Today in 1943

By The Associated Press

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 1, 1943, during World War II, one of America’s most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.

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 1893, inventor Thomas Edison completed work on the world’s first motion picture studio, his “Black Maria,” in West Orange, New Jersey. The opera “Manon Lescaut,” by Giacomo Puccini (poo-CHEE’-nee), premiered in Turin, Italy.

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 1942, during World War II, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.

In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie (TRIHG’-vuh lee) was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

In 1959, men in Switzerland rejected giving women the right to vote by a more than 2-1 referendum margin. (Swiss women gained the right to vote in 1971.)

In 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.

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 in a scene captured by news photographers. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1979, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY’-nee) received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

In 1988, actress Heather O’Rourke, co-star of the 1982 movie “Poltergeist,” died in San Diego at age 12.

In 1993, Gary Bettman took office as the National Hockey League’s first commissioner, succeeding the NHL’s final president, Gil Stein.

Thought for Today: “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” — Eddie Rickenbacker, American war hero (1890-1973).