Today's Highlight in History: On Feb. 6, 2003, edging closer to war, President George W. Bush declared "the game is over" for Saddam Hussein and urged skeptical allies to join in disarming Iraq.
On this date:
In 1756, America's third vice president, Aaron Burr, was born in Newark, N.J.
In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, the United States won official recognition and military support from France with the signing of a Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
In 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1862, during the Civil War, Fort Henry in Tennessee fell to Union forces.
In 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois.
In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the so-called "lame duck" amendment, was proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson.
In 1952, Britain's King George VI, 56, died at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England; he was succeeded as monarch by his 25-year-old elder daughter, who became Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1995, the space shuttle Discovery flew to within 37 feet of the Russian space station Mir in the first rendezvous of its kind in two decades.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Pop music star Falco, who had a 1986 hit with "Rock Me Amadeus," died in a traffic accident in the Dominican Republic; he was 40. Carl Wilson, a founding member of The Beach Boys, died in Los Angeles at age 51.
In 2005, The New England Patriots won their third NFL championship in four years, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX (39) by a score of 24-21.
In 2008, the Bush White House defended the use of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, saying it was legal — not torture as critics argued — and had saved American lives. The Phoenix Suns acquired Shaquille O'Neal in a stunning blockbuster deal that sent four-time All-Star Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat.
In 2014, Jay Leno said goodbye to NBC's "The Tonight Show" for the second time, making way for Jimmy Fallon to take over as host.
Ten years ago: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, delivering the keynote address at the first national convention of the tea party coalition in Nashville, declared, "America is ready for another revolution." American missionary Robert Park headed home after North Korea released him from six weeks' detention for crossing its border on Christmas Day to protest religious suppression in the totalitarian regime. Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith led a class of seven new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Five years ago: A message purportedly from the Islamic State group said an American hostage, 26-year-old aid worker Kayla Mueller (MYOO'-lur), had been killed in a Jordanian airstrike in Syria. Jordan dismissed the claim as "criminal propaganda." (Her death was later confirmed by U.S. officials.) President Barack Obama warned against American "overreach" as he outlined a new national security blueprint for his last two years in office; Obama said the threat of terrorism against the homeland had "diminished, but still persists" and vowed to degrade extremist groups using counterterrorism operations and global coalitions, not large-scale, American-led ground wars.
One year ago: The Italian fashion designer Gucci apologized for marketing a black wool sweater with an oversize collar bearing what looked like giant red lips; critics said the garment resembled blackface. A California woman went public with a sexual assault accusation against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax; the state's governor, Ralph Northam, was already battling to hang on to his office amid an uproar over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Mamie Van Doren is 89. Actor Mike Farrell is 81. Former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw is 80. Singer Fabian is 77. Actress Gayle Hunnicutt is 77. Actor Michael Tucker is 75. Producer-director-writer Jim Sheridan is 71. Actor Jon Walmsley is 64. Actress Kathy Najimy is 63. Rock musician Simon Phillips (Toto) is 63. Actor-director Robert Townsend is 63. Actor Barry Miller is 62. Actress Megan Gallagher is 60. Rock singer Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses) is 58. Country singer Richie McDonald is 58. Singer Rick Astley is 54. Rock musician Tim Brown (Boo Radleys) is 51. "Good Morning America" co-host Amy Robach is 47. Actor Josh Stewart is 43. Actor Ben Lawson is 40. Actor Brandon Hammond is 36. Actress Crystal Reed (TV: "Teen Wolf") is 35. Actress Alice Greczyn (GREH'-chihn) is 34. Actress Anna Diop is 32. Rhythm and blues singer/actress Tinashe is 27.
Thought for Today: "Life is just one grand sweet song, so start the music." — President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).