Today in History – Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016

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Today is Thursday, Jan. 7, the 7th day of 2016. There are 358 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1537 – Alessandro de Medici is assassinated and Cosimo de Medici succeeds him in Florence.

1558 – French capture Calais from the British.

1610 – The astronomer Galileo Galilei sees four of Jupiter’s moons.

1761 – Afghans defeat Mahrattas at Paniput in India.

1782 – The first commercial American bank, the Bank of North America, opens.

1789 – The first U.S. presidential election is held. Americans vote for electors who, a month later, choose George Washington to be the first president.

1807 – Britain declares blockade of coasts of France and Napoleon Bonaparte’s allies.

1913 – A cracking process to obtain gasoline from crude oil is patented in the United States.

1927 – Commercial trans-Atlantic telephone service is inaugurated between New York and London.

1942 – Japan begins successful siege of Bataan Peninsula during World War II, routing American and Philippine troops.

1953 – U.S. President Harry Truman announces that United States has developed the hydrogen bomb.

1959 – The United States recognizes Fidel Castro’s Cuban government.

1961 – African heads of state issue African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights at Casablanca.

1967 – Fighting is reported between Chinese Red Guards and workers in Nanking.

1968 – Government of Lebanon resigns after Israeli commando raid at Beirut airport.

1972 – India resists U.S. pressure and grants full diplomatic recognition to China.

1973 – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos suspends scheduled plebiscite on new constitution, saying his country is slipping back into subversion and corruption.

1979 – Vietnamese forces capture the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.

1987 – Lebanon’s former President Camille Chamoun suffers minor wounds when remote-controlled car bomb explodes near his bulletproof car.

1990 – Thousands of Romanians demonstrate nationwide to protest the number of ex-Communists in the interim government.

1992 – Yugoslav military shoots down European Union helicopter, killing five truce observers.

1994 – About 750,000 gallons (2.8 million liters) of heating oil blacken beaches on Puerto Rico when a barge runs aground.

1997 – In Algiers, Algeria, a car bomb explodes in a bustling shopping district, killing at least 13 people and wounding 100 others.

1999 – The U.S. Senate opens the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, the first such trial in 130 years.

2000 – An exhausted 14-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader reaches India after trekking across the snowy Himalayas after defecting from Chinese-ruled Tibet.

2003 – A Congo military court sentences 26 defendants to death for the January 2001 assassination of President Laurent Kabila, who was shot by a bodyguard in the presidential palace.

2009 – Russia shuts off all its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine.

2010 – Yemen provides the most comprehensive account yet of contacts between al-Qaida and the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner, saying he may have met with a radical U.S.-born cleric who previously had contact with the alleged shooter at a U.S. Army base in Texas.

2013 – President Barack Obama chooses Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the U.S. Defense Department and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA.

2014 — The first batch of the most dangerous chemicals in Syria’s arsenal is loaded onto a Danish ship and taken out of the country under tight security, an important milestone in the international effort to rid President Bashar Assad of the weapons by midyear.

2015— Two heavily-armed gunmen possibly linked to al-Qaida kill 12 people at the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad in the country’s deadliest terrorist attack in at least two decades.

Today’s Birthdays:

Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Buoncompagno) (1502-1585); James Harrington, English political author (1611-1677); Robert Anderson, Scottish author (1750-

1830); Zora Neale Hurston, American writer (1903-1960); Jean-Pierre Rampal, French flutist (1922-2000); David Caruso, U.S. actor (1956–); Nicolas Cage, U.S. actor (1964–); Katie Couric, talk show host (1957–).

Thought for Today:

Whether women are better than men I cannot say — but I can say they are certainly no worse — Golda Meir, Israeli prime minister (1898-1978).

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