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February 6, 2013

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2013. There are 328 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 6, 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

On this date:

  • In 1778, the United States won official recognition from France with the signing of a Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
  • In 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate.
  • In 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Ill.
  • In 1922, Cardinal Archille Ratti was elected pope; he took the name Pius XI.
  • In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the so-called "lame duck" amendment, was proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson.
  • In 1943, a Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape.
  • In 1952, Britain's King George VI died at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England; he was succeeded as monarch by his daughter, who became Queen Elizabeth II.
  • In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral.
  • In 1973, Dixy Lee Ray was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be the first woman to head the Atomic Energy Commission.
  • In 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind.
  • In 1993, tennis Hall-of-Famer and human rights advocate Arthur Ashe died in New York at age 49.
  • In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Pop music star Falco, who'd had a 1986 hit with "Rock Me Amadeus," died in a traffic accident in the Dominican Republic; he was 40.

Ten years ago: Edging closer to war, President George W. Bush declared "the game is over" for Saddam Hussein and urged skeptical allies to join in disarming Iraq. ABC's "20/20" aired a British documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson," in which the King of Pop revealed he sometimes let children sleep in his bed.

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