Today is Saturday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2013. There are 332 days left in the year. This is Groundhog Day.
Highlight in History
On Feb. 2, 1913, New York City’s rebuilt Grand Central Terminal officially opened to the public at one minute past midnight.
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 1870, the “Cardiff Giant,” supposedly the petrified remains of a human discovered in Cardiff, N.Y., was revealed to be nothing more than carved gypsum.
In 1882, Irish poet and novelist James Joyce was born near Dublin.
In 1887, Punxsutawney, Pa., held its first Groundhog Day festival.
In 1912, Frederick R. Law parachuted from the torch of the Statue of Liberty in a stunt filmed by Pathe (PA’-thay) News.
In 1922, the James Joyce novel “Ulysses” was published in Paris on Joyce’s 40th birthday.
In 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.
In 1961, hijackers of a Portuguese ocean liner, the Santa Maria, allowed the passengers and crew to disembark in Brazil, a week and a-half after seizing the ship.
In 1971, Idi Amin, having seized power in Uganda, proclaimed himself president.
In 1988, in a speech the broadcast television networks declined to carry live, President Ronald Reagan pressed his case for aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.
Ten years ago
The search continued for pieces of the space shuttle Columbia, a day after the spacecraft disintegrated during re-entry over Texas, killing all seven astronauts. A hotel fire in northeastern China killed some three dozen people. An explosion destroyed a bank building in Lagos, Nigeria, killing at least 46 people. The American Football Conference won the Pro Bowl, defeating the National Football Conference 45-20.
Five years ago
A gunman killed five women at a Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park, Ill., in an apparent botched robbery attempt (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 in Washington, D.C., at age 98. Actor Barry Morse died in London at age 89.
One year ago
Egyptian security forces clashed with stone-throwing protesters enraged by the failure of police to prevent a soccer riot that killed 74 people.