Today in History – Monday, Jan. 18, 2016

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Today is Monday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2016. There are 348 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1520 – King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats Swedes at Lake Asunden and subsequently conquers Sweden.

1535 – The city of Lima, capital of present-day Peru, is founded by Spanish conquistadors on the central Pacific coast of South America.

1701 – Brandenburg’s Frederick III is crowned Frederick I, King of Prussia.

1778 – English navigator Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubs the “Sandwich Islands.”

1788 – The first English settlers arrive in Australia’s Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.

1871 – While Prussian guns bombard Paris, the Reich is formed when William I of Prussia is crowned the first emperor of Germany.

1912 – English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reach the South Pole, only to discover Norwegian Roald Amundsen had gotten there first.

1915 – With the European powers preoccupied with World War I, Japan secretly presents China with Twenty-one Demands for privileges.

1918 – The first democratically elected national legislature in Russia opens in Petrograd. The Bolsheviks soon shut it down, marking the start of Communist dictatorship.

1919 – The World War I Peace Congress opens in Versailles, France.

1943 – The Soviets announce they had broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.

1952 – Anti-British riots break out in Egypt.

1963 – Government of Charles de Gaulle in France insists that Britain be barred from European Common Market.

1968 – United States and Soviet Union agree on draft treaty to control nuclear weapons.

1976 – France expels at least 40 Soviet officials on grounds they have worked as spies.

1977 – Australia’s worst rail crash, at Granville, Sydney, kills 83 when train hits concrete bridge.

1989 – Thousands of Czechoslovaks converge on Prague’s central Wenceslas Square chanting “freedom,” ”truth,” and “human rights” on fourth consecutive day of public dissent.

1990 – Right-wing gunman wounds mayor of Nagasaki, Japan, who had said late Emperor Hirohito bore partial responsibility for World War II.

1992 – More than 100,000 people attend Kenya’s first legal anti-government rally in 22 years.

1993 – An avalanche plows into a village in northeast Turkey, destroying 50 houses and killing at least 16 people.

1995 – A U.S. jury awards more than 9,000 victims of torture under the regime of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with $766 million from the Marcos estate.

1996 – A suspected arson fire races through an immigrant shelter in Luebeck, Germany, killing at least nine and injuring 55.

1997 – Norway’s Boerge Ousland emerges on the Pacific edge of Antarctica to become the first person to cross the continent alone and unaided.

2002 – The Sierra Leone government declares the country’s 11-year-old civil war, which killed about 50,000 people — mostly civilians— over.

2004 – A suicide bomber sets off a truck bomb at the gates of the U.S.-led coalition headquarters killing about 20 people and wounding 63 in the deadliest attack in Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s capture the previous month.

2005 – The Supreme Court says the results of Ukraine’s presidential election can be published before it rules on an appeal by the losing candidate, suggesting the way is open for the inauguration of Western-leaning reformer Viktor Yushchenko.

2008 – Masai fighters in Kenya battle rival tribesman loyal to President Mwai Kibaki on the third, final and bloodiest day of protests over Kenya’s disputed election.

2009 – Israeli troops begin to withdraw from Gaza after their government and Hamas militants declare an end to a three-week war.

2013 – The International Monetary Fund warns Portugal against the temptation to relax its contentious austerity drive, saying any backsliding could undermine the 17-country eurozone’s recovery.

2015 — Pope Francis leaves the Philippines after a week-long trip to Asia that included a stop in Sri Lanka.

Today’s Birthdays:

Francois Michel Detellier, French statesman (1641-1691); Cary Grant, English-American actor (1904-1986); Chun Doo-hwan, former South Korean president (1931–); Paul Keating, former Australian prime minister (1944–); Kevin Costner, U.S. actor/director (1955–); Jesse L. Martin, U.S. actor (1969–).

Thought For Today

“…be intolerant of ignorance, but understanding of illiteracy.” – Maya Angelou, American writer (1928–2014).

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