TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Thursday, Feb. 7, the 38th day of 2013. There are 327 days left in the year.
On Feb. 7, 1943, during World War II, the government abruptly announced that rationing of shoes made with 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 1795, the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dealing with states' sovereign immunity, was ratified.
In 1904, a fire began in Baltimore that raged for about 30 hours and destroyed more than 1,500 buildings.
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 1983, Elizabeth H. Dole was sworn in as the first female secretary of transportation by the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
In 1984, space shuttle Challenger astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart went on the first untethered space walk, which lasted nearly six hours.
Ten years ago: Tom Christerson, the longest-living recipient of a fully self-contained artificial heart, died at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., after 512 days on the AbioCor; he was 71.
Five years ago: John McCain effectively sealed the Republican presidential nomination as chief rival Mitt Romney suspended his campaign. Fourteen refinery workers were killed in a sugar dust explosion in Port Wentworth, Ga. A gunman opened fire at a Kirkwood, Mo., council meeting, killing three city officials and two police officers before being fatally shot by law enforcement.
One year ago: In a setback for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum swept GOP caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and a non-binding primary in Missouri.
Today's birthdays: Author Gay Talese is 81. Actor Miguel Ferrer is 58. Reggae musician Brian Travers (UB40) is 54. Actor James Spader is 53. Country singer Garth Brooks is 51. Rock musician David Bryan (Bon Jovi) is 51. Actor-comedian Eddie Izzard is 51. Actor-comedian Chris Rock is 48. Actor Jason Gedrick is 46. Actress Essence Atkins is 41. Rock singer-musician Wes Borland is 38. Rock musician Tom Blankenship (My Morning Jacket) is 35. Actor Ashton Kutcher is 35. Actress Tina Majorino is 28.
Thought for today: "A cruel story runs on wheels, and every hand oils the wheels as they run." -- Ouida (Marie Louise de la Ramee), English writer (1839-1908)