Today in History
Today is Friday, Feb. 5, the 36th day of 2021. There are 329 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 5, 2020, the Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump, bringing to a close the third presidential trial in American history, though a majority of senators expressed unease with Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine that resulted in the two articles of impeachment. Just one Republican, Mitt Romney of Utah, broke with the GOP and voted to convict.
On this date:
In 1631, the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and his wife, Mary, arrived in Boston from England.
In 1811, George, the Prince of Wales, was named Prince Regent due to the mental illness of his father, Britain’s King George III.
In 1917, Mexico’s present constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Santiago de Queretaro. The U.S. Congress passed, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto, an act severely curtailing Asian immigration.
In 1918, during World War I, the Cunard liner SS Tuscania, which was transporting about 2,000 American troops to Europe, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Irish Sea with the loss of more than 200 people.
In 1922, the first edition of Reader’s Digest was published.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices; the proposal, which failed in Congress, drew accusations that Roosevelt was attempting to “pack” the nation’s highest court.
In 1971, Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell stepped onto the surface of the moon in the first of two lunar excursions.
In 1983, former Nazi Gestapo official Klaus Barbie, expelled from Bolivia, was brought to Lyon (lee-OHN’), France, to stand trial. (He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison -- he died in 1991.)
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, granting workers up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for family emergencies.
In 1994, white separatist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted in Jackson, Mississippi, of murdering civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963, and was immediately sentenced to life in prison. (Beckwith died Jan. 21, 2001 at age 80.)
In 2001, four disciples of Osama bin Laden went on trial in New York in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. (The four were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.)
In 2008, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru to the Beatles who introduced the West to transcendental meditation, died at his home in the Dutch town of Vlodrop; he was believed to be about 90.
Ten years ago: The leadership of Egypt’s ruling party stepped down as the military figures spearheading the transition tried to placate protesters without giving them the one resignation they were demanding, that of President Hosni Mubarak. Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders led a class of seven voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; joining them were Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Ed Sabol, Les Richter and Chris Hanburger.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama used a new jobs report to continue his victory lap on the economy, declaring the U.S. had “the strongest, most durable economy in the world.” (The president spoke shortly after the Labor Department announced that U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs in January, pushing the unemployment rate to 4.9 percent from 5 percent.)
One year ago: With white sheets covering them, people infected with the new coronavirus were led off of a Japanese cruise ship in the port city of Yokohama, while the rest of the 3,700 people on board faced a two-week quarantine in their cabins. Actor Kirk Douglas, star of “Spartacus” and dozens of other films, died at the age of 103.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Stuart Damon is 84. Tony-winning playwright John Guare (gwayr) is 83. Financial writer Jane Bryant Quinn is 82. Actor David Selby is 80. Singer-songwriter Barrett Strong is 80. Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach is 79. Movie director Michael Mann is 78. Rock singer Al Kooper is 77. Actor Charlotte Rampling is 75. Racing Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip is 74. Actor Barbara Hershey is 73. Actor Christopher Guest is 73. Actor Tom Wilkinson is 73. Actor-comedian Tim Meadows is 60. Actor Jennifer Jason Leigh is 59. Actor Laura Linney is 57. Rock musician Duff McKagan (Velvet Revolver) is 57. World Golf Hall of Famer Jose Maria Olazabal is 55. Actor-comedian Chris Parnell is 54. Rock singer Chris Barron (Spin Doctors) is 53. Singer Bobby Brown is 52. Actor Michael Sheen is 52. Actor David Chisum is 51. Country singer Sara Evans is 50. Country singer Tyler Farr is 37. Neo-soul musician Mark Shusterman (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 36. Actor-singer Darren Criss is 34. Actor Alex Brightman is 34. Actor Henry Golding is 34. Rock musician Kyle Simmons (Bastille) is 33. Actor Jeremy Sumpter is 32. Drummer Graham Sierota (Echosmith) is 22.