Today in History

The Associated Press
·4-min read

Today in History

Today is Monday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2021. There are 333 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members: commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; payload commander Michael Anderson; mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN’ rah-MOHN’), the first Israeli in space.

On this date:

In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)

In 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.

In 1865, abolitionist John S. Rock became the first Black lawyer admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1893, inventor Thomas Edison completed work on the world’s first motion picture studio, his “Black Maria,” in West Orange, New Jersey.

In 1942, during World War II, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.

In 1943, during World War II, one of America’s most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.

In 1960, four Black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they’d been refused service.

In 1962, the Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was first published by Viking Press.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam’s police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured by news photographers. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1979, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY’-nee) received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

In 1991, 34 people were killed when an arriving USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

In 2018, a judge ordered a Wisconsin girl, Morgan Geyser, to be committed to a mental hospital for 40 years for stabbing a classmate when she was 12 years old to curry favor with the fictional horror character Slender Man.

Ten years ago: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced he would not run for a new term in September elections but rejected protesters’ demands he step down immediately and leave the country, after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million Egyptians staged their biggest protest to date calling on him to go.

Five years ago: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa’s Republican caucuses, overcoming Donald Trump and a stronger-than-expected showing by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; among Democrats, Bernie Sanders rode a wave of voter enthusiasm to a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton. The World Health Organization declared a global emergency over the explosive spread of the Zika virus, which was linked to birth defects in the Americas, calling it an “extraordinary event” that posed a public health threat to other parts of the world.

One year ago: As China’s death toll from the new coronavirus rose to 259, Beijing criticized Washington’s order barring entry to most foreigners who had visited China in the past two weeks. A World Health Organization official said governments needed to prepare for “domestic outbreak control.” Sofia Kenin of the United States beat Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain to win the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Don Everly is 84. Actor Garrett Morris is 84. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 82. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 80. Political commentator Fred Barnes is 78. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 71. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 70. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy (MOO’-mee) is 67. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 65. Actor Linus Roache is 57. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 56. Actor Sherilyn Fenn is 56. Lisa Marie Presley is 53. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 53. Actor Brian Krause is 52. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 52. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 52. Actor Michael C. Hall is 50. Rock musician Ron Welty is 50. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 46. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 42. Country singer Julie Roberts is 42. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 39. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 38. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 35. Actor-singer Heather Morris is 34. Actor and mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey is 34. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 27.