Today in History Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

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Today is Thursday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2017. There are 325 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Feb. 9, 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).

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 1933, the Oxford Union Society approved, 275-153, a motion “that this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country,” a stand that was widely denounced. (On this date in 1983, the Oxford Union rejected, 416-187, a motion “that this House would not fight for Queen and Country.”)

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

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 by 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 1997, Best Products closed the last of its stores, a victim of the diminishing allure of the catalog showroom concept of retailing.

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

Ten years ago: Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in Munich, Germany, that serial numbers and other markings on bombs provided “pretty good” evidence that Iranians were supplying either weapons or technology to Iraqi extremists. British actor Ian Richardson, who portrayed immoral politician Francis Urquhart in the satirical TV drama “House of Cards,” died in London at age 72.

Five years 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, Nevada, at age 75.

One year ago: Republican Donald Trump posted a decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary, while Democrats lined up behind Bernie Sanders in their own act of anti-establishment defiance. President Barack Obama unveiled his eighth and final budget, a $4 trillion-plus proposal freighted with liberal policy initiatives and tax hikes. Two commuter trains crashed head-on in a remote area of southern Germany, killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others.

Today’s Birthdays: Television journalist Roger Mudd is 89. Actress Janet Suzman is 78. Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee is 77. Actress-politician Sheila James Kuehl (kyool) (TV: “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 76. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 75. Actor Joe Pesci is 74. Singer Barbara Lewis is 74. Author Alice Walker is 73. Actress Mia Farrow is 72. Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is 71. Singer Joe Ely is 70. Actress Judith Light is 68. Rhythm-and-blues musician Dennis “DT” Thomas (Kool & the Gang) is 66. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 62. Actor Ed Amatrudo (TV: “Nashville”) is 61. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is 60. Jazz musician Steve Wilson is 56. Country singer Travis Tritt is 54. Actress Julie Warner is 52. Country singer Danni Leigh is 47. Actress Sharon Case is 46. Actor Jason George is 45. Actress Amber Valletta is 43. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 41. Rock singer Chad Wolf (Carolina Liar) is 41. Actor A.J. Buckley is 40. Rock musician Richard On (O.A.R.) is 38. Actress Ziyi Zhang is 38. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Irina Slutskaya is 38. Actor Tom Hiddleston is 36. Actor David Gallagher is 32. Actor Michael B. Jordan is 30. Actress Rose Leslie is 30. Actress Marina Malota is 29. Actress Camille Winbush is 27. Actor Jimmy Bennett is 21.

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