Today is Sunday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2009. There are 326 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 8, 1968, three black 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.
On this date:
In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to assassinate her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
In 1837, the Senate selected the vice president of the United States, choosing Richard Mentor Johnson after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.
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 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 1974, the last three-man crew of the Skylab space station returned to Earth after spending 84 days in space.
In 1978, the deliberations of the Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time as members opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties.
In 1989, 144 people were killed when an Independent Air Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.
In 2007, model, actress and tabloid sensation Anna Nicole Smith died in Florida at age 39 of an accidental drug overdose.
Ten years ago: The Senate heard closing arguments at President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, with House prosecutors challenging senators to "cleanse the office" and the president's attorney dismissing the case as one of partisan retribution. Jordan's King Hussein was laid to rest during a five-hour funeral in Amman attended by dignitaries from all over the world, including Clinton and former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush denied marching America into war under false pretenses and said in an interview 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;" Beyonce took home five trophies.
One year ago: Scotland Yard investigators concluded that Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto died on Dec. 27, 2007, as the result of a bomb blast, not a gunshot. Latina Williams, a 23-year-old nursing student at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge, shot and killed two other students and then herself. Novelist Phyllis A. Whitney died in Charlottesville, Va., at age 104.
Today's Birthdays: Composer-conductor John Williams is 77. Former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel is 69. Actor Nick Nolte is 68. Comedian Robert Klein is 67. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 66. Country singer Dan Seals is 61. Singer Ron Tyson is 61. Actress Brooke Adams is 60. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 56. Author John Grisham is 54. Actor Henry Czerny is 50. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 48. Rock singer-musician Sammy LLanas (The BoDeans) is 48. Actor Gary Coleman is 41. Actress Mary McCormack is 40. Actor Seth Green is 35. Actor Josh Morrow is 35. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 32. Rock musician Max Grahn (Carolina Liar) is 21. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 21. Actress Karle Warren ("Judging Amy") is 17.
Thought for Today: "I wish to live because life has with it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love." - Lorraine Hansberry, American author and dramatist (1930-1965).