This day in history

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, is the 44th day of 2013. There are 321 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Retired US Air Force Major General Charles E. ‘‘Chuck’’ Yeager is 90. Actress Kim Novak is 80. Actor George Segal is 79. Singer-musician Peter Tork (the Monkees) is 71. Actress Stockard Channing is 69. Talk show host Jerry Springer is 69. Singer Peter Gabriel is 63. Singer Henry Rollins is 52. Actor Neal McDonough is 47. Singer Robbie Williams is 39. Singer-songwriter Feist is 37. Actress Mena Suvari is 34.

In 1542, the fifth wife of England’s King Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, was executed for adultery.


In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was officially declared winner of the 1860 presidential election as electors cast their ballots.

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In 1920, the League of Nations recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.

In 1935, a jury in Flemington, N.J., found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-slaying of the son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. (Hauptmann was later executed.)

In 1943, during World War II, the US Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was officially established.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied planes began bombing the German city of Dresden. The Soviets captured Budapest from the Germans.


In 1960, France exploded its first atomic bomb in the Sahara Desert.

In 1972, the 11th Winter Olympics ended in Sapporo, Japan.

In 1980, the 13th Winter Olympics opened in Lake Placid, N.Y.

In 1988, the 15th Winter Olympics opened in Calgary, Alberta.

In 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, allied warplanes destroyed an underground shelter in Baghdad that had been identified as a military command center; Iraqi officials said 500 civilians were killed.


In 2003, Clara Harris, who had run down her husband, David, with her Mercedes after catching him with his mistress, was convicted by a Houston jury of murder despite her claim that she’d hit him accidentally while in a heartsick daze. (Harris was sentenced to 20 years in prison.) A US government plane carrying four Americans and a Colombian went down in rebel territory in southern Colombia; the executed bodies of an American and the Colombian were found in the wreckage (the other three Americans were held by rebels until they were rescued in July 2008).

In 2008, under oath and sometimes blistering questioning, seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens told Congress: ‘‘I have never taken steroids or HGH.’’

In 2012, President Obama unveiled a record $3.8 trillion election-year budget plan, calling for stimulus-style spending on roads and schools and tax hikes on the wealthy to help pay the costs. Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law a measure making Washington State the seventh to legalize same-sex marriage.