Today In History...

1562 French Protestants, or Huguenots, were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.

In 1733, Polar bears were exhibited for the first time in Boston.

1773, Captain James Cook became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle.

In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha, gave birth to James Madison Randolph, the first child born in the White House.

In 1871, Andrew S. Hallidie patented the first cable car.

In 1893, Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th U.S. president, died at age 70.

In 1893, Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown as a group of white businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.

1917 The U.S. paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

In 1945 During World War II, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw from the Nazis.

In 1945 Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.

In 1946, The United Nations Security Council held its first meeting.

In 1950, Eleven masked men robbed a Brink's office in Boston of $2.7 million.

In 1955, The submarine USS Nautilus made its first nuclear-powered test run from its berth in Groton, CT.

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell address.

In 1963, Joe Walker took the X-15 to an altitude of 82 km.

In 1966, An American B-52 carrying four unarmed hydrogen bombs crashed on the Spanish coast. Three of the bombs were quickly recovered, but the fourth wasn't found until the following April.

In 1971, The Baltimore Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 16-13, in Super Bowl V in Miami.

In 1977, Gary Gilmore was executed in Utah by firing squad at the Utah State Prison, the first since 1967.

In 1983, Alabama Governor George Wallace, making a political comeback, took the oath of office for a record fourth term, succeeding Governor Fob James.

In 1984, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the private use of home VCRs to tape TV programs does not violate federal copyright laws.

In 1985, The Census Bureau reported that some cities spent more on law enforcement than education.

1986 Designer Aldo Gucci pleaded guilty in a $7 million tax fraud case.

In 1989, Vietnam vet Patrick Purdy murdered five Stockton, CA, schoolchildren and wounded 30 others before killing himself.

In 1990, A federal judge in Miami set a March 1990 date for ex-Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's drug trafficking trial to begin. (Noriega was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison.)

In 1991, On the first day of Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led forces hammered Iraqi targets to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. Iraq's President Saddam Hussein declared that the "mother of all battles" had begun.

In 1992, Eight Protestant laborers were killed in an IRA bombing in Northern Ireland.

In 1994, at least 57 died after an earthquake measuring 6.7 hit the San Fernando Valley, 20 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

In 1995, A 7.2 earthquake struck Kobe, Japan, killing 5,000, injuring more than 26,200, and damaging or destroying more than 56,000 buildings.

In 1996, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine followers were handed lengthy prison sentences for plotting to blow up New York-area landmarks.

In 1996, Former U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan died in Austin, TX, at age 59.

In 1997, Speaker Newt Gingrich was reprimanded by the House and was required to pay a $300,000 penalty for his ethics violations.

In 1997, Israel handed over its military headquarters in Hebron to the Palestinians, ending 30 years of Israeli occupation there.

In 1997, A court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country's history.

In 1998, President Clinton gave a deposition in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against him; during the nearly six hours of sworn testimony, Clinton denied having a sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

In 2000, Decrying the Confederate flag as a symbol of slavery and racism, nearly 50,000 people marched to South Carolina's Statehouse on Martin Luther King Day to demand the banner be taken down.

In 2001, An electricity crisis forced California to use rolling blackouts to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people.

In 2003, actor Richard Crenna (Rambo movies) died at age 76.

In 2003, Gertrude Janeway, the last known widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War, died in Blaine, Tennessee, at age 93. (She had married John Janeway in 1927 when he was 81 and she was 18.)

In 2008, Chess master Bobby Fischer died Thursday of kidney failure in Reykjavik, Iceland, after a long illness. He was 64.


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