Today is Ash Wednesday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2008. There are 329 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Ill. Also on Feb. 6, 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate, ending the Spanish American War, that gave the U.S. possession of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and most remaining Spanish Territories throughout the world.
On this date:
In 1756, America’s third vice president, Aaron Burr, was born in Newark, N.J. In 1778, the United States won official recognition 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 1933, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the so-called “lame duck” amendment, was proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson. In 1952, Britain’s King George VI died; he was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II. In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral, Fla. In 1978, Muriel Humphrey took the oath of office as a U.S. senator from Minnesota, filling the seat of her late husband, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey. In 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind. In 1996, a Turkish-owned Boeing 757 jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from the Dominican Republic, killing 189 people, mostly German tourists. In 1998, President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair redoubled their pledge to use military force against Iraq if necessary; during a joint news conference in which the subject of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky came up, Clinton said he would “never” resign. President Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. In 2003, Edging closer to war, President Bush declared “the game is over” for Saddam Hussein and urged skeptical allies to join in disarming Iraq. ABC’s “20/20″ aired a British documentary on Michael Jackson in which the singer revealed he sometimes let children sleep in his bed. In 2007, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki complained that the long-awaited Baghdad security operation was off to a slow start, but he also reassured Iraqis that security forces would live up to their responsibilities. Singer Frankie Laine died in San Diego at age 93.
Also on February 6th:
46 BC – Julius Caesar defeats the combined army of Pompeian followers and Numidians under Metellus Scipio and Juba at Thapsus. 1685 – James II of England and VII of Scotland becomes King upon the death of his brother Charles II. 1778 – American Revolutionary War: In Paris the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce are signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the new republic. 1788 – Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution. 1815 – New Jersey grants the first American railroad charter to a John Stevens. 1817 – The Argentinian San MartÃn crosses the Andes with an army in order to liberate Chile from Spanish rule. 1819 – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founds Singapore. 1820 – The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society started a settlement in present-day Liberia. 1840 – Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, founding document of New Zealand. 1843 – The first minstrel show in the United States The Virginia Minstrels opens (Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City). 1862 – American Civil War: Ulysses S. Grant gives the United States its first victory of the war, by capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee, known as the Battle of Fort Henry. 1899 – Spanish-American War: The Treaty of Paris (1898), a peace treaty between the United States and Spain is ratified by the United States Senate. 1900 – The international arbitration court at The Hague is created when the Netherlands’ Senate ratifies an 1899 peace conference decree. 1922 – Achille Ratti becomes Pope Pius XI. 1922 – The Washington Naval Treaty was signed in Washington, DC, limiting the naval armaments of United States, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy. 1933 – The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution goes into effect. 1934 – Far right leagues rally in front of the Palais Bourbon in an attempted coup against the French Third Republic, creating a political crisis in France. 1936 – Olympic Games: Winter Olympic Games – IV Olympic Winter Games open in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. 1951 – The Broker, a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derails near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. The accident kills 85 people and injures over 500 more. The wreck is one of the worst rail disasters in American history. 1952 – Elizabeth II becomes Queen upon the death of her father George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a treehouse at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya. 1958 – Eight players of Manchester United were killed in the Munich air disaster. 1959 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first patent for an integrated circuit. 1959 – At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished. 1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 Mission – Alan Shepard becomes the first person to hit a golf ball on the Moon. 1978 – The Blizzard of 1978, one of the worst Nor’easters in New England history, hit the region, with sustained winds of 65 mph and snowfall of 4″ an hour. 1992 – The Saami people of the Nordic countries have an official day celebrating their existence. 1996 – A Birgen Air Boeing 757 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Dominican Republic killing 189. 1998 – Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport. 1998 – In Corsica, the prefect Claude Erignac is assassinated in Ajaccio, presumably by Yvan Colonna. 2004 – In Russia, a suicide-attack in a Moscow metro kills 40 commuters, and injures a hundred and twenty-nine. The blast is blamed on Chechen separatist groups.