Today is Feb. 6. On this date in:
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.
The Senate ratified a peace treaty between the U.S. and Spain.
Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois.
Cardinal Archille Ratti was elected pope; he took the name Pius XI.
The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the so-called lame duck amendment, was proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson.
A Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape.
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.
British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on takeoff from Munich, West Germany, killing 23 of the 44 people on board, including members of the Manchester United football (soccer) team.
Dixy Lee Ray was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be the first woman to head the Atomic Energy Commission.
Wall Street Journal reporter Gerald Seib was released after six days of detention by Iran, accused of being a spy for Israel; Iran said the detention was a result of misunderstandings.
Sixteen people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Indiana.
Tennis star Arthur Ashe, the only African American man to win singles titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open, died from AIDS-related pneumonia.
President Bill Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
ABC’s “20/20” aired a British documentary, “Living With Michael Jackson,” in which the King of Pop revealed he sometimes let children sleep in his bed.
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.
Jay Leno said goodbye to NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the second time, making way for Jimmy Fallon to take over as host.