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    This day in history

    Thursday, Feb. 7, is the 38th day of 2013. There are 327 days left in the year.

    Today’s birthdays: Author Gay Talese is 81. Actor Miguel Ferrer is 58. Comedy writer Robert Smigel is 53. Actor James Spader is 53. Country singer Garth Brooks is 51. Actor-comedian Eddie Izzard is 51. Actor-comedian Chris Rock is 48. Actor Ashton Kutcher is 35.

    In 1795, the 11th Amendment to the US Constitution, dealing with states’ sovereign immunity, was ratified.

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    In 1812, author Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England.

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    In 1904, a fire began in Baltimore that raged for 30 hours and destroyed 1,500 buildings.

    In 1948, General Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Army chief of staff; he was succeeded by General Omar Bradley.

    In 1962, President Kennedy imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba.

    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.

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    In 2003, Tom Christerson, the longest-living recipient of a fully self-contained artificial heart, died at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., after 512 days on the AbioCor; he was 71.