Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 1, 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they'd been refused service.
On this date:
In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)
In 1861, Texas voted to leave the Union at a Secession Convention in Austin.
In 1865, during the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman began the Carolinas Campaign as they invaded South Carolina. Abolitionist John S. Rock became the first black lawyer admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1896, Giacomo Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin.
In 1922, in one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries, movie director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles home; the killing has never been solved.
In 1943, one of America's most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.
In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam's police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.
In 1988, actress Heather O'Rourke, who'd co-starred in the 1982 movie "Poltergeist," died in San Diego at age 12.
In 1995, British rock performer Richey Edwards, 27, disappeared after last being seen in London; his fate has never been determined.
In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members.
Ten years ago: In his first case on the Supreme Court, new Justice Samuel Alito split with the court's conservatives, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection. French and German newspapers republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in what they called a defense of freedom of expression, sparking fresh anger from Muslims. United Airlines left bankruptcy after a painful restructuring that lasted more than three years.
Five years ago: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced he would not run for a new term in September elections but rejected protesters' demands he step down immediately and leave the country, vowing to die on Egypt's soil, after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million Egyptians staged their biggest protest to date calling on him to go.
One year ago: An interception at the goal line by rookie Malcom Butler preserved a 28-to-24 win by the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Stuart Whitman is 88. Folk singer Bob Shane (The Kingston Trio) is 82. Singer Don Everly is 79. Actor Garrett Morris is 79. Singer Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) is 79. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 77. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 75. Comedian-actor-director Terry Jones is 74. Political commentator Fred Barnes is 73. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is 72. Opera singer Carol Neblett is 70. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 66. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 65. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy is 62. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 60. Actor Linus Roache is 52. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 51. Country musician Dwayne Dupuy (Ricochet) is 51. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 51. Lisa Marie Presley is 48. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 48. Actor Brian Krause is 47. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 47. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 47. Actor Michael C. Hall is 45. Rock musician Ron Welty is 45. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 41. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 37. Country singer Julie Roberts is 37. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 34. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 33. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 30. Actress-singer Heather Morris (TV: "Glee") is 29. Actress and martial arts champion Ronda Rousey is 29. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 22.
Thought for Today: "It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn't know — and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything." — Joyce Cary, English author (1888-1957).