IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in History - Feb. 5

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Feb. 5, the 36th day of 2007. There are 329 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 5, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court; critics accused Roosevelt of attempting to “pack” the high court.

On this date:

In 1631, the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and his wife arrived in Boston from England.

In 1783, Sweden recognized the independence of the United States.

In 1887, Verdi’s opera “Otello” premiered at La Scala.

In 1897, the Indiana House of Representatives passed, 67-0, a measure redefining the method for determining the area of a circle, which included altering the value of pi. (The bill died in the Indiana Senate.)

In 1917, Congress passed, over President Wilson’s veto, an immigration act severely curtailing the influx of Asians.

In 1917, Mexico’s constitution was adopted.

In 1940, Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded “Tuxedo Junction” for RCA Victor’s “Bluebird” label.

In 1967, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” premiered on CBS TV.

In 1973, services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for Army Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, the last American combat casualty before the Vietnam cease-fire.

In 1994, white separatist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted in Jackson, Miss., 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.)

Ten years ago: Switzerland’s “Big Three” banking giants announced they would create a $71 million fund for Holocaust victims and their families. Investment bank Morgan Stanley announced a $10 billion merger with Dean Witter. U.S. Ambassador Pamela Harriman died in Paris at age 76.

Five years ago: A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., indicted John Walker Lindh on 10 charges, alleging he was trained by Osama bin Laden’s network and then conspired with the Taliban to kill Americans. (Lindh later pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.) Congressional committees decided to subpoena former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay to appear to tell what he knew of Enron’s complex financial dealings. (Lay did appear, but refused to testify, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.) At a Senate hearing, Deborah Perrotta, a laid-off Enron employee, wept as she described how her retirement savings all but disappeared when the company failed.

One year ago: Jacob Robida, suspected of an attack at a Massachusetts gay bar, the killing of an Arkansas officer and the slaying of a mother of three, was mortally wounded in a shootout with authorities. Thousands of protesters in Beirut, Lebanon, enraged over Danish caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, torched the Danish mission. Iran ended all voluntary cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Pittsburgh Steelers won a record-tying fifth Super Bowl with a 21-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Actor Franklin Cover (“The Jeffersons”) died in Englewood, N.J., at age 77.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Claude King is 84. The Rev. Andrew M. Greeley is 79. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron is 73. Actor Stuart Damon is 70. Financial writer Jane Bryant Quinn is 68. Television producer-writer Stephen J. Cannell is 66. Actor David Selby is 66. Singer-songwriter Barrett Strong is 66. Football Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubach is 65. Singer Cory Wells (Three Dog Night) is 65. Movie director Michael Mann is 64. Singer Al Kooper is 63. Actress Charlotte Rampling is 61. Actress Barbara Hershey is

59. Actor Christopher Guest is 59. Actor Tom Wilkinson is 58. Actor-comedian Tim Meadows is 46. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is

45. Actress Laura Linney is 43. Rock musician Duff McKagan (Velvet Revolver) is 43. Rock singer Chris Barron (Spin Doctors) is 39. Singer Bobby Brown is 38. Country singer Sara Evans is 36. Actor Jeremy Sumpter is 18.

Thought for Today: “Many excellent words are ruined by too definite a knowledge of their meaning.” — Aline Kilmer, American poet (1888-1941).