Today in history: Feb. 2

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2005. There are 332 days left in the year. This is Groundhog Day.

Today’s highlight in history:
On Feb. 2, 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.

On this date:
In 1536, the Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.

In 1653, New Amsterdam — now New York City — was incorporated.

In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, was signed.

In 1870, the “Cardiff Giant,” supposedly the petrified remains of a human discovered in Cardiff, N.Y., was revealed to be nothing more than carved gypsum.

In 1876, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was formed in New York.

In 1882, Irish poet and novelist James Joyce was born near Dublin.

In 1897, fire destroyed the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg. (A new statehouse was dedicated on the same site nine years later.)

In 1945, President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill departed Malta for the summit in Yalta with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

In 1971, Idi Amin assumed power in Uganda, following a coup that ousted President Milton Obote.

In 1996, dancer, actor and choreographer Gene Kelly died at his Beverly Hills, Calif., home; he was 83.

Ten years ago: President Clinton nominated Henry Foster Jr. to succeed fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders; however, Foster’s nomination was later defeated in the Senate. The leaders of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians held an unprecedented summit in Cairo to try to revive the Mideast peace process.

Five years ago: Searchers recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the wreckage of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 in the Pacific Ocean, off the California coast.

One year ago: President Bush unveiled a $2.4 trillion budget featuring a record deficit, as well as big increases for defense and homeland security. Deadly ricin was discovered in offices used by Senate majority leader Bill Frist. Israel killed a leader of Islamic Jihad and three other militants in a Gaza raid. An 11-story apartment building collapsed in Konya, Turkey, killing 92 people.

Today’s birthdays: Actress Elaine Stritch is 80. Actor Robert Mandan is 73. Comedian Tom Smothers is 68. Rock singer-guitarist Graham Nash is 63. Actor Bo Hopkins is 63. Television executive Barry Diller is 63. Country singer Howard Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 59. Actress Farrah Fawcett is 58. Actor Brent Spiner is 56. Rock musician Ross Valory (Journey) is 56. Model Christie Brinkley is 51. Actor Michael Talbott is 50. Actress Kim Zimmer is 50. Rock musician Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) is 39. Rock musician Ben Mize (Counting Crows) is 34. Rapper T-Mo is 33. Actress Lori Beth Denberg is 29. Singer Shakira is 28.

Thought for today: “Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” — Bussy-Rabutin, French soldier and writer (1618-1693).