Today in History – Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017


Today is Sunday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2017. There are 357 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 8, 1867, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in overriding President Andrew Johnson’s veto of the District of Columbia Suffrage Bill, giving black men in the nation’s capital the right to vote.

On this date:

In 1642, astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy.

In 1790, President George Washington delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress in New York.

In 1815, the last major engagement of the War of 1812 came to an end as U.S. forces defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, not having gotten word of the signing of a peace treaty.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

In 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

In 1959, Charles de Gaulle was inaugurated as president of France’s Fifth Republic.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

In 1976, Chinese premier Zhou Enlai, 77, died in Beijing.

In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 1987, for the first time, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2,000, ending the day at 2,002.25.

In 1997, the state of Arkansas put three men to death in the second triple execution since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. (The first also occurred in Arkansas, in 1994.)

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed, 12 others also wounded. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF’-nur) was sentenced in Nov. 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.)

Ten years ago: A Moroccan (Mounir el-Motassadeq) convicted of aiding three of the four suicide pilots who had committed the Sept. 11 attacks was sentenced by a German court to the maximum of 15 years in prison for his role in the terror plot. The Florida Gators won college football’s national championship by defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes 41-14. Actress Yvonne De Carlo died in Woodland Hills, California, at age 84.

Five years ago: Bells rang in Tucson, Arizona, as residents paused to remember the six people killed in the shooting rampage a year earlier that left Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords severely wounded; Giffords led a crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance during an evening vigil. Mitt Romney’s Republican presidential rivals piled on the criticism during a morning debate, two days before the New Hampshire primary. The New York Giants ran all over Atlanta in a 24-2 rout of the Falcons in an NFC wild-card game. The Denver Broncos stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in overtime in the AFC wild-card game.

One year ago: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the world’s most-wanted drug lord, was captured for a third time in a daring raid by Mexican marines, six months after walking through a tunnel to freedom from a maximum security prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States. Oakland Raiders defensive end and outside linebacker Khalil Mack made history, earning a selection at two positions on the 2015 Associated Press All-Pro Team, an NFL first. Hall of Fame rhythm and blues artist Otis Clay, 73, died in Chicago.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 94. Broadcast journalist Sander Vanocur is 89. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 84. Singer Shirley Bassey is 80. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 79. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 77. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 76. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 75. Physicist Stephen Hawking is 75. Singer Juanita Cowart Motley (The Marvelettes) is 73. Actress Kathleen Noone is 72. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 71. Movie director John McTiernan is 66. Actress Harriet Sansom Harris is 62. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 53. Actress Maria Pitillo (pih-TIHL’-loh) is 52. Actress Michelle Forbes is 52. Singer R. Kelly is 50. Rock musician Jeff Abercrombie (Fuel) is 48. Actress Ami Dolenz is 48. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 44. Country singer Tift Merritt is 42. Actress-rock singer Jenny Lewis is 41. Actress Amber Benson is 40. Actor Scott Whyte is 39. Singer-songwriter Erin McCarley is 38. Actress Sarah Polley is 38. Actress Rachel Nichols is 37. Actress Gaby Hoffman is 35. Rock musician Disashi Lumumbo-Kasongo (dih-SAH’-shee LUHM’-uhm-boh kuh-SAHN’-goh) (Gym Class Heroes) is 34. Actor Freddie Stroma is 30.

Thought for Today: “No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.” — Carrie Chapman Catt, American suffrage leader (1859-1947).

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