By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Friday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2018. There are 332 days left in the year. This is Groundhog Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 2, 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.
On this date:
In 1536, present-day Buenos Aires, Argentina, was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
In 1653, New Amsterdam — now New York City — was incorporated.
In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War, was signed.
In 1887, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, held its first Groundhog Day festival.
In 1914, Charles Chaplin made his movie debut as the comedy short “Making a Living” was released by Keystone Film Co. The musical “Shameen Dhu,” featuring the song “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral,” opened on Broadway.
In 1925, the legendary Alaska Serum Run ended as the last of a series of dog mushers brought a life-saving treatment to Nome, the scene of a diphtheria epidemic, six days after the drug left Nenana.
In 1932, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra recorded “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” for Brunswick Records.
In 1959, public schools in Arlington and Norfolk, Virginia, were racially desegregated without incident.
In 1964, Ranger 6, a lunar probe launched by NASA, crashed onto the surface of the moon as planned, but failed to send back any TV images.
In 1971, Idi Amin, having seized power in Uganda, proclaimed himself president.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan pressed his case for additional aid to the Nicaraguan Contras a day ahead of a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives. (The three major broadcast TV networks declined to carry the speech, which was covered by CNN; a divided House voted to reject Reagan’s request for $36.2 million in new aid.)
In 1990, in a dramatic concession to South Africa’s black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
Ten years ago: A gunman killed five women at a Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park, Illinois, in an apparent botched robbery (the case remains unsolved). French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE’) and former supermodel Carla Bruni were married at the presidential Elysee Palace. Former Washington Redskins players Art Monk and Darrell Green were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with New England linebacker Andre Tippett, San Diego/San Francisco defensive end Fred Dean, Minnesota/Denver tackle Gary Zimmerman and senior committee choice, Kansas City cornerback Emmitt Thomas. Former Agriculture Secretary Earl L. Butz died at age 98.