two masks could be better than one in protecting against coronavirus spread; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said lab researchers found that particles were blocked twice as much when two masks were worn. Larry Flynt, who turned his raunchy Hustler magazine into an empire while fighting numerous First Amendment court battles, died at 78 in Los Angeles.
Today’s Birthdays: Opera singer Leontyne Price is 95. Actor Robert Wagner is 92. Singer Roberta Flack is 85. Singer Jimmy Merchant (Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) is 82. Rock musician Bob Spalding (The Ventures) is 75. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Mark Spitz is 72. Walt Disney Co. executive Robert Iger is 71.
Rock musician and composer Cory Lerios (Pablo Cruise) is 71. World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman is 67. Actor Kathleen Beller is 66. Country singer Lionel Cartwright is 62. Movie director Alexander Payne is 61. ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos is 61. Political commentator Glenn Beck is 58. Actor Laura Dern is 55. Writer-producer-director Vince Gilligan (TV: “Breaking Bad”) is 55. Country singer Dude Mowrey is 50. Actor Jason Olive is 50. Actor Elizabeth Banks is 48. Actor Julia Pace Mitchell is 44. Reggaeton singer Don Omar is 44. Actor Uzo Aduba is 41. Actor Stephanie Beatriz is 41. Actor Max Brown is 41. Actor Barry Sloane is 41. Rock singer Eric Dill is 40. Actor Trevante Rhodes is 32. Actor Emma Roberts is 31. Actor Makenzie Vega is 28. Actor Chloe Grace Moretz is 25. Actor Yara Shahidi is 22.