Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 1, 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they'd been refused service.
On this date:
In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)
In 1861, Texas voted to leave the Union at a Secession Convention in Austin.
In 1893, the opera "Manon Lescaut," by Giacomo Puccini, premiered in Turin, Italy.
In 1896, Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin.
In 1922, in one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries, movie director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles home; the killing has never been solved.
In 1942, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.
In 1943, one of America's most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.
In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam's police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.
In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Ore., to racketeering for his part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in exchange for a 24-month sentence (he ended up serving six) and a $100,000 fine.
In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members.
Ten years ago: A stampede during the annual Muslim pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia, killed at least 251 worshippers. Twin suicide bombers killed 109 people at two Kurdish party offices in Irbil, Iraq. The New England Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three seasons with a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers; during the halftime show, Janet Jackson's breast became exposed because of a "wardrobe malfunction" that prompted a $550,000 FCC fine against CBS. (The fine was later thrown out by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — twice.) Roger Federer beat Marat Safin 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-2 to win the Australian Open.
Five years ago: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 to win Super Bowl XLIII (43). Rafael Nadal held off Roger Federer to win the Australian Open, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2. Olympic great Michael Phelps acknowledged "bad judgment" after a photo in a British newspaper showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe. Australian firefighter Dave Tree was photographed giving water to an injured koala found in burned brushland in Victoria state; the rescued female koala, dubbed "Sam," became an Internet sensation, but ended up being euthanized in Aug. 2009.
One year ago: A suicide bomber struck the American Embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard. Hillary Rodham Clinton formally resigned as America's 67th secretary of state, capping a four-year tenure that saw her shatter records for the number of countries visited. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 14,009.79, above the 14,000 mark for the first time in more than five years. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died at age 88.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Stuart Whitman is 86. Singer Don Everly is 77. Actor Garrett Morris is 77. Singer Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) is 77. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 75. Jazz musician Joe Sample is 75. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 73. Comedian Terry Jones is 72. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is 70. Opera singer Carol Neblett is 68. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 64. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 63. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy is 60. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 58. Actor Linus Roache is 50. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 49. Country musician Dwayne Dupuy (Ricochet) is 49. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 49. Lisa Marie Presley is 46. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 46. Actor Brian Krause is 45. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 45. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 45. Actor Michael C. Hall is 43. Rock musician Ron Welty is 43. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 39. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 35. Country singer Julie Roberts is 35. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 32. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 31. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 28. Actress-singer Heather Morris (TV: "Glee") is 27. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 20.
Thought for Today: "Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." — Eddie Rickenbacker, American war hero (1890-1973).