Today in History
Today is Sunday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2014. There are 332 days left in the year. This is Groundhog Day.
On this date:
In 1536, present-day Buenos Aires, Argentina, 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-American War, was signed.
In 1887, Punxsutawney, Pa., held its first Groundhog Day festival.
In 1914, the musical "Shameen Dhu," featuring the song "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral," opened on Broadway.
In 1922, the James Joyce novel "Ulysses" was published in Paris on Joyce's 40th birthday.
In 1934, the Export-Import Bank of the United States had its beginnings as the Export-Import Bank of Washington was established.
In 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.
In 1964, Ranger 6, a lunar probe launched by NASA, crashed onto the surface of the moon as planned, but failed to send back any TV images.
In 1971, Idi Amin, having seized power in Uganda, proclaimed himself president.
In 1990, in a dramatic concession to South Africa's black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
Thought for Today: "It was naive of the 19th century optimists to expect paradise from technology -- and it is equally naive of the 20th century pessimists to make technology the scapegoat for such old shortcomings as man's blindness, cruelty, immaturity, greed and sinful pride." -- Peter F. Drucker, Austrian-born American business management consultant (1909-2005).
On February second, 1956, Atlantic Records signed The Coasters.
In 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper made what ended up being their last public appearances at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. They died in a plane crash the next day.
In 1973, the NBC rock show "Midnight Special" made its debut, with Helen Reddy as the host.
In 1974, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer sustained minor cuts when a rigged piano exploded prematurely during a concert in San Francisco.
In 1979, former Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose at age 21. The death was ruled accidental.
In 1993, a judge in New York dropped gun charges against singer Harry Connick Junior. He had been arrested when he tried to bring a pistol on board a flight at Kennedy Airport.
Also in 1993, Willie Nelson and the Internal Revenue Service reached a settlement on his estimated $17 million tax debt.
In 1996, entertainer Gene Kelly died of complications from strokes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 83.