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Today in History for Feb. 9, 2013

Today is Saturday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2013. There are 325 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Feb. 9, 1943, the World War II battle of Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific ended with an Allied victory over Japanese forces.

On this date:

In 1773, the ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1825, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected provisional president of the Confederate States of America at a congress held in Montgomery, Ala.

In 1870, the U.S. Weather Bureau was established.

In 1933, the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University debated, then endorsed, 275-153, a motion “that this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country,” a stand widely denounced by Britons.

In 1942, daylight-saving “War Time” went into effect in the United States, with clocks turned one hour forward.

In 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, W.Va., Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., charged the State Department was riddled with Communists.

In 1963, the Boeing 727 went on its first-ever flight as it took off from Renton, Wash.

In 1964, The Beatles made their first live American television appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” broadcast from New York on CBS.

In 1971, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in California’s San Fernando Valley claimed 65 lives. The crew of Apollo 14 returned to Earth after man’s third landing on the moon.

In 1983, in a dramatic reversal from fifty years earlier (see above), the Oxford Union rejected, 416-187, a motion “that this House would not fight for Queen and Country.”

In 2002, Britain’s Princess Margaret, the high-spirited and unconventional sister of Queen Elizabeth II, died in London at age 71.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush told congressional Republicans at a policy conference in West Virginia that Iraq had fooled the world for more than a decade about its banned weapons and the United Nations was now facing “a moment of truth” in disarming Saddam Hussein. The U.S. Navy ended its last bombing exercises on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island. The West beat the East 155-145 in the first double overtime game in NBA All-Star history.

Five years ago: Democrat Barack Obama swept the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington state; Republican Mike Huckabee outpolled John McCain in the Kansas caucuses and Louisiana primary, while McCain won the Washington caucuses. A suicide bomber blasted a political gathering in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 27 people. Space shuttle Atlantis, carrying a European-built science lab, docked with the international space station.

One year ago: President Barack Obama freed 10 states from some of the toughest requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law. The Pentagon formally opened thousands of jobs to women in units that were closer to the front lines than ever before. Former skiing champion Jill Kinmont Boothe, who became a painter and a teacher after she was paralyzed during a race and was the subject of a book and two Hollywood films, died in Carson City, Nev., at age 75.

Today’s birthdays: Television journalist Roger Mudd is 85. Actress Janet Suzman is 74. Actress-politician Sheila James Kuehl (kyool) (“The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 72. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 71. Actor Joe Pesci is 70. Singer Barbara Lewis is 70. Author Alice Walker is 69. Actress Mia Farrow is 68. Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is 67. Singer Joe Ely is 66. Actress Judith Light is 64. Rhythm-and-blues musician Dennis “DT” Thomas (Kool & the Gang) is 62. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 58. Former Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe is 56. Jazz musician Steve Wilson is 52. Country singer Travis Tritt is 50. Actress Julie Warner is 48. Country singer Danni Leigh is 43. Actor Jason George is 41. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 37. Rock singer Chad Wolf (Carolina Liar) is 37. Actor A.J. Buckley is 36. Rock musician Richard On (O.A.R.) is 34. Actress Ziyi Zhang is 34. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Irina Slutskaya is 34. Actor David Gallagher is 28. Actress Marina Malota is 25. Actress Camille Winbush is 23. Actor Jimmy Bennett is 17.

Thought for today: “Modesty is the conscience of the body.” — Honore de Balzac, French author and dramatist (1799-1850).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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