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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Today is Wednesday, February. 25th.

The 56th day of 2004.

There are 310 days left in the year.

Today Is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 25, 1793, the department heads of the U.S. government met with President Washington at his home for the first Cabinet meeting on record.


On this date:

In 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated England's Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1601, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is executed (beheaded) for high treason after his revolt against Queen Elizabeth I of England's ministers.

In 1836, inventor Samuel Colt patented his revolver.

In 1888, John Foster Dulles was born in Washington, DC. Secretary of State from 1953 to 1959, he is remembered as an uncompromising foe of communism. He resigned from office a few weeks before his death, on May 24, 1959.

In 1890, Vlacheslav Mikhaylovich Skryabin was born in Kurkaka, Russia. He was the foreign minister of the Soviet Union who took the revolutionary name Molotov. Molotov had advocated the use of throwing bottles filled with flamable liquid stuffed with a burning rag, known as a "Molotov cocktail," at the enemy.

In 1901, United States Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.

In 1917, Anthony Burgess, British novelist and critic, best known for his controversial novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), was born in Manchester, United Kingdom. He died in 1993.

In 1919, Oregon became the first state to place a tax on gasoline. The tax was 1 cent per gallon.

In 1925, A remote part of southeastern Alaska that is only accessible by boat or plane is designated as the Glacier Bay National Monument. It will become a National Park and Preserve on December 2, 1980

In 1928, The Federal Radio Commission (forerunner to the Federal Communications Commission) issued the first U.S. television license to Charles Jenkins Laboratories in Washington, DC.

In 1933, The first aircraft carrier, "Ranger", was launched.

In 1940, The New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens played in the first hockey game to be televised in the U.S. The game was aired on W2WBS in New York with one camera in a fixed position.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. troops reoccupied the Kasserine Pass.

In 1948, Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.

In 1950, "Your Show of Shows" debuted on NBC.

In 1956, Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, criticized the late Josef Stalin in a speech before a Communist Party congress in Moscow.

In 1961, Henry Kissinger is named National Security Adviser by President John F. Kennedy.

In 1964, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami Beach.

In 1972, Germany gave a $5 million ransom to Arab terrorists who had hijacked a jumbo jet.

In 1973, the Stephen Sondheim musical "A Little Night Music" opened at Broadway's Shubert Theater.

In 1982, The final new show of "The Lawrence Welk Show" aired, ending an amazing 27-year run on television.

In 1986, President Ferdinand E. Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency.

In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

In 1993, The University of Vermont women's basketball team extends its winning streak to 50 straight victories by beating Northeastern, 50-40. This breaks the women's Division I college basketball record for consecutive regular-season wins.

In 1998, Bob Dylan wins three awards, including album of the year for Time Out of Mind, and his son Jakob wins two awards at the 40th annual Grammy Awards in New York City.

In 2000, In Albany, NY, a jury acquitted four New York City police officers of second-degree murder and lesser charges in the February 1999 shooting death of Amadou Diallo.

Ten years ago (1994):

American-born Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire with an automatic rifle inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank, killing 29 Muslims before he was beaten to death by worshippers.

At the Winter Olympics in Norway, Oksana Baiul of Ukraine won the gold medal in ladies' figure skating while Nancy Kerrigan won the silver and Chen Lu of China the bronze; Tonya Harding came in 8th.

Five years ago (1999):

A jury in Jasper, Texas, sentenced white supremacist John William King to death for chaining James Byrd Jr., a black man, to a pickup truck and dragging him to pieces.

Israel's Supreme Court blocked the extradition of American teenager Samuel Sheinbein to the United States to face charges stemming from a grisly slaying in Maryland.

In Moscow, China's Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and Russia's President Boris Yeltsin discussed trade and other issues.

One year ago (2003):

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Iraq was showing new signs of real cooperation, but President Bush was dismissive, predicting Saddam Hussein would try to "fool the world one more time."

Roh Moo-hyun became South Korea's new president.


Today's Birthdays:

Country singer Ralph Stanley is 77.

Producer-writer Larry Gelbart is 76.

Musician Tommy Newsom is 75.

Actor Tom Courtenay is 67.

CBS newsman Bob Schieffer is 67.

Actress Diane Baker is 66.

Talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael is 61.

Actress Karen Grassle is 60.

Movie director Neil Jordan is 54.

Rock singer-musician Mike Peters (The Alarm) is 45.

Actress Veronica Webb is 39.

Actor Alexis Denisof is 38.

Actress Tea Leoni is 38.

Actress Lesley Boone ("Ed") is 36.

Actor Sean Astin is 33.

Rhythm and blues singer Justin Jeffre (98 Degrees) is 31.

Rock musician Richard Liles is 31.

Actor Anson Mount is 31.

Actress Rashida Jones is 28.

Actor Justin Berfield ("Malcolm in the Middle") is 18.

Actors Oliver and James Phelps ("Harry Potter" movies) are 18.


Thought for Today:

"Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom." -

- Herbert Spencer, British philosopher (1820-1903).
Today is Tuesday, Feb. 24th.

The 55th day of 2004.

There are 311 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 24, 1868, the House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.


On this date:

In 1209, Saint Francis of Assisi's vocation, to live in complete poverty and to preach, is revealed to him.

In 1786, Wilhelm Grimm (The Brothers Grimm, Grimm's Fairy Tales) was born. He died December 16, 1859.

In 1803, Marbury v. Madison establishes the authority of the Supreme Court of the United States to decide whether acts of Congress are legitimate under the U.S. Constitution and ruled itself the final interpreter of constitutional issues.

In 1821, Mexico declared its independence from Spain.

In 1863, Arizona was organized as a territory.

In 1868, The first parade to use floats took place in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.

In 1885, Admiral Chester William Nimitz was born. He died in 1966.

In 1900, New York City Mayor Van Wyck signed the contract to begin work on New York's first rapid transit tunnel. The tunnel would link Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ground-breaking ceremony was on March 24, 1900.

In 1903, the United States signed an agreement acquiring a naval station at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

In 1920, a fledgling German political party held its first meeting of importance in Munich; it became known as the Nazi Party, and its chief spokesman was Adolf Hitler.

In 1924, Johnny ‘Tarzan’ Weissmuller broke the world’s record in the 100-meter swimming event. He did it in 57 2/5 seconds.

In 1942, the Voice of America (VOA) went on the air for the first time.

In 1942, In order to make more weapons ready for war production, deliveries of all 12-gauge shotguns for sporting use are shut down by the U.S. government.

In 1945, American soldiers liberated the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese control during World War II.

In 1945, During World War II, Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha was killed after reading a decree that declared war on the Axis powers.

In 1946, Juan Peron was elected president of Argentina.

In 1949, Egypt announced that their agreement to a cease fire was not an accectance of the state of Israel.

In 1955 Turkey and Iraq signed the military alliance known as the Baghdad Pact.

In 1980, the U.S. hockey team defeated Finland, 4-2, to clinch the gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.

In 1981, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain's Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.

In 1983, a congressional commission released a report condemning the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a "grave injustice."

In 1987, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hits his first three-point shot. Up to this date, he has scored 36,000 points, but only scoring two points at a time.

In 1989, A United Airlines 747 jet rips open in flight killing 9 people. The flight was from Honolulu to New Zealand.

In 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death for his novel "The Satanic Verses". A bounty of one to three-million-dollars was also put on Rushidie's head.

In 1989, a state funeral was held in Japan for Emperor Hirohito, who had died the month before at age 87.

In 1991, The United States begins their ground invasion of Kuwait and Iraq.

In 1997, The Food and Drug Administration named six brands of birth control as safe and effective "morning-after" pills for preventing pregnancy.

Ten years ago (1994):

Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders labeled smoking an "adolescent addiction," and accused the tobacco industry of trying to convince teenagers that cigarettes will make them sexy and successful.

Entertainer Dinah Shore died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 76.

Five years ago (1999):

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to give the nation's military the biggest benefits increase since the early 1980s.

Lauryn Hill won a record five Grammys, including album of the year and best new artist, on the strength of her solo debut album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."

One year ago (2003):

Seeking U.N. approval for war against Iraq, the United States, Britain and Spain submitted a resolution to the Security Council declaring that Saddam Hussein had missed "the final opportunity" to disarm peacefully and indicating that he had to face the consequences.

A powerful earthquake in China's western region of Xinjiang killed at least 268 people and injured more than 1,000.

CMT featured an entire day of Shania Twain programming.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Abe Vigoda is 83.

Actor Steven Hill is 82.

Actor-singer Dominic Chianese ("The Sopranos") is 73.

Movie composer Michel Legrand is 72.

Actor John Vernon is 72.

Opera singer Renata Scotto is 69.

Actor James Farentino is 66.

Actor Barry Bostwick is 59.

Actor Edward James Olmos is 57.

Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 57.

Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 53.

Actress Helen Shaver is 53.

Apple co-founder Steven Jobs is 49.

News anchor Paula Zahn is 48.

Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 46.

Singer Michelle Shocked is 42.

Movie director Todd Field is 40.

Actor Billy Zane is 38.

Rhythm and blues singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 21.


Thought for Today:

"Nothing is more difficult for Americans to understand than the possibility of tragedy." -

- Henry A. Kissinger, former U-S Secretary of State (1923- ).