Today In 1943
By The Associated Press
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 7, 1943, the government abruptly announced that wartime rationing of shoes made of leather would go into effect in two days, limiting consumers to buying three pairs per person per year. (Rationing was lifted in October 1945.)
On this date:
In 1497, “The Bonfire of the Vanities” took place in Florence, Italy, as followers of Dominican friar Girolama Savonarola burned a huge pile of items considered to be sinful distractions, such as books, artwork, fine clothing and cosmetics.
In 1795, the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dealing with states’ sovereign immunity, was ratified.
In 1817, America’s first public gas street lamp was lighted in Baltimore at the corner of Market and Lemon streets (now East Baltimore and Holliday streets).
In 1857, a French court acquitted author Gustave Flaubert of obscenity for his serialized novel “Madame Bovary.”
In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized a flag for the office of the vice president.
In 1948, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as U.S. Army chief of staff; he was succeeded by Gen. Omar Bradley.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba.
In 1971, women in Switzerland gained the right to vote through a national referendum, 12 years after a previous attempt failed.
In 1984, space shuttle Challenger astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart went on the first untethered spacewalk, which lasted nearly six hours.
In 1986, the Philippines held a presidential election marred by charges of fraud against the incumbent, Ferdinand E. Marcos. Haitian President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier (doo-VAHL-yay’) fled his country, ending 28 years of his family’s rule.
In 1998, the Winter Olympic Games were opened in Nagano, Japan, by Emperor Akihito.
In 1999, Jordan’s King Hussein died of cancer at age 63; he was succeeded by his eldest son, Abdullah.
Five years ago: CIA Director-designate John Brennan strongly defended anti-terror attacks by unmanned drones under close questioning at a protest-disrupted confirmation hearing held by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Thought for Today: “Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live.” — Gustave Flaubert, French author (1821-1880).