A Blast from the Past

By United Press International   |   Feb. 4, 2003 at 3:00 AM

Today is Feb. 4.

It was on this date in 2002 that President Bush handed Congress a $2.13 trillion budget for the 2003 fiscal year. This included a 14 percent or $48 billion increase in defense spending.

On this date in 1789, George Washington, the commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, was unanimously elected the first president of the United States by all 69 presidential electors who cast their votes.

It was not better the second time around for O.J. Simpson. A year and a half after he had been acquitted on criminal charges in the slayings of his former wife and a friend, a jury in a civil case against him found him liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to the victims' families.

It was on this date in 1974 that Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, was abducted from her apartment in Berkeley, Calif. A group of self-styled "urban guerrillas" claimed responsibility. After she was found she was convicted of being a willing participant with her captors in a bank robbery months after her abduction. Today, she's married to a former police officer and is an author.

And a convention in Montgomery, Ala., attended by delegates from six states -- Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina -- elected Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy on this date in 1861. He was a one-term president.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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