On this day - February 2
Today is Thursday, February 2, the 33rd day of 2012. There 333 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1535 - Argentine city of Buenos Aires is founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
1653 - New Amsterdam - now New York City - with a population of 800, gains a city charter from the Dutch.
1797 - Mantua, Italy, surrenders to the French.
1808 - French force occupies Rome after Pope Pius VII refuses to recognize Kingdom of Naples and to join alliance against Britain.
1848 - Mexico signs the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending a US invasion and ceding Texas, New Mexico and California to the United States, and receives $15m in return.
1872 - Holland sells trading posts on African Gold Coast to Britain.
1878 - Greece declares war on Turkey.
1905 - Insurrection breaks out in Welle District of Belgian Congo.
1919 - Monarchy is proclaimed in Portugal.
1924 - Caliphate is abolished by Turkey's National Assembly.
1943 - German troops surrender to Russians in Stalingrad after losing 200,000 men.
1953 - United States announces that it no longer will block Chinese Nationalist raids against mainland China.
1971 - Idi Amin assumes power in Uganda following a coup that ousted President Milton Obote.
1974 - Khmer Rouge bombard Vietnamese city of Phnom Penh, killing 17 people.
1975 - Ethiopia's military government orders bombers, armored units and troops into operations against guerrillas in Eritrea Province.
1979 - After 14 years in exile, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns from Paris and becomes the de facto leader of Iran.
1980 - Reports surface that the FBI had conducted a sting operation targeting members of US Congress using phony Arab businessmen in what became known as "Abscam," a codename protested by Arab-Americans.
1990 - FW de Klerk lifts ban on African National Congress and promises to release political prisoner Nelson Mandela.
1991 - An earthquake jolts Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing at least 109 people and injuring more than 350.
1992 - Serbian officials and a Serb leader agree to support a UN peace plan for Croatia.
1993 - Rebels fire rockets on besieged Afghan capital of Kabul, killing 72 people.
1994 - US administration headed by President Bill Clinton praises Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams for showing an inclination to promote peace in Northern Ireland.
1995 - The leaders of Israel, Jordan, the PLO and Egypt sit down together for the first time in Cairo in an attempt to revive Israel's troubled accord with Palestinians.
1997 - Tamil separatist rebels attack two government military bases in Sri Lanka's northeast, killing at least 48 people.
1998 - A Cebu Pacific Air's DC-9 aircraft crashes in southern Philippines, killing all 104 people aboard.
1999 - Hugo Chavez takes office as Venezuela's president, seven years after he tried to overthrow the government in a military coup.
2000 - The two Libyan defendants charged in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, plead innocent at a pretrial hearing in a Scottish court. The blast killed 270 people.
2001 - Defiant in the face of possible impeachment, Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid says he will not quit despite a humiliating censure by parliament over two corruption scandals.
2002 - Riots between ethnic Hausa and Yoruba rocks Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, killing 100 people and forcing thousands to flee.
2004 - Australia's Defence Minister Robert Hill says his country doesn't need another inquiry into its intelligence on Iraq - despite the US decision to probe its own possible intelligence failures. Australia's Prime Minister John Howard was earlier on record saying that most of Australia's intelligence in the Iraq war came from Washington and London.
2006 - Foreign aid workers and journalists start leaving the Gaza Strip after masked Palestinian gunmen, incensed by cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in European newspapers, surround an EU office and threaten to attack Europeans.
2007 - A UN envoy unveils a long-awaited plan for Kosovo recommending internationally supervised statehood for the contested province. The plan is quickly rejected by Serbian President Boris Tadic.
2008 - Hundreds of rebels penetrate the capital of Chad, clashing with government troops and moving on the presidential palace after a three-day advance through the oil-producing central African nation.
2009 - Muammar Gaddafi of Libya is elected as leader of the African Union.
2010 - Twenty armed men block a road and try to hijack a convoy of food for earthquake victims in Haiti, but are driven off by police gunfire, UN officials said as they warn of security problems in a still-desperate nation.
2011 - A massive cyclone strikes northeastern Australia, tearing off roofs, toppling trees and cutting electricity to thousands - the most powerful storm to hit the area in nearly a century.
Eleanor (Nell) Gwyn, English actress (1651-1687); James Joyce, Irish author (1882-1941); Jussi Bjoerling, Swedish tenor (1911-1960); Abba Eban, Israeli ambassador, foreign minister and author (1915-2002); Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former French president (1926--); Graham Nash, British pop singer (1942--); Farrah Fawcett, US actress/model (1947-2009); Christie Brinkley, US model (1954--); Shakira, Latin singer (1977--).
Thought For Today:
Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always - Albert Schweitzer, German-born missionary and Nobel laureate (1875-1965).