On Feb. 10, 1962, the Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States.
In 1840, Britain’s Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
In 1841, Upper Canada and Lower Canada were proclaimed united under an Act of Union passed by the British Parliament.
In 1863, showman P.T. Barnum staged the wedding of General Tom Thumb and Mercy Lavinia Warren — both little persons — in New York City.
In 1936, Nazi Germany’s Reichstag passed a law investing the Gestapo secret police with absolute authority, exempt from any legal review.
In 1949, Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman” opened at Broadway’s Morosco Theater with Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman.
In 1959, a major tornado tore through the St. Louis area, killing 21 people and causing heavy damage.
In 1967, the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dealing with presidential disability and succession, was ratified as Minnesota and Nevada adopted it.
In 1968, U.S. figure skater Peggy Fleming, 19, won America’s only gold medal of the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France, in the ladies’ singles event. (Gabriele Seyfert of East Germany earned the silver medal, Hana Maskova of Czechoslovakia, the bronze.)
In 1981, eight people were killed when a fire set by a busboy broke out at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino.
In 1992, boxer Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America contestant. (Tyson served three years in prison.) Author Alex Haley died in Seattle at age 70.
In 2004, the White House, trying to end doubts about President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era military service, released documents it said proved he had met his requirements in the Texas Air National Guard. Democrat John Kerry won the Virginia and Tennessee primaries.
In 2005, playwright Arthur Miller died in Roxbury, Connecticut, at age 89 on the 56th anniversary of the Broadway opening of “Death of a Salesman.”
Ten years ago: The Senate approved President Barack Obama’s giant economic stimulus measure. U.S. and Russian communication satellites collided in the first-ever crash of its kind in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima Party narrowly won the most seats in Israel’s 120-member parliament. (However, it was Benjamin Netanyahu who ended up forming the new Israeli government.)
Five years ago: In Iraq, an instructor teaching his militant recruits how to make car bombs accidentally set off explosives in his demonstration, killing 21 of them in a blast that alerted authorities to the existence of a training camp north of Baghdad. Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won Olympic gold at Sochi in the super-combined less than a second ahead of both silver medalist Nicole Hosp of Austria and Julia Mancuso of the United States, who won the bronze. Actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black, 85, died at her home near San Francisco.
One year ago: Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes in Syria that were ordered after Israel intercepted an Iranian drone that had infiltrated its airspace; it was the most serious Israeli engagement in Syria since the war erupted there almost seven years earlier. In a tweet that appeared to take aim at the rising #MeToo movement, President Donald Trump wrote that “lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation;” the tweet came in the aftermath of the resignation of a pivotal aide, Rob Porter, who’d been accused of abusing two ex-wives. The Korean women’s hockey team, the first in Olympic history to combine players from the North and South, lost its debut game, 8-0, to Switzerland before a cheering, chanting sellout crowd at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Today’s Birthdays: Opera singer Leontyne Price is 92. Actor Robert Wagner is 89. Rock musician Don Wilson (The Ventures) is 86. Singer Roberta Flack is 82. Singer Jimmy Merchant (Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) is 79. Movie director Michael Apted is 78. Rock musician Bob Spalding (The Ventures) is 72. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Mark Spitz is 69. Walt Disney Co. chairman and chief executive Robert Iger is 68. Rock musician and composer Cory Lerios (Pablo Cruise) is 68. World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman is 64. Actress Kathleen Beller is 63. Country singer Lionel Cartwright is 59. Movie director Alexander Payne is 58. ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos is 58. Retired MLB All-Star Lenny Dykstra is 56. Political commentator Glenn Beck is 55. Actress Laura Dern is 52. Writer-producer-director Vince Gilligan (TV: “Breaking Bad”) is 52. Country singer Dude Mowrey is 47. Actor Jason Olive is 47. Actress Elizabeth Banks is 45. Pop singer Rosanna Taverez (Eden’s Crush) is 42. Actress Julia Pace Mitchell is 41. Reggaeton singer Don Omar is 41. Country musician Jeremy Baxter (Carolina Rain) is 39. Actress Uzo Aduba is 38. Actress Stephanie Beatriz is 38. Actor Max Brown is 38. Actor Barry Sloane is 38. Rock singer Eric Dill is 37. Rock musician Ben Romans (The Click Five) is 37. Actor Trevante Rhodes is 29. Actress Emma Roberts is 28. Actress Makenzie Vega is 25. Actress Chloe Grace Moretz is 22. Actress Yara Shahidi is 19.
Thought for Today: “Morality is moral only when it is voluntary.” — Lincoln Steffens, American journalist (1866-1936).