Today in History
Today is Monday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2023. There are 334 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 6, 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.
On this date:
In 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.
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 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois.
In 1922, Cardinal Archille Ratti was elected pope; he took the name Pius XI.
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 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 2000, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
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.
In 2014, Jay Leno ends his time on “The Tonight Show”
Ten years ago: The U.S. Postal Service proposed eliminating Saturday mail delivery, an announcement that immediately drew protests from some lawmakers. At least nine people were killed by a tsunami that smashed into villages in the Solomon Islands, flattening dozens of homes in the South Pacific island chain. Toy maker Hasbro Inc. announced that Monopoly fans had voted online to add a cat token to the board game, replacing the iron.
Five years ago: Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct allegations. SpaceX’s big new rocket blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on its first test flight, carrying a red sports car on a route that would take it to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Poland’s president signed legislation making it a crime to blame Poland for Holocaust crimes committed by Nazi Germany.
One year ago: Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 70th anniversary of her ascendance to the British throne, an unprecedented reign that made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty. (She would die seven months later at age 96, and her son became King Charles III.)
Today’s birthdays: Actor Mamie Van Doren is 92. Actor Mike Farrell is 84. Former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw is 83. Singer Fabian is 80. Actor Gayle Hunnicutt is 80. Actor Michael Tucker is 78. Producer-director-writer Jim Sheridan is 74. Actor Jon Walmsley is 67. Actor Kathy Najimy is 66. Rock musician Simon Phillips (Toto) is 66. Actor-director Robert Townsend is 66. Actor Barry Miller is 65. Actor Megan Gallagher is 63. Rock singer Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) is 61.
Country singer Richie McDonald (Lonestar) is 61. Singer Rick Astley is 57. Rock musician Tim Brown (Boo Radleys) is 54. Former ABC News anchor Amy Robach is 50. Actor Josh Stewart is 46. Actor Ben Lawson is 43. Actor Brandon Hammond is 39. Actor Crystal Reed (TV: “Teen Wolf”) is 38. Actor Alice Greczyn (GREH’-chihn) is 37. Actor Anna Diop is 35. R&B singer/actor Tinashe is 30.