Today is Friday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2009. There are 314 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
Two hundred years ago, on Feb. 20, 1809, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Peters, 9 U.S. 115, ruled that no state legislature could annul the judgments or determine the jurisdictions of federal courts.
On this date:
In 1790, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died.
In 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office.
In 1839, Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.
In 1934, a blizzard inundated the northeastern United States.
In 1938, Anthony Eden resigned as British foreign secretary following Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's decision to negotiate with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers in a series of attacks that became known as "Big Week."
In 1959, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 600 for the first time, at 602.21.
In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7.
In 1971, the National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered U.S. radio and TV stations off the air; some stations heeded the alert, which was not lifted for about 40 minutes.
In 2003, a fire broke out during a rock concert at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., killing 100 people and injuring about 200 others.
Ten years ago: The United States and five other nations agreed to extend by three days a deadline for a Kosovo peace agreement. (NATO had threatened airstrikes against the Serbs if they did not reach an agreement with Albanian insurgents.) Movie reviewer Gene Siskel died at a hospital outside Chicago at age 53.
Five years ago: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the state attorney general to take immediate legal steps to stop same-sex weddings in San Francisco. (On March 11, 2004, the California Supreme Court ordered an immediate halt to same-sex weddings in San Francisco.) Bypassing angry Senate Democrats, President George W. Bush installed Alabama Attorney General William Pryor as a U.S. appeals court judge in his second "recess appointment" of a controversial nominee in five weeks.
One year ago: A U.S. Navy cruiser blasted a disabled spy satellite with a pinpoint missile strike that achieved the main mission of exploding a tank of toxic fuel 130 miles above the Pacific Ocean. Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew returned to Earth, after delivering a new European lab to the international space station.
Today's Birthdays: Fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt is 85. Actor Sidney Poitier is 82. Actress Marj Dusay is 73. Jazz-soul singer Nancy Wilson is 72. Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is 68. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Phil Esposito is 67. Movie director Mike Leigh is 66. Actress Brenda Blethyn is 63. Actress Sandy Duncan is 63. Rock musician J. Geils is 63. Actor Peter Strauss is 62. Rock singer-musician-producer Walter Becker (Steely Dan) is 59. Country singer Kathie Baillie is 58. Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is 55. Actor Anthony Stewart Head is 55. Country singer Leland Martin is 52. Actor James Wilby is 51. Rock musician Sebastian Steinberg is 50. Comedian Joel Hodgson is 49. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley is 46. Rock musician Ian Brown (Stone Roses) is 46. Actor French Stewart is 45. Actor Ron Eldard is 44. Model Cindy Crawford is 43. Actor Andrew Shue is 42. Actress Lili Taylor is 42. Singer Brian Littrell is 34. Actress Lauren Ambrose is 31. Actor Jay Hernandez is 31. Actress Majandra Delfino is 28. Singer-musician Chris Thile is 28. Actor Jake Richardson is 24. Singer Rihanna is 21.
Thought for Today: "There is no hope of joy except in human relations." _ Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French author-aviator (1900-1944).
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