Today is Wednesday, Jan. 29, the 29th day of 2020. There are 337 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 29, 2002, in his first State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said terrorists were still threatening America — and he warned of “an axis of evil” consisting of North Korea, Iran and Iraq.
On this date:
In 1820, King George III died at Windsor Castle at age 81; he was succeeded by his son, who became King George IV.
In 1856, Britain’s Queen Victoria introduced the Victoria Cross to reward military acts of valor during the Crimean War.
In 1861, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.
In 1936, the first inductees of baseball’s Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, were named in Cooperstown, New York.
In 1963, the first charter members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were named in Canton, Ohio (they were enshrined when the Hall opened in September 1963). Poet Robert Frost died in Boston at age 88.
In 1975, a bomb exploded inside the U.S. State Department in Washington, causing considerable damage, but injuring no one; the radical group Weather Underground claimed responsibility.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping (dung shah-oh-ping) to the White House, following the establishment of diplomatic relations.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan announced in a nationally broadcast message that he and Vice President George H.W. Bush would seek re-election in the fall.
In 1995, the San Francisco 49ers became the first team in NFL history to win five Super Bowl titles, beating the San Diego Chargers, 49-26, in Super Bowl XXIX.
In 1998, a bomb rocked an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, killing security guard Robert Sanderson and critically injuring nurse Emily Lyons. (The bomber, Eric Rudolph, was captured in May 2003 and is serving a life sentence.)
In 2005, jetliners from China landed in rival Taiwan for the first time in 56 years. Serena Williams defeated Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the Australian Open final.
In 2006, ABC “World News Tonight” co-anchor Bob Woodruff and a cameraman were seriously injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq.
Ten years ago: In a face-to-face confrontation, President Barack Obama chastised Republican lawmakers during a GOP event in Baltimore for opposing him on taxes, health care and the economic stimulus, while they accused him in turn of brushing off their ideas and driving up the national debt. A jury in Wichita, Kansas, swiftly convicted abortion opponent Scott Roeder (ROH’-dur) of murder in the shooting death of Dr. George Tiller, one of the only doctors to offer late-term abortions in the U.S. (Roeder was sentenced to life in prison.) Haitian authorities detained 10 U.S. Baptist missionaries who were transporting 33 children to a Dominican Republic orphanage, though as it turned out, most of the children had living parents; all of the Americans were later released.
Five years ago: Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans in passing a Senate bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline in defiance of a presidential veto threat. Rod McKuen, whose music, verse and spoken-word recordings made him one of the best-selling poets in history, died at 81.
One year ago: The largest utility in the U.S., Pacific Gas & Electric, filed for bankruptcy as it faced billions of dollars in potential damages from wildfires in California. Actor Jussie Smollett from the TV show “Empire” told police he had been physically attacked in Chicago by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. (Investigators concluded that Smollett made a false report because he believed it would give his career a boost; he was charged with 16 felony counts related to making a false report, but the charges were dropped without any admission of guilt.) The FBI wrapped up its investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history; it found that the high-stakes gambler who killed 58 country music fans in Las Vegas in 2017 sought notoriety, but that there was no “single or clear motivating factor.”
Today’s Birthdays: Writer-composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse is 89. Feminist author Germaine Greer is 81. Actress Katharine Ross is 80. Feminist author Robin Morgan is 79. Actor Tom Selleck is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bettye LaVette is 74. Actor Marc Singer is 72. Actress Ann Jillian is 70. Rock musician Louie Perez (Los Lobos) is 67. Rhythm-and-blues/funk singer Charlie Wilson is 67. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 66. Actor Terry Kinney is 66. Country singer Irlene Mandrell is 64. Actress Diane Delano is 63. Actress Judy Norton (TV: “The Waltons”) is 62. Rock musician Johnny Spampinato is 61. Olympic gold-medal diver Greg Louganis is 60. Rock musician David Baynton-Power (James) is 59. Rock musician Eddie Jackson (Queensryche) is 59. Actor Nicholas Turturro is 58. Rock singer-musician Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) is 56. Actor-director Edward Burns is 52. Actor Sam Trammell is 51. Actress Heather Graham is 50. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is 50. Actor Sharif Atkins is 45. Actress Sara Gilbert is 45. Actress Kelly Packard is 45. Actor Justin Hartley is 43. Actor Sam Jaeger is 43. Writer and TV personality Jedediah Bila is 41. Actor Andrew Keegan is 41. Actor Jason James Richter is 40. Blues musician Jonny Lang is 39. Pop-rock singer Adam Lambert (TV: “American Idol”) is 38. Country singer Eric Paslay is 37.
Thought for Today: “Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted.” — Hesketh Pearson, British biographer (1887-1964).