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February 2, 2014

Today in History for Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014

-- — Highlight in History

On Feb. 2, 1914, Charles Chaplin made his movie debut as the comedy short “Making a Living” was released by Keystone Film Co. (Five days later, Keystone released “Kid Auto Races at Venice,” in which Chaplin first played his famous Tramp character.)

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, Pa., held its first Groundhog Day festival.

In 1914, the musical “Shameen Dhu,” featuring the song “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral,” opened on Broadway.

In 1922, the James Joyce novel “Ulysses” was published in Paris on Joyce’s 40th birthday.

In 1943, the remainder of German forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.

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 1990, in a 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

President George W. Bush unveiled a $2.4 trillion budget featuring a record deficit, as well as big increases for defense and homeland security. Deadly ricin was discovered in offices used by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. An eleven-story apartment building collapsed in Konya, Turkey, killing 92 people.

Five years ago

Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as U.S. secretary of state. The Senate confirmed Eric Holder, 75-21, to be attorney general. President Barack Obama’s choice for health secretary, Tom Daschle, apologized for failing to pay more than $120,000 in taxes. (Daschle ended up withdrawing his nomination.) Gunmen abducted American U.N. worker John Solecki in Quetta, Pakistan, killing his driver. (Solecki was released unharmed two months later.) Moammar Gadhafi of Libya was elected leader of the African Union. Iran sent its first domestically made satellite, Omid (“hope”), into orbit.

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