Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 8, 1974, the last three-man crew of the Skylab space station, consisting of Jerry Carr, Bill Pogue and Edward Gibson, returned to Earth after spending 84 days in space. (Skylab remained in orbit another five years before plunging to its destruction in 1979.)
On this date:
In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Roanoke Island, N.C, ended in victory for Union forces led by Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.
In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War, a conflict over control of Manchuria and Korea, began as Japanese forces attacked Port Arthur.
In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.
In 1922, President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.
In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.
In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces began invading Singapore, which fell a week later.
In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her accession to the British throne following the death of her father, King George VI.
In 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, S.C., during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley.
In 1973, Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal, including its chairman, Sen. Sam J. Ervin, D-N.C.
In 1984, the Winter Olympics opened in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush denied marching America into war against Iraq under false pretenses and said in a taped interview broadcast on NBC's "Meet the Press" the U.S.-led invasion was necessary because Saddam Hussein could have developed a nuclear weapon. The National Football Conference won the Pro Bowl, defeating the American Conference 55-52. In the National Hockey League All-Star Game, the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference, 6-4. At the Grammy Awards, rap funksters OutKast won album of the year for "Speakerboxxx-The Love Below" and Beyonce took home a record-tying five trophies.
Five years ago: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss won five Grammys, including album of the year, for "Raising Sand." R&B singer Chris Brown was arrested on suspicion of making a criminal threat (he was later sentenced to five years of probation for beating his longtime girlfriend, singer Rihanna). The NFC rallied to a 30-21 victory over the AFC in the Pro Bowl.
One year ago: A massive storm packing hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions began sweeping through the Northeast, dumping nearly 2 feet of snow on New England and knocking out power to more than a half a million customers.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Jack Larson (TV: "Adventures of Superman") is 86. Composer-conductor John Williams is 82. Newscaster Ted Koppel is 74. Actor Nick Nolte is 73. Comedian Robert Klein is 72. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 71. Singer Ron Tyson is 66. Actress Brooke Adams is 65. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 61. Author John Grisham is 59. Actor Henry Czerny is 55. The president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, is 54. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 53. Rock singer-musician Sammy Llanas (The BoDeans) is 53. Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson is 52. Actress Mary McCormack is 45. Rock musician Keith Nelson (Buckcherry) is 45. Retired NBA player Alonzo Mourning is 44. Dance musician Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk) is 40. Actor Seth Green is 40. Actor Josh Morrow is 40. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 37. Rock musician Jeremy Davis (Paramore) is 29. Rock musician Max Grahn (Carolina Liar) is 26. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 26. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is 24. Actress Karle Warren is 22.
Thought for Today: "Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year." — Franklin P. Adams, American journalist (1881-1960).