Today in history: February 4

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Feb. 4, the 35th day of 2006. There are 330 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 4, 1945, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.

On this date:
In 1783, Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.

In 1789, electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.

In 1801, John Marshall was sworn in as chief justice of the United States.

In 1861, delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate States of America.

In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid.
In 1941, the United Service Organizations (USO) came into existence.

In 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, Calif., by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

In 1976, more than 22,000 people died when a severe earthquake struck Guatemala and Honduras.

In 1997, a civil jury in Santa Monica, Calif., found O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

In 2004, the Massachusetts high court declared that homosexuals were entitled to nothing less than marriage and that Vermont-style civil unions would not suffice.

Ten years ago: Twenty-four people were killed when a Colombian cargo plane in Paraguay caught fire shortly after takeoff and crashed into a suburban neighborhood. Secretary of State Warren Christopher concluded a three-nation visit to the Balkans as he met in Belgrade with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Five years ago: In the NHL All-Star game, the North America team beat the World squad 14-12. In the Pro Bowl, the AFC defeated the NFC, 38-17.

One year ago: Gunmen kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena in Baghdad. (Sgrena was freed a month later; however, an Italian agent who had secured her release was killed by U.S. gunfire at a checkpoint.) Actor and civil rights activist Ossie Davis died in Miami Beach, Fla., at age 87.

Today’s Birthdays: Feminist author Betty Friedan is 85. Actor William Phipps is 84. Actor Conrad Bain is 83. Actor Gary Conway is 70. Movie director George A. Romero is 66. Rock musician John Steel (The Animals) is 65. Singer Florence LaRue (The Fifth Dimension) is 62. Comedian David Brenner is 61. Former Vice President Dan Quayle is 59. Rock singer Alice Cooper is 58. Actor Michael Beck is 57. Actress Lisa Eichhorn is 54. Rock singer Tim Booth is 46. Rock musician Henry Bogdan (Helmet) is 45. Country singer Clint Black is 44. Country musician Dave Buchanan (Yankee Grey) is 40. Actress Gabrielle Anwar is 36. Singer David Garza is 35. Actor Michael Goorjian is 35. Rock musician Rick Burch (Jimmy Eat World) is 31. Singer Natalie Imbruglia is 31. Rapper Cam'ron is 30. Rock singer Gavin DeGraw is 29.

Thought for Today: “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” -James Michener, American author (1907-1997).