Today in History

Today is Friday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2019. There are 326 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Feb. 8, 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

On this date:

In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in the Virginia Colony.

In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, ended in victory for Union forces led by Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.

In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War, a conflict over control of Manchuria and Korea, began as Japanese forces attacked Port Arthur.

In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

In 1922, President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.

In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her accession to the British throne following the death of her father, King George VI.

In 1965, Eastern Air Lines Flight 663, a DC-7, crashed shortly after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport; all 84 people on board were killed. The Supremes’ record “Stop! In the Name of Love!” was released by Motown.

In 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation between demonstrators and highway patrolmen at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg in the wake of protests over a whites-only bowling alley. The science-fiction film “Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, had its world premiere in New York (it went into general release the following April.)

In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.

In 1992, the XVI Olympic Winter Games opened in Albertville, France.

In 1993, General Motors sued NBC, alleging that “Dateline NBC” had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that 1973-to-87 GM pickups were prone to fires in side impact crashes. (NBC settled the lawsuit the following day and apologized for its “unscientific demonstration.”)

Today’s Birthdays: Composer-conductor John Williams is 87. Newscaster Ted Koppel is 79. Actor Nick Nolte is 78. Comedian Robert Klein is 77. Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 76. Singer Ron Tyson is 71. Actress Brooke Adams is 70. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 66. Author John Grisham is 64. Retired NBA All-Star and College Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Johnson is 63. Actor Henry Czerny is 60. The former president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, is 59. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 58. Rock singer-musician Sammy Llanas (The BoDeans) is 58.

Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson is 57. Movie producer Toby Emmerich is 56. Actress Missy Yager is 51. Actress Mary McCormack is 50. Rock musician Keith Nelson is 50. Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning is 49. Actress Susan Misner is 48. Dance musician Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk) is 45. Actor Seth Green is 45. Actor Josh Morrow is 45. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 42. Actor William Jackson Harper is 39. Actor Jim Parrack is 38. Folk singer-musician Joey Ryan (Milk Carton Kids) is 37. Actress-comedian Cecily Strong is 35. Rock musician Jeremy Davis is 34. Hip-hop artist Anderson.Paak is 33. Rock musician Max Grahn (Carolina Liar) is 31. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 31. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is 29. Actress Karle Warren is 27.