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Today in History - Feb. 9

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

Today is Friday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2007. There are 325 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 9, 1943, the World War II battle of Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific ended with an Allied victory over Japanese forces.

On this date:
In 1773, the ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1825, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected the provisional president of the Confederate States of America.

In 1870, the U.S. Weather Bureau was established.

In 1942, daylight-saving “War Time” went into effect in the United States, with clocks turned one hour forward.

In 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, W. Va., Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., charged that the State Department was riddled with Communists.

In 1964, The Beatles made their first live American television appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on CBS.

In 1971, the crew of Apollo 14 returned to Earth after man’s third landing on the moon.

In 1984, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov died at age 69, less than 15 months after succeeding Leonid Brezhnev; he was succeeded by Konstantin U. Chernenko.

In 2001, a U.S. Navy submarine collided with a Japanese fishing boat off the Hawaiian coast, killing nine men and boys aboard the boat.

Ten years ago: Best Products closed the last of its stores, a victim of the diminishing allure of the catalog showroom concept of retailing. The East beat the West in the NBA All-Star game, 132-120.

Five years ago: Britain’s Princess Margaret, the high-spirited and unconventional sister of Queen Elizabeth II, died in London at age 71. At the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Jochem Uytdehaage of the Netherlands won the gold medal in the men’s 5,000-meter speedskating race in world record time of 6:14.66. Oakland’s Rich Gannon led the AFC to a 38-30 victory over the NFC in the Pro Bowl.

One year ago: President Bush defended U.S. surveillance efforts, saying spy work helped thwart terrorists plotting to use shoe bombs to hijack an airliner and crash it into the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast. Kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll appeared in a video aired on a private Kuwaiti TV station, appealing for her supporters to do whatever it took to win her release “as quickly as possible.” (She was freed on March 30, 2006.) Neil Entwistle, whose wife and baby daughter were found shot to death at the couple’s home in suburban Boston, was arrested on murder charges in his native England (Entwistle is expected to go on trial later this year). British entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker died in Hollywood, Fla., at age 83.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Kathryn Grayson is 85. Television journalist Roger Mudd is 79. Actress Janet Suzman is 68. Actress-politician Sheila James Kuehl (“The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 66. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 65. Actor Joe Pesci is 64. Singer Barbara Lewis is 64. Author Alice Walker is 63. Actress Mia Farrow is 62. Singer Joe Ely is 60. Actress Judith Light is 58. Rhythm-and-blues musician Dennis “DT” Thomas (Kool & the Gang) is 56. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 52. Country singer Travis Tritt is 44. Actress Julie Warner is 42. Country singer Danni Leigh is 37. Actor Jason George is 35. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 31. Actress Ziyi Zhang is 28. Actor David Gallagher is 22. Actress Marina Malota is 19. Actress Camille Winbush (“The Bernie Mac Show”) is 17.

Thought for Today: “If your neighbor is an early riser, you will become one.” — Albanian proverb.