Today in History Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017

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Today is Wednesday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2017. There are 326 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 8, 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces began invading Singapore, which fell a week later.

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

In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

In 1915, D.W. Griffith’s groundbreaking as well as controversial silent movie epic about the Civil War, “The Birth of a Nation,” premiered in Los Angeles under its original title, “The Clansman.”

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

In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, Malaga fell to Nationalist and Italian forces.

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her accession to the British throne following the death of her father, King George VI.

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

In 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.

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 1992, the XVI Olympic Winter Games opened in Albertville, France.

In 1996, in a ceremony at the Library of Congress, President Bill Clinton signed legislation revamping the telecommunications industry, saying it would “bring the future to our doorstep.”

Ten years ago: Model, actress and tabloid sensation Anna Nicole Smith died in Hollywood, Florida, at age 39 of an accidental drug overdose. A federal judge in Fargo, North Dakota, sentenced Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. to death for the slaying of college student Dru Sjodin (droo shoh-DEEN’). (Rodriguez remains in prison as his case is appealed.) Rival Palestinian leaders signed an agreement on a power-sharing government at Saudi-brokered talks in Mecca.

Five years 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.

One year ago: President Barack Obama asked Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika (ZEE’-kuh) virus and the mosquitoes that were spreading it in the United States and abroad, but said “there shouldn’t be a panic on this.” Villanova was No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the first time. (The 20-3 Wildcats made the jump from third following then-No. 1 Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas State and then-No. 2 North Carolina’s losses to Louisville and Notre Dame.)

Today’s Birthdays: Composer-conductor John Williams is 85. Newscaster Ted Koppel is 77. Actor Nick Nolte is 76. Comedian Robert Klein is 75. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 74. Singer Ron Tyson is 69. Actress Brooke Adams is 68. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 64. Author John Grisham is 62. Retired NBA All-Star and College Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Johnson is 61. Actor Henry Czerny is 58. The former president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, is 57. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 56. Rock singer-musician Sammy Llanas (YAH’-nus) (The BoDeans) is 56. Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson is 55. Movie producer Toby Emmerich is 54. Actress Missy Yager (Film: “Manchester by the Sea”) is 49. Actress Mary McCormack is 48. Rock musician Keith Nelson (Buckcherry) is 48. Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning is 47. Dance musician Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk) is 43. Actor Seth Green is 43. Actor Josh Morrow is 43. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 40. Actor William Jackson Harper (TV: “The Good Place”) is 37. Actor Jim Parrack is 36. Folk singer-musician Joey Ryan (Milk Carton Kids) is 35. Actress-comedian Cecily Strong is 33. Rock musician Jeremy Davis is 32. Hip-hop artist Anderson.Paak is 31. Rock musician Max Grahn (Carolina Liar) is 29. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 29. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is 27. Actress Karle Warren is 25.