Today in History — Feb. 9, 2018

Published Feb 9, 2018 at 4:00pm

Today is Friday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2018. There are 325 days left in the year.

Today in History

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, Virginia.

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, Alabama.

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

In 1893, Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera, “Falstaff,” was first performed in Milan, Italy.

In 1942, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff held its first formal meeting to coordinate military strategy during World War II. Daylight-saving “War Time” went into effect in the United States, with clocks moved one hour forward. The SS Normandie, a former French liner being refitted for the U.S. Navy at a New York pier, caught fire (it capsized early the next morning).

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

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 1984, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov, 69, died 15 months after succeeding Leonid Brezhnev; he was followed by Konstantin U. Chernenko (chehr-NYEN’-koh).

In 1991, voters in Lithuania overwhelmingly endorsed independence from the Soviet Union in a non-binding plebiscite.

In 2002, Britain’s Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, died in London at age 71.

Ten 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.

Today’s Birthdays

Television journalist Roger Mudd is 90. Actress Janet Suzman is 79. Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee is 78. Actress-politician Sheila James Kuehl (kyool) (TV: “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 77. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 76. Actor Joe Pesci is 75. Singer Barbara Lewis is 75. Author Alice Walker is 74. Actress Mia Farrow is 73. Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is 72. Singer Joe Ely is 71.

Actress Judith Light is 69. Rhythm-and-blues musician Dennis “DT” Thomas (Kool & the Gang) is 67. Actress Sharon Case is 47. Actor Jason George is 46. Actress Amber Valletta is 44. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 42. Rock singer Chad Wolf (Carolina Liar) is 42. Actor A.J. Buckley is 41. Rock musician Richard On (O.A.R.) is 39. Actress Ziyi (zee yee) Zhang is 39. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Irina Slutskaya is 39. Actor Tom Hiddleston is 37. Actor David Gallagher is 33.

Thought for Today

“What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.” — Havelock Ellis, English psychologist (1859-1939).