Today in history


Today is Saturday, Jan. 11, the 11th day of 2020. There are 355 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

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

On this date:

In 1861, Alabama became the fourth state to withdraw from the Union.

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

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

In 1977, France set off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

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 1995, 51 people were killed when a Colombian DC-9 jetliner crashed as it was preparing to land near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena — however, 9-year-old Erika Delgado survived.

In 2000, whittling away more of the federal government’s power over states, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that state employees cannot go into federal court to sue over age bias. Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 2001, the Army acknowledged that U.S. soldiers killed an “unknown number” of South Korean refugees early in the Korean War at No Gun Ri, but said there was no evidence they were ordered to do so.

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.

Ten years ago: A federal judge in San Francisco began hearing arguments in a lawsuit aimed at overturning Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. (Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker later overturned the ban; his ruling was upheld on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.) 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. Miep Gies (meep khees), the Dutch office secretary who defied Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager’s diary, died at age 100.

Five years ago: More than a million people surged through the boulevards of Paris behind dozens of world leaders walking arm-in-arm in a rally for unity against three days of terror that killed 17 people and changed France. At the 72nd Golden Globes, the movie “Boyhood” won best dramatic picture while “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was named best musical or comedy picture; in the TV categories, “The Affair” was named best dramatic series while “Transparent” was named best musical or comedy series. Anita Ekberg, 83, the Swedish-born actress and sex symbol of the 1950s and 1960s, died in Rome.

One year ago: An estimated 800,000 government workers missed their paychecks for the first time since the government shutdown began three weeks earlier. The New York Times reported that federal law enforcement officials were so concerned about the behavior of President Donald Trump in the days after he fired James Comey from the FBI that they opened an investigation into whether he had been working for Russia against U.S. interests. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s three-member Cabinet granted posthumous pardons to four African-American men who’d been accused of raping a white woman in a 1949 case that had come to be seen as a racial injustice.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (zhahn kray-tee-EHN’) is 86. Actor Mitchell Ryan is 86. Actor Felix Silla is 83. Movie director Joel Zwick is 78. Country singer Naomi Judd is 74. World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw is 68. Singer Robert Earl Keen is 64. Actress Phyllis Logan is 64. Musician Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) is 62. Actress Kim Coles is 58. Actor Jason Connery is 57. Former child actress Dawn Lyn (TV: “My Three Sons”) is 57. Contemporary Christian musician Jim Bryson (formerly w/MercyMe) is 52. Rock musician Tom Dumont (No Doubt) is 52. Movie director Malcolm D. Lee is 50. Singer Mary J. Blige is 49. Musician Tom Rowlands (The Chemical Brothers) is 49. Actor Marc Blucas is 48. Actress Amanda Peet is 48. Actor Rockmond Dunbar is 47. Actress Aja Naomi King is 35. Actress Kristolyn Lloyd is 35. Reality TV star Jason Wahler is 33. Pop singer Cody Simpson is 23.

Thought for Today: “Je sais que je ne sais pas ce que je ne sais pas.” (I know that I don’t know what I don’t know.) — Marguerite Youcenar, French author (1903-1987).

By the Associated Press

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