Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 7, 1964, The Beatles began their first American tour as they arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where they cracked wise during a chaotic press conference while thousands of their fans were jammed inside the terminal.
On this date:
In 1795, the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dealing with states' sovereign immunity, was ratified.
In 1812, author Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England.
In 1857, a French court acquitted author Gustave Flaubert of obscenity for his serialized novel "Madame Bovary."
In 1904, a fire began in Baltimore that raged for about 30 hours and destroyed more than 1,500 buildings.
In 1914, Keystone Film Co. released the silent short comedy "Kid Auto Races at Venice," Charles Chaplin's second film, and the first in which he plays the Little Tramp.
In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized a flag for the office of the vice president.
In 1944, Bing Crosby and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded "Swinging on a Star" for Decca Records in Los Angeles.
In 1948, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Army chief of staff; he was succeeded by Gen. Omar Bradley.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba.
In 1974, the island nation of Grenada won independence from Britain.
In 1984, space shuttle Challenger astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart went on the first untethered space walk, which lasted nearly six hours.
In 1999, Jordan's King Hussein died of cancer at age 63; he was succeeded by his eldest son, Abdullah.
Ten years ago: John Kerry won the Washington state and Michigan Democratic presidential primaries.
Five years ago: A miles-wide section of ice in Lake Erie broke away from the Ohio shoreline, trapping about 135 fishermen, some for as long as four hours before they could be rescued (one man fell into the water and later died of an apparent heart attack). Walls of flame roared across southeastern Australia, leveling scores of homes, forests and farmland in the country's worst wildfire disaster in a quarter century. Bolivia's new constitution took effect. Death claimed jazz singer Blossom Dearie at age 84, country singer Molly Bee at age 69, and Jack Cover, inventor of the Taser stun gun, at age 88.
One year ago: CIA Director-designate John Brennan strongly defended anti-terror attacks by unmanned drones under close questioning at a protest-disrupted confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Today's Birthdays: Author Gay Talese is 82. Former Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., is 79. Actor Miguel Ferrer is 59. Reggae musician Brian Travers (UB40) is 55. Comedy writer Robert Smigel is 54. Actor James Spader is 54. Country singer Garth Brooks is 52. Rock musician David Bryan (Bon Jovi) is 52. Actor-comedian Eddie Izzard is 52. Actor-comedian Chris Rock is 49. Actor Jason Gedrick is 47. Actress Essence Atkins is 42. Rock singer-musician Wes Borland is 39. Rock musician Tom Blankenship (My Morning Jacket) is 36. Actor Ashton Kutcher is 36. Actress Tina Majorino is 29. Actress Deborah Ann Woll (TV: "True Blood") is 29.
Thought for Today: "Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live." — Gustave Flaubert, French author (1821-1880).