Today In History
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2018. There are 348 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Jan. 17, 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Lili’uokalani (lee-LEE’-oo-oh-kah-LAH’-nee) to abdicate. The 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70.
On this date:
In 1781, during the Revolutionary War, American forces defeated the British in the Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina.
In 1806, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, Martha, gave birth to James Madison Randolph, the first child born in the White House.
In 1917, Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the United States for $25 million.
In 1929, the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor made his debut in the “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.
In 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II; Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.
In 1953, a prototype of the Chevrolet Corvette was unveiled during the General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.
In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
In 1966, a U.S. Air Force B-52 carrying four unarmed hydrogen bombs crashed on the Spanish coast. (Three of the bombs were quickly recovered, but the fourth wasn’t recovered until April.) The Simon & Garfunkel album “Sounds of Silence” was released by Columbia Records.
In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.
In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., ruled 5-4 that the use of home video cassette recorders to tape television programs for private viewing did not violate federal copyright laws.
In 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan.
In 1998, the Drudge Report said Newsweek magazine had killed a story about an affair between President Bill Clinton and an unidentified White House intern, the same day Clinton gave a deposition in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against him in which he denied having had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Ten years ago: Bobby Fischer, the chess grandmaster who became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, died in Reykjavik, Iceland, at age 64. Former football player-turned-preacher Ernie Holmes, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was killed in a one-car accident near Lumberton, Texas, at age 59. Character actor Allan Melvin died in Los Angeles at age 84.
Five years ago: Algerian helicopters and special forces stormed a natural gas plant in the Sahara to rescue hostages from at least 10 countries held by al-Qaida-linked militants; nearly all the militants and at least 37 of the hostages were killed. Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network broadcast the first of a two-part interview with Lance Armstrong, in which the disgraced cyclist told Winfrey he had started doping in the mid-1990s.
One year ago: President Barack Obama granted clemency to Chelsea Manning, allowing the transgender Army intelligence officer convicted of leaking more than 700,000 U.S. documents to go free nearly three decades early. Donald Trump’s choice to head the Interior Department, Rep. Ryan Zinke, rejected the president-elect’s claim that climate change was a hoax, telling his Senate confirmation hearing it was indisputable that environmental changes were affecting the world’s temperature and that human activity was a major reason.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Betty White is 96. Former FCC chairman Newton N. Minow is 92. Actor James Earl Jones is 87. Talk show host Maury Povich is 79. Pop singer Chris Montez is 76. Rhythm-and-blues singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 73. Actress Joanna David is 71. Actress Jane Elliot is 71. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 70. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 65. Singer Steve Earle is 63. Singer Paul Young is 62. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 61. Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 59. Movie director-screenwriter Brian Helgeland is 57. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 56. Actor Denis O’Hare is 56. Former first lady Michelle Obama is 54. Actor Joshua Malina is 52. Singer Shabba Ranks is 52. Rock musician Jon Wysocki is 50. Actor Naveen Andrews is 49. Electronic music DJ Tiesto is 49. Rapper Kid Rock is 47. Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 43. Actor-writer Leigh Whannel is 41. Actress-singer Zooey Deschanel is 38. Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 38. Singer Ray J is 37. Actor Diogo Morgado is 37. Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 36. NBA player Dwyane Wade is 36. Actor Ryan Gage is 35. DJ-singer Calvin Harris is 34. Folk-rock musician Jeremiah Fraites is 32. Actor Jonathan Keltz is 30. Actress Kelly Marie Tran (Film: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) is 29. Actress Kathrine (cq) Herzer is 21.