Wednesday, Feb. 6, is the 37th day of 2013. There are 328 days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor is 96. Actor Patrick Macnee is 91. Actor Rip Torn is 82. Actress Mamie Van Doren is 82. Actor Mike Farrell is 74. Former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw is 73. Singer Fabian is 70. Actress Gayle Hunnicutt is 70. Actor Michael Tucker is 69. Producer-director Jim Sheridan is 64. Singer Natalie Cole is 63. Actor Jon Walmsley is 57. Actress Kathy Najimy is 56. Musician Simon Phillips (Toto) is 56. Actor-director Robert Townsend is 56. Actor Barry Miller is 55. Actress Megan Gallagher is 53. Rock singer Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) is 51. Country singer Richie McDonald is 51. Singer Rick Astley is 47. Musician Tim Brown (Boo Radleys) is 44. Actor Brandon Hammond is 29. Actress Alice Greczyn is 27.
In 1778, the United States won official recognition from France with the signing of a Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
In 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the US Constitution.
In 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the US Senate.
In 1911, Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Ill.
In 1922, Cardinal Archille Ratti was elected pope; he took the name Pius XI.
In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the so-called ‘‘lame duck’’ amendment, was proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson.
In 1943, a Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape.
In 1952, Britain’s King George VI died at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England; he was succeeded as monarch by his daughter, who became Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral.
In 1973, Dixy Lee Ray was appointed by President Nixon to be the first woman to head the Atomic Energy Commission.
In 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind.
In 1993, tennis Hall of Famer and human rights advocate Arthur Ashe died in New York at age 49.
In 1998, President Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Pop music star Falco, who’d had a 1986 hit with ‘‘Rock Me Amadeus,’’ died in a traffic accident in the Dominican Republic; he was 40.
In 2003, edging closer to war, President George W. Bush declared ‘‘the game is over’’ for Saddam Hussein and urged skeptical allies to join in disarming Iraq. ABC’s ‘‘20/20’’ aired a British documentary, ‘‘Living With Michael Jackson,’’ in which the King of Pop revealed he sometimes let children sleep in his bed.
In 2008, at least 57 deaths were reported after two days of tornadoes that plowed across Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. The White House defended the use of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, saying it was legal — not torture as critics argued — and had saved American lives. The Phoenix Suns acquired Shaquille O’Neal in a stunning blockbuster deal that sent four-time All-Star Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat.
In 2012, the United States closed its embassy in Syria and Britain recalled its ambassador to Damascus in a new Western push to get President Bashar Assad to leave power and halt the murderous grind in Syria. Jeremy Lin scored a career-high 28 points in his first career start as the New York Knicks beat the Utah Jazz 99-88.