Today in History

Today is Thursday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2013. There are 320 days left in the year. This is Valentine's Day.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 14, 1963, Federico Fellini's art-house classic "8½," a movie about a movie director played by Marcello Mastroianni, was first released in Italy.

On this date:

In 1778, the American ship Ranger carried the recently adopted Stars and Stripes to a foreign port for the first time as it arrived in France.

In 1859, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.

In 1895, Oscar Wilde's final play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," opened at the St. James's Theatre in London.

In 1903, the Department of Commerce and Labor was established. (It was divided into separate departments of Commerce and Labor in 1913.)

In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union as President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation.

In 1913, labor leader Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil, Ind.; college football coach Woody Hayes was born in Clifton, Ohio; sports broadcaster Mel Allen was born in Birmingham, Ala.

In 1920, the League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago; its first president was Maud Wood Park.

In 1929, the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone's gang were gunned down.

In 1949, Israel's Knesset convened for the first time.

In 1979, Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.

In 1988, Broadway composer Frederick Loewe, who wrote the scores for "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot," died in Palm Springs, Calif., at age 86.

In 1989, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses," a novel condemned as blasphemous.

Ten years ago: In a dramatic showdown, major powers rebuffed the United States in the U.N. Security Council and insisted on more time for weapons inspections in Iraq. Earlier, chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told the Council his teams had not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "Dolly" the cloned sheep was put down after premature aging and disease marred her short, six-year existence and raised questions about the practicality of copying life.

Five years ago: A former student dressed in black walked onto the stage of a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University and opened fire on a packed science class; Steven Kazmierczak (kaz-MUR'-chehk) killed five students before committing suicide. Republican campaign dropout Mitt Romney endorsed John McCain for the party's presidential nomination.

One year ago: A fire broke out at the Comayagua farm prison in Honduras, killing 361 inmates. "Linsanity" continued as Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than a second to play to cap his finishing flurry of six straight points and New York rallied to beat the Raptors 90-87, extending its winning streak to six games. Malachy the Pekingese wobbled off with best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club in New York.

Today's Birthdays: TV personality Hugh Downs is 92. Actress-singer Florence Henderson is 79. Actor Andrew Prine is 77. Country singer Razzy Bailey is 74. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is 71. Jazz musician Maceo Parker is 70. Movie director Alan Parker is 69. Journalist Carl Bernstein is 69. Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is 66. TV personality Pat O'Brien is 65. Magician Teller (Penn and Teller) is 65. Cajun singer-musician Michael Doucet (doo-SAY') (Beausoleil) is 62. Actor Ken Wahl is 56. Opera singer Renee Fleming is 54. Actress Meg Tilly is 53. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is 53. Singer-producer Dwayne Wiggins is 52. Actor Enrico Colantoni is 50. Actor Zach Galligan is 49. Actor Valente Rodriguez is 49. Rock musician Ricky Wolking (The Nixons) is 47. Tennis player Manuela Maleeva is 46. Actor Simon Pegg is 43. Rock musician Kevin Baldes (Lit) is 41. Rock singer Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty) is 41. Actor Matt Barr is 29. Actress Tiffany Thornton is 27. Actor Freddie Highmore is 21.

Thought for Today: "I am living on hope and faith ... a pretty good diet when the mind will receive them." — Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet (1869-1935).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, Feb. 14)

Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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