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Today in History for Feb. 1, 2013

Today is Friday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2013. There are 333 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members.

On this date:

In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)

In 1861, Texas voted to leave the Union at a Secession Convention in Austin.

In 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.

In 1922, in one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries, movie director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles home; the killing has never been solved.

In 1942, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.

In 1943, one of America’s most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.

In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they’d been refused service.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam’s police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

In 1991, 34 people were killed when an arriving USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

In 1993, Gary Bettman took office as the NHL’s first commissioner.

Ten years ago: At least 50 people were killed in a Zimbabwe train collision. Former Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng died in Modesto at age 84.

Five years ago: Exxon Mobil posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company – $40.6 billion – and the biggest quarterly profit to that time, breaking its own records. Microsoft announced an unsolicited bid for Yahoo, which later rejected it. Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two women killed at least 100 people in Baghdad.

One year ago: Facebook announced plans to go public with a stock offering. (The social network priced its IPO at $38 per share, but the stock started to fall soon after the first day of trading.) A Southern California woman who’d filed a small-claims action against Honda won her lawsuit when a judge ruled that the automaker had misled her about the potential fuel economy of her hybrid car. (However, another judge overturned the nearly $10,000 small claims judgment in May 2012.) In Port Said, Egypt, at least 74 people were killed after soccer fans rushed the field following an upset victory by the home team over Egypt’s top club. Don Cornelius, 74, creator of “Soul Train,” died in Los Angeles of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Boxing trainer Angelo Dundee died in Tampa, Fla., at age 90.

Today’s birthdays: Gospel singer George Beverly Shea is 104. Actor Stuart Whitman is 85. Singer Don Everly is 76. Actor Garrett Morris is 76. Singer Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) is 76. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 74. Jazz musician Joe Sample is 74. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 72. Comedian Terry Jones is 71. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is 69. Opera singer Carol Neblett is 67. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 63. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 62. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy is 59. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 57. Actor Linus Roache is 49. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 48. Country musician Dwayne Dupuy (Ricochet) is 48. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 48. Lisa Marie Presley is 45. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 45. Actor Brian Krause is 44. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 44. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 44. Actor Michael C. Hall is 42. Rock musician Ron Welty is 42. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 38. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 34. Country singer Julie Roberts is 34. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 31. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 30. Actor Lee Thompson Young (“Rizzoli & Isles”) is 29. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 27. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 19.

Thought for today: “Happiness is a by-product. You cannot pursue it by itself.” — Sam Levenson, American humorist (1911-1980).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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