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Today in History: February 10, Ron Brown becomes first Black chair of Democratic National Committee

Outgoing Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk Jr., left, holds up the hand of Ron Brown, the new chairman, after his appointment to the post in Washington, Feb. 10, 1989. (APPhoto/Barry Thumma)

Outgoing Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk Jr., left, holds up the hand of Ron Brown, the new chairman, after his appointment to the post in Washington, Feb. 10, 1989. (APPhoto/Barry Thumma)

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Today in History:

On Feb. 10, 1989, Ron Brown was elected the first Black chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

On this date:

In 1763, Britain, Spain and France signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian War in North America).

In 1840, Britain’s Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg (KOH’-borg) and Gotha (GAH’-thuh).

In 1936, Nazi Germany’s Reichstag passed a law investing the Gestapo secret police with absolute authority, exempt from any legal review.

In 1959, a major tornado tore through the St. Louis area, killing 21 people and causing heavy damage.

In 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 1967, the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dealing with presidential disability and succession, was ratified as Minnesota and Nevada adopted it.

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.)

In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov lost the first game of a match in Philadelphia against an IBM computer dubbed “Deep Blue.” (Kasparov ended up winning the match, 4 games to 2; he was defeated by Deep Blue in a rematch the following year.)

In 2005, North Korea boasted publicly for the first time that it possessed nuclear weapons.

In 2013, at the Grammy Awards, Fun. won song of the year for “We Are Young”; Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” picked up record of the year.

In 2015, NBC announced it was suspending Brian Williams as “Nightly News” anchor and managing editor for six months without pay for misleading the public about his experiences covering the Iraq War.

In 2020, U.S. health officials confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus among the hundreds of people who’d been evacuated from China to military bases in the United States; it was among the 13 confirmed cases in the U.S. Britain declared the new coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health” and said people with the virus could now be forcibly quarantined.

In 2021, Larry Flynt, who turned his raunchy Hustler magazine into an empire while fighting numerous First Amendment court battles, died at age 78 in Los Angeles.