Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 14, 1961, the radioactive element lawrencium was first synthesized at the University of California, Berkeley.
On this date:
In 1778, the American ship Ranger carried the recently adopted Stars and Stripes to a foreign port for the first time as it arrived in France.
In 1859, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.
In 1895, Oscar Wilde's final play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” opened at the St. James's Theatre in London.
In 1903, the Department of Commerce and Labor was established. (It was divided into separate departments of Commerce and Labor in 1913.)
In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union.
In 1920, the League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago; its first president was Maud Wood Park.
In 1941, “Reflections in a Golden Eye” by Carson McCullers was first published.
In 1979, Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.
Ten years ago: A Palestinian crashed a bus into Israeli soldiers and civilians standing at a bus stop in Azur, Israel, killing eight. (The driver, Khalil Abu Olbeh, was later sentenced to eight life terms.) The Kansas Board of Education approved new science standards restoring evolution to the state's curriculum.
Five years ago: Attorney Harry Whittington, the man accidentally shot by Vice President Dick Cheney, suffered a mild heart attack when a shotgun pellet traveled to his heart, but he later recovered. Iran said it had resumed uranium enrichment; Russia and France immediately called on Iran to halt its work. At Turin, American Ted Ligety won Olympic gold in men's combined skiing, while Bode Miller was disqualified for straddling a gate.
One year ago: The Americans broke through the Nordic combined barrier at Vancouver, winning their first Olympic medal in the sport dominated since its inception by the Europeans. Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500. The Eastern Conference edged the West 141-139 in the NBA All-Star game played in Arlington, Texas. Larry Ellison's space-age trimaran completed a two-race sweep in the 33rd America's Cup. Death claimed best-selling British author Dick Francis at age 89 and Doug Fieger, leader of the power pop band The Knack, at age 57.
Today's Birthdays: TV personality Hugh Downs is 90. Actress-singer Florence Henderson is 77. Actor Andrew Prine is 75. Country singer Razzy Bailey is 72. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is 69. Jazz musician Maceo Parker is 68. Movie director Alan Parker is 67. Journalist Carl Bernstein is 67. Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) is 64. TV personality Pat O'Brien is 63. Magician Teller (Penn and Teller) is 63. Cajun singer-musician Michael Doucet (doo-SAY’) (Beausoleil) is 60. Actor Ken Wahl is 54. Opera singer Renee Fleming is 52. Actress Meg Tilly is 51. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is 51. Singer-producer Dwayne Wiggins is 50. Actor Enrico Colantoni is 48. Actor Zach Galligan is 47. Actor Valente Rodriguez is 47. Rock musician Ricky Wolking (The Nixons) is 45. Tennis player Manuela Maleeva is 44. Actor Simon Pegg is 41. Rock musician Kevin Baldes (Lit) is 39. Rock singer Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty) is 39. Actor Matt Barr is 27. Actress Tiffany Thornton is 25. Actor Freddie Highmore is 19.
Thought for Today: “A life without love is like a year without summer.” — Swedish proverb.
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.