Today is Saturday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2020. There are 334 days left in the year.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT IN HISTORY: On Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members: commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; payload commander Michael Anderson; mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli in space.
ON THIS DATE:
In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)
In 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.
In 1896, Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” premiered in Turin.
In 1942, during World War II, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.
In 1943, during World War II, one of America’s most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.
In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they’d been refused service.
In 1962, the Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was first published by Viking Press.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam’s police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured by news photographers. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
In 1979, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.
In 1982, “Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC.
In 1991, 34 people were killed when an arriving USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Ore., to racketeering for his part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in exchange for a 24-month sentence (he ended up serving six) and a $100,000 fine.
TEN YEARS AGO: President Barack Obama unveiled a multitrillion-dollar spending plan, pledging an intensified effort to combat high unemployment and asking Congress to quickly approve new job-creation efforts that would boost the deficit to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion.
FIVE YEARS AGO: An interception at the goal line by rookie Malcom Butler preserved a 28-to-24 win by the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.