Today in History
Today is Monday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2021. There are 326 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Feb. 8, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her accession to the British throne following the death of her father, King George VI.
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 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in the Virginia Colony.
In 1831, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first Black woman to earn a medical degree in the United States, was born in Delaware.
In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.
In 1922, President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.
In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.
In 1960, work began on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles.
In 1971, NASDAQ, the world’s first electronic stock exchange, held its first trading day.
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 2007, model, actor and tabloid sensation Anna Nicole Smith died in Hollywood, Florida, at age 39 of an accidental drug overdose.
In 2010, Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of the pop superstar in Los Angeles Superior Court. (Murray was convicted in 2011 and served two years in prison.)
Ten years ago: Wael Ghonim (WY’-uhl goh-NEEM’), a 30-year-old Google executive who’d helped ignite Egypt’s uprising, appeared before protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for the first time after being released from detention; he told them, “We won’t give up.”
Five years ago: President Barack Obama asked Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika 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.
One year ago: The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said a 60-year-old U.S. citizen who’d been diagnosed with the coronavirus had died on Feb. 5 in Wuhan; it was apparently the first American fatality from the virus. A soldier who was angry about a land dispute began a 16-hour shooting rampage in northeastern Thailand, killing at least 29 people and wounding dozens more before being shot and killed by police and soldiers at a shopping mall.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer-conductor John Williams is 89. Broadcast journalist Ted Koppel is 81. Actor Nick Nolte is 80. Comedian Robert Klein is 79. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 78. Singer Ron Tyson is 73. Actor Brooke Adams is 72. Actor Mary Steenburgen is 68. Author John Grisham is 66. Retired NBA All-Star and College Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Johnson is 65. Actor Henry Czerny is 62. The former president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, is 61. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 60. Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson is 59. Movie producer Toby Emmerich is 58. Actor Missy Yager is 53. Actor Mary McCormack is 52. Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning is 51. Actor Susan Misner is 50. Dance musician Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk) is 47. Actor Seth Green is 47. Actor Joshua Morrow is 47. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 44. Actor William Jackson Harper is 41. Actor Jim Parrack is 40. Folk singer-musician Joey Ryan (Milk Carton Kids) is 39. Actor-comedian Cecily Strong is 37. Rock musician Jeremy Davis is 36. Hip-hop artist Anderson.Paak is 35. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 33. NBA star Klay Thompson is 31. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is 31. Actor Karle Warren is 29.