Today is Tuesday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2012. There are 321 days left in the year. This is Valentine's Day.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union as President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation.
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 1862, Confederate President Jefferson Davis signed a proclamation making Arizona a Confederate territory.
In 1876, inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied separately for patents related to the telephone. (The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled Bell the rightful inventor.)
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 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 1962, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a televised tour of the White House in a videotaped special that was broadcast on CBS and NBC (and several nights later on ABC).
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 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: Launching his defense against war crimes charges, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic justified his actions as a "struggle against terrorism" and said he was a victim of twisted facts and "terrible fabrication." Enron executive Sherron Watkins told a House subcommittee it was common knowledge at the company that partnerships were used improperly to hide debt and inflate profits.
Five years ago: Challenged on the accuracy of U.S. intelligence, President George W. Bush told a news conference there was no doubt the Iranian government was providing armor-piercing weapons to kill American soldiers in Iraq, and he said he would fight any attempt by the Democratic-controlled Congress to cut off money for the war. ConAgra recalled all Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter made at a Georgia plant because of a salmonella outbreak.
One year ago: President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.7 trillion budget plan that would freeze or reduce some safety-net programs for the nation's poor but turn aside Republican demands for more drastic cuts to shrink the government to where it was before he took office. Protesters took to the streets in Iran, Bahrain and Yemen, inspired by the popular uprising in Egypt that brought down President Hosni Mubarak. The TV game show "Jeopardy!" began airing the first of three episodes pitting human players Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings against an IBM computer named "Watson." (Watson ended up winning with a cumulative total of $77,147 versus $24,000 for Jennings and $21,600 for Rutter.)
Today's Birthdays: TV personality Hugh Downs is 91. Actress-singer Florence Henderson is 78. Actor Andrew Prine is 76. Country singer Razzy Bailey is 73. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is 70. Jazz musician Maceo Parker is 69. Movie director Alan Parker is 68. Journalist Carl Bernstein is 68. Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is 65. TV personality Pat O'Brien is 64. Magician Teller (Penn and Teller) is 64. Cajun singer-musician Michael Doucet (Beausoleil) is 61. Actor Ken Wahl is 55. Opera singer Renee Fleming is 53. Actress Meg Tilly is 52. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is 52. Singer-producer Dwayne Wiggins is 51. Actor Enrico Colantoni is 49. Actor Zach Galligan is 48. Actor Valente Rodriguez is 48. Rock musician Ricky Wolking (The Nixons) is 46. Tennis player Manuela Maleeva is 45. Actor Simon Pegg is 42. Rock musician Kevin Baldes (Lit) is 40. Rock singer Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty) is 40. Actor Matt Barr is 28. Actress Tiffany Thornton is 26. Actor Freddie Highmore is 20.
Thought for Today: "We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love." -- R.D. Laing, Scottish psychiatrist (1927-1989).