Today in History – Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016


Today is Sunday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2015. There are 342 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

661 – Islam’s Caliph Ali, one of Shiite Islam’s key saints, is killed by a murderer with a poisoned saber.

1634 – Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II secretly deprives Duke of Wallenstein of his command and declares him a traitor.

1798 – Irish rebellion breaks out.

1848 – James Marshall finds gold nugget in U.S. territory of California, touching off Gold Rush of ’49.

1859 – Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza is elected ruler of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldova, which unite and form Romania.

1908 – The first Boy Scout troop is organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell.

1924 – Petrograd is renamed Leningrad in honor of founder of Soviet Union.

1935 – Canned beer goes on sale for the first time in the United States.

1943 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill conclude a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

1946 – U.N. General Assembly votes to create U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.

1967 – South Vietnam’s Premier Nguyen Cao Ky runs into wild anti-war demonstration on visit to New Zealand.

1973 – U.S. negotiator Henry Kissinger says Vietnam peace agreement worked out in Paris also means end to fighting in Laos and Cambodia. Hanoi’s Le Duc Tho calls agreement “a great victory for the Vietnamese people.”

1978 – A nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunges through Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrates, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.

1985 – The space shuttle Discovery is launched in NASA’s first secret military flight.

1986 – Guerrillas advance into Ugandan capital of Kampala as army opposition crumbles, pushing military government to edge of collapse.

1991 – Lithuania asks Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from buildings seized in the Baltic republic.

1992 – Judge sentences army colonel and lieutenant to 30 years in prison for 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador.

1998 – The government of Mexican state of Chiapas frees 300 prisoners as a way of opening talks with the indigenous rebels.

1999 – Olympic leaders recommend the expulsion of six members of the International Olympic Committee in an unprecedented response to the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the games.

2002 – John Walker Lindh, a U.S. citizen captured while fighting alongside Afghanistan’s deposed Taliban militia, appears in U.S. District Court to face charges of conspiring to kill Americans and supporting terrorist groups.

2005 – With calls of “never again,” the U.N. General Assembly commemorates the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps with a special session, a stark change for a body that has been reluctant to address the extermination of the Jews during World War II.

2008 – French bank Societe Generale uncovers an alleged 4.9 billion euro ($7.14 billion) fraud by a futures trader, Jerome Kerviel, who fooled regulators and overstepped his authority.

2010 – Osama bin Laden endorses the failed attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day and threatens new attacks against the United States.

2011 – Human Rights Watch singles out U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for especially harsh criticism as it takes world leaders to task for what it calls their failure to be tougher on rights offenders.

2012 – Moammar Gadhafi loyalists seize control of Libyan mountain city in the most serious challenge to the central government since the strongman’s fall.

2014 — As riots spread from Ukraine’s capital to nearly half the country, President Viktor Yanukovych promises to reshuffle his government and make other concessions but a top opposition leader says nothing short of his resignation will do.

2015 — Tens of thousands of Yemenis march in protest against Shiite rebels who hold the capital, amid a power vacuum in a country that the U.S. describes as al-Qaida’s most dangerous offshoot.Qre—

Today’s Birthdays:

E.T.A. Hoffmann, German author (1776-1822); John Belushi, U.S. actor (1949-1982); Neil Diamond, U.S. singer (1941–); Aaron Neville, U.S. singer with The Neville Brothers (1941–); Michael Ontkean, Canadian actor (1946–); Tatyana Ali, U.S. actress/singer (1979–).

Thought For Today:

Honesty is the best policy, but he who acts on that principle is not an honest man — Richard Whately, British theologian (1787-1863).

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