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Today in history: Feb. 9

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2005. There are 325 days left in the year. This is Ash Wednesday. This is the Chinese New Year of the Rooster.

Today’s highlight in history:
On Feb. 9, 1943, the World War II battle of Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific ended with an American 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, the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis president and Alexander H. Stephens vice president.

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

In 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, W.Va., Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., charged 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 Apollo 14 spacecraft 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.

In 2002, Britain’s Princess Margaret died in London at age 71.

Ten years ago: Former Sen. J. William Fulbright died in Washington at age 89.

Five years ago: Hackers stepped up their “denial of service” attacks on popular Internet sites, zeroing in on such targets as ETrade and ZDNet, inconveniencing millions of Web users and unnerving Wall Street. Boeing Co. engineers and technical workers began a 40-day strike.

One year ago: President Bush and Democratic front-runner John Kerry sparred over the president’s economic leadership, while Kerry’s rivals sought to slow his brisk pace. Anti-government rebels took control of nearly a dozen towns in western Haiti as the death toll in the violent uprising rose to at least 40.

Today’s birthdays: Actress Kathryn Grayson is 83. Television journalist Roger Mudd is 77. Actress Janet Suzman is 66. Actress-politician Sheila James Kuehl (“The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 64. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 63. Actor Joe Pesci is 62. Singer Barbara Lewis is 62. Author Alice Walker is 61. Actress Mia Farrow is 60. Singer Joe Ely is 58. Actress Judith Light is 56. R&B musician Dennis “DT” Thomas (Kool & the Gang) is 54. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 50. Country singer Travis Tritt is 42. Actress Julie Warner is 40. Country singer Danni Leigh is 35. Actor Jason George is 33. Actor David Gallagher is 20. Actress Marina Malota is 17. Actress Camille Winbush (“The Bernie Mac Show”) is 15.

Thought for today: “Modesty is the conscience of the body.” — Honore de Balzac, French author and dramatist (1799-1850).