Author: Gordon Jones (Page 1 of 46)

This Day In History | January 15, 2023

On Jan. 15, 1559, England’s Queen Elizabeth I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

In 1892, the original rules of basketball, devised by James Naismith, were published for the first time in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the game originated.

In 1919, in Boston, a tank containing an estimated 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst, sending the dark syrup coursing through the city’s North End, killing 21 people.

In 1929, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta.

In 1943, work was completed on the Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of War (now Defense).

In 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League 35-10 in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, known retroactively as Super Bowl I.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam, citing progress in peace negotiations.

In 1974, the situation comedy “Happy Days” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1978, two students at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman, were slain in their sorority house. (Ted Bundy was later convicted of the crime and was sentenced to death. But he was executed for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl, which occurred 3 weeks after the sorority slayings.)

In 1981, the police drama series “Hill Street Blues” premiered on NBC.

In 1989, NATO, the Warsaw Pact and 12 other European countries adopted a human rights and security agreement in Vienna, Austria.

In 1993, a historic disarmament ceremony ended in Paris with the last of 125 countries signing a treaty banning chemical weapons.

In 2009, US Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger ditched his Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after a flock of birds disabled both engines; all 155 people aboard survived.

This Day In History | January 14, 2023

In Jan. 14, 1784, the United States ratified the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War; Britain followed suit in April 1784.

In 1914, Ford Motor Co. greatly improved its assembly-line operation by employing an endless chain to pull each chassis along at its Highland Park, Michigan, plant.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French General Charles de Gaulle opened a wartime conference in Casablanca.

In 1952, NBC’s “Today” show premiered, with Dave Garroway as the host, or “communicator.”

In 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married at San Francisco City Hall. (The marriage lasted about nine months.)

In 1963, George C. Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama with the pledge, “Segregation forever!” — a view Wallace later repudiated.

In 1964, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, in a brief televised address, thanked Americans for their condolences and messages of support following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, nearly two months earlier.

In 1967, the Sixties’ “Summer of Love” unofficially began with a “Human Be-In” involving tens of thousands of young people at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

In 1970, Diana Ross and the Supremes performed their last concert together, at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas.

In 1975, the House Internal Security Committee (formerly the House Un-American Activities Committee) was disbanded.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed an accord to stop aiming missiles at any nation; the leaders joined Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk in signing an accord to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine.

In 2010, President Barack Obama and the U.S. moved to take charge in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, dispatching thousands of troops along with tons of aid.

This Day In History | January 13, 2023

On Jan. 13, 1733, James Oglethorpe and some 120 English colonists arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, while en route to settle in present-day Georgia.

In 1794, President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. (The number of stripes was later reduced to the original 13.)

In 1898, Emile Zola’s famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, “J’accuse,” (zhah-KOOZ’), was published in Paris.

In 1941, a new law went into effect granting Puerto Ricans U.S. birthright citizenship. Novelist and poet James Joyce died in Zurich, Switzerland, less than a month before his 59th birthday.

In 1964, Roman Catholic Bishop Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE’-wah) (the future Pope John Paul II) was appointed Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, by Pope Paul VI.

In 1982, an Air Florida 737 crashed into Washington, D.C.’s 14th Street Bridge and fell into the Potomac River while trying to take off during a snowstorm, killing a total of 78 people, including four motorists on the bridge; four passengers and a flight attendant survived.

In 1987, West German police arrested Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a suspect in the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and the killing of a U.S. Navy diver who was on board. (Although convicted and sentenced to life, Hamadi was paroled by Germany in December 2005 and returned home to Lebanon.)

In 1990, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the nation’s first elected Black governor as he took the oath of office in Richmond.

In 1992, Japan apologized for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for its soldiers during World War II, citing newly uncovered documents that showed the Japanese army had had a role in abducting the so-called “comfort women.”

In 2000, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates stepped aside as chief executive and promoted company president Steve Ballmer to the position.

In 2001, an earthquake estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey at magnitude 7.7 struck El Salvador; more than 840 people were killed.

In 2011, a funeral was held in Tucson, Arizona, for 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of a mass shooting that also claimed five other lives and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In 2020, at a royal family summit in eastern England, Queen Elizabeth II brokered a deal to secure the future of the monarchy; it would allow Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, to live part-time in Canada.

In 2021, President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House over the violent Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol, becoming the only president to be twice impeached; ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump on a charge of “incitement of insurrection.” (Trump would again be acquitted by the Senate in a vote after his term was over.)

This Day In History | January 12, 2023

On Jan. 12, 1828, the United States and Mexico signed a Treaty of Limits defining the boundary between the two countries to be the same as the one established by an 1819 treaty between the U.S. and Spain.

In 1910, at a White House dinner hosted by President William Howard Taft, Baroness Rosen, wife of the Russian ambassador, caused a stir by requesting and smoking a cigarette — it was, apparently, the first time a woman had smoked openly during a public function in the executive mansion. (Some of the other women present who had brought their own cigarettes began lighting up in turn.)

In 1915, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected, 204-174, a proposed constitutional amendment to give women nationwide the right to vote.

In 1932, Hattie W. Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate after initially being appointed to serve out the remainder of the term of her late husband, Thaddeus.

In 1945, during World War II, Soviet forces began a major, successful offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe. Aircraft from U.S. Task Force 38 sank about 40 Japanese ships off Indochina.

In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sipuel v. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma, unanimously ruled that state law schools could not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race.

In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. founded Motown Records (originally Tamla Records) in Detroit.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson said in his State of the Union address that the U.S. military should stay in Vietnam until Communist aggression there was stopped. The TV series “Batman,” starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo, premiered on ABC.

In 1969, the New York Jets of the American Football League upset the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League 16-7 in Super Bowl III, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

In 1971, the groundbreaking situation comedy “All in the Family” premiered on CBS television.

In 2000, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Illinois v. Wardlow, gave police broad authority to stop and question people who run at the sight of an officer.

In 2010, Haiti was struck by a magnitude-7 earthquake; the Haitian government said 316,000 people were killed, while a report prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development suggested the death toll may have been between 46,000 and 85,000.

In 2016, Iran detained 10 American sailors and their two small Navy boats after the boats drifted into Iranian waters; the sailors and their vessels were released the following day.

This Day in History | January 11, 2023

On Jan. 11, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in 1919).

In 1913, the first enclosed sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th National Automobile Show in New York.

In 1927, the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was proposed during a dinner of Hollywood luminaries at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, California, that made her the first person to fly solo across any part of the Pacific Ocean.

In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.

In 1963, the Beatles’ single “Please Please Me” (B side “Ask Me Why”) was released in Britain by Parlophone.

In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued “Smoking and Health,” a report that concluded that “cigarette smoking contributes substantially to mortality from certain specific diseases and to the overall death rate.”

In 1978, two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already docked.

In 1989, nine days before leaving the White House, President Ronald Reagan bade the nation farewell in a prime-time address, saying of his eight years in office: “We meant to change a nation and instead we changed a world.”

In 2003, calling the death penalty process “arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral,” Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 condemned inmates, clearing his state’s death row two days before leaving office.

In 2010, Mark McGwire admitted to The Associated Press that he’d used steroids and human growth hormone when he broke baseball’s home run record in 1998.

In 2020, health authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan reported the first death from what had been identified as a new type of coronavirus; the patient was a 61-year-old man who’d been a frequent customer at a food market linked to the majority of cases there.

This Day in History | January 10, 2023

On Jan. 10, 1776, Thomas Paine anonymously published his influential pamphlet, “Common Sense,” which argued for American independence from British rule.

In 1860, the Pemberton Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, collapsed and caught fire, killing up to 145 people, mostly female workers from Scotland and Ireland.

In 1861, Florida became the third state to secede from the Union.

In 1863, the London Underground had its beginnings as the Metropolitan, the world’s first underground passenger railway, opened to the public with service between Paddington and Farringdon Street.

In 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil.

In 1920, the League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) went into effect.

In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, asked Congress to impose a surcharge on both corporate and individual income taxes to help pay for his “Great Society” programs as well as the war in Vietnam. Massachusetts Republican Edward W. Brooke, the first Black person elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, took his seat.

In 1971, French fashion designer Coco Chanel died in Paris at age 87.

In 1984, the United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in more than a century.

In 2002, Marines began flying hundreds of al-Qaida prisoners in Afghanistan to a U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2003, North Korea withdrew from a global treaty barring it from making nuclear weapons.

In 2007, President George W. Bush said he took responsibility for any mistakes in Iraq and announced an increase in U.S. troops there to quell violence. The Democratic-controlled House voted 315-116 to increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

In 2011, a judge in Austin, Texas, ordered former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to serve three years in prison for his money laundering conviction. (DeLay’s conviction was ultimately overturned.) No. 1 Auburn beat No. 2 Oregon 22-19 on a last-second field goal to win the BCS national title.

This Day In History | January 9, 2023

On Jan. 9, 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew from Philadelphia to Woodbury, New Jersey.

In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, retreated because of artillery fire.

In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, California.

In 1914, the County of Los Angeles opened the country’s first public defender’s office.

In 1916, the World War I Battle of Gallipoli ended after eight months with an Ottoman Empire victory as Allied forces withdrew.

In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing on the shores of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines as the Battle of Luzon got underway, resulting in an Allied victory over Imperial Japanese forces.

In 1951, the United Nations headquarters in New York officially opened.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his State of the Union address to Congress, warned of the threat of Communist imperialism.

In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him, as told to writer Clifford Irving, was a fake.

In 1987, the White House released a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 2003, U.N. weapons inspectors said there was no “smoking gun” to prove Iraq had nuclear, chemical or biological weapons but they demanded that Baghdad provide private access to scientists and fresh evidence to back its claim that it had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.

In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas, the No. 2 man in the Palestinian hierarchy during Yasser Arafat’s rule, was elected president of the Palestinian Authority by a landslide.

In 2015, French security forces shot and killed two al-Qaida-linked brothers suspected of carrying out the rampage at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that had claimed 12 lives.

In 2020, Chinese state media said a preliminary investigation into recent cases of viral pneumonia had identified the probable cause as a new type of coronavirus.

In 2023, No. 1 George beat No. 3 TCU 65-7 to win the BCS national title. TV ratings for this championship game were the worst in television history.

This Day In History | January 8, 2023

On Jan. 8, 1815, the last major engagement of the War of 1812 came to an end as U.S. forces defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, not having received word of the signing of a peace treaty.

In 1867, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in overriding President Andrew Johnson’s veto of the District of Columbia Suffrage Bill, giving Black men in the nation’s capital the right to vote.

In 1912, the African National Congress was founded in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

In 1923, actor-comedian Larry Storch was born.

In 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 1994, Tonya Harding won the ladies’ U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, a day after Nancy Kerrigan dropped out because of the clubbing attack that had injured her right knee. (The U.S. Figure Skating Association later stripped Harding of the title.)

In 1998, Ramzi Yousef (RAHM’-zee YOO’-sef), the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sentenced in New York to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2008, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire’s 2008 Democratic primary in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House; Sen. John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination.

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF’-nur) was sentenced in Nov. 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.)

In 2016, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the world’s most-wanted drug lord, was captured for a third time in a daring raid by Mexican marines, six months after walking through a tunnel to freedom from a maximum security prison.

In 2020, Iran struck back at the United States for killing Iran’s top military commander, firing missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing American troops; more than 100 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the attack. As Iran braced for a counterattack, the country’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a Ukrainian jetliner after apparently mistaking it for a missile; all 176 people on board were killed, including 82 Iranians and more than 50 Canadians.

This Day In History | January 7, 2023

On Jan. 7, 1608, an accidental fire devastated the Jamestown settlement in the Virginia Colony.

In 1789, America held its first presidential election as voters chose electors who, a month later, selected George Washington to be the nation’s first chief executive.

In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.

In 1953, President Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.

In 1955, singer Marian Anderson made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera.”

In 1959, the United States recognized the new government of Cuba, six days after Fidel Castro led the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.

In 1963, the U.S. Post Office raised the cost of a first-class stamp from 4 to 5 cents.

In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.

In 1989, Emperor Hirohito of Japan died in Tokyo at age 87; he was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.

TODAY IN HISTORY

Today in History: January 08, Elvis Presley is bornToday in History FRI JAN 06Today in History THUR JAN 05Today in History WED JAN 04

In 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate. President Bill Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice; he was acquitted.

In 2004, President George W. Bush proposed legal status, at least temporarily, for millions of immigrants improperly working in the U.S.

In 2015, masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper that had caricatured the Prophet Mohammad, methodically killing 12 people, including the editor, before escaping in a car. (Two suspects were killed two days later.)

In 2019, Amazon eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded company in the U.S. For the first time in more than 25 years, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent from oral arguments as she recuperated from cancer surgery.

This Day In History | January 6, 2023

On Jan. 6, 1412, tradition holds that Joan of Arc was born this day in Domremy.

In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail gave the first successful public demonstration of their telegraph in Morristown, New Jersey.

In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.

In 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, New York, at age 60.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, outlined a goal of “Four Freedoms”: Freedom of speech and expression; the freedom of people to worship God in their own way; freedom from want; freedom from fear.

In 1974, year-round daylight saving time began in the United States on a trial basis as a fuel-saving measure in response to the OPEC oil embargo.

In 1982, truck driver William G. Bonin was convicted in Los Angeles of 10 of the “Freeway Killer” slayings of young men and boys. (Bonin was later convicted of four other killings; he was executed in 1996.)

In 1994, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the leg by an assailant at Detroit’s Cobo Arena; four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s rival, Tonya Harding, went to prison for their roles in the attack. (Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution, but denied any advance knowledge about the assault.)

In 2001, with Vice President Al Gore presiding in his capacity as president of the Senate, Congress formally certified George W. Bush the winner of the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election.

In 2005, former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen was arrested on murder charges 41 years after three civil rights workers were slain in Mississippi. (Killen was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison; he died in prison in 2018.)

In 2006, velvet-voiced singer Lou Rawls died in Los Angeles at age 72.

In 2020, throngs of Iranians attended the funeral of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who’d been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq; Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept while praying over the casket. Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said he was “prepared to testify” if subpoenaed by the Senate in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (The Senate voted against calling witnesses.)

In 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump, fueled by his false claims of a stolen election, assaulted police and smashed their way into the Capitol to interrupt the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, forcing lawmakers into hiding; most of the rioters had come from a nearby rally where Trump urged them to “fight like hell.” A Trump supporter, Ashli Babbitt, was shot and killed by a police officer as she tried to breach a barricaded doorway inside the Capitol. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, injured while confronting the rioters, suffered a stroke the next day and died from natural causes, the Washington, D.C., medical examiner’s office said. (In the weeks that followed, four of the officers who responded to the riot took their own lives.) Congress reconvened hours later to finish certifying the election result.

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