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Today in History for Feb. 8, 2013

Today is Friday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2013. There are 326 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Feb. 8, 1973, Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal, including its chairman, Sen. Sam J. Ervin, D-N.C.

On this date:

In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in the Virginia Colony.

In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Roanoke Island, N.C, ended in victory for Union forces led by Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.

In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War, a conflict over control of Manchuria and Korea, began as Japanese forces attacked Port Arthur.

In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

In 1922, President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.

In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces began invading Singapore, which fell a week later.

In 1963, members of the Baath Socialist Party overthrew Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel-Karim Kassem, who was executed the next day.

In 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, S.C., during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley.

In 1971, NASDAQ, the world’s first electronic stock exchange, held its first trading day.

In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.

In 1993, General Motors sued NBC, alleging that “Dateline NBC” had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that 1973-to-87 GM pickups were prone to fires in side-impact crashes. (NBC settled the lawsuit the following day and apologized for its “unscientific demonstration.”)

Ten years ago: The chief U.N. arms inspectors arrived in Baghdad for a new round of crucial talks with Iraqi officials. In a jab at major U.S. allies, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told a security conference in Munich that countries such as France and Germany that favored giving Iraq another chance to disarm were undermining what slim chance existed to avoid war. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for leading a two-month strike against President Hugo Chavez.

Five years ago: Scotland Yard investigators concluded that Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto died on Dec. 27, 2007, as the result of a bomb blast, not a gunshot, a finding disputed by Bhutto supporters. Latina Williams, a 23-year-old nursing student at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge, shot and killed two other students and then herself. Novelist Phyllis A. Whitney died in Charlottesville, Va., at age 104.

One year ago: Washington state lawmakers voted to approve same-sex marriage. Kyle Dyer, an anchor for Denver station KUSA-TV, was seriously injured when she was bitten in the face by an 85-pound Argentine mastiff while conducting a live studio interview on the dog’s rescue from an icy pond.

Today’s birthdays: Composer-conductor John Williams is 81. Newscaster Ted Koppel is 73. Actor Nick Nolte is 72. Comedian Robert Klein is 71. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 70. Singer Ron Tyson is 65. Actress Brooke Adams is 64. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 60. Author John Grisham is 58. Actor Henry Czerny is 54. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 52. Rock singer-musician Sammy Llanas (The BoDeans) is 52. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson is 51. Actress Mary McCormack is 44. Rock musician Keith Nelson (Buckcherry) is 44. Retired NBA player Alonzo Mourning is 43. Actor Seth Green is 39. Actor Josh Morrow is 39. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 36. Rock musician Jeremy Davis (Paramore) is 28. Rock musician Max Grahn (Carolina Liar) is 25. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 25. Actress Karle Warren (“Judging Amy”) is 21.

Thought for today: “Children see things very well sometimes – and idealists even better.” — Lorraine Hansberry, American author and dramatist (1930-1965).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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