Today in History – Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016

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Today is Tuesday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2016. There are 340 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1609 – The Ottoman Empire signs Peace Treaty of Karlowitz with Austria, Russia, Poland and Venice ceding control of most of Transylvania and Hungary. The treaty significantly diminishes Turkish influence in east-central Europe and makes Austria the dominant power there.

1654 – Dutch settlers are expelled from northeastern Brazil, ending a 24-year struggle to wrest the colony from the Portuguese.

1778 – Australia is settled by the British.

1788 – First fleet of ships bringing convicts from Britain arrives in Australia to establish penal colonies.

1802 – Congress passes an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. capital, paving the way for the Library of Congress.

1841 – Britain formally occupies Hong Kong, which the Chinese had ceded to the British.

1865 – Britain announces no more convicts will be shipped to Australia.

1885 – The Mahdist forces take Khartoum in Sudan after a nine-month siege. They slaughter most of the inhabitants and the garrison, including British Gen. Charles George Gordon.

1930 – Mohandas K. Gandhi, India’s independence leader who also was known as “Mahatma” Gandhi, begins a march across India against British occupation.

1931 – Mohandas K. Gandhi is released from prison in India for discussions with government.

1934 – Germany signs 10-year nonaggression pact with Poland.

1942 – First U.S. expeditionary force arrives in Europe in World War II, with troops put ashore in Northern Ireland.

1947 – Sweden’s 40-year-old crown prince Gustav Adolf is killed in a plane crash in Denmark, leaving five small children, among them the current King Carl XVI Gustav, without their father.

1950 – India officially proclaims itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad takes the oath of office as president.

1952 – Famed Shepherd’s Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, is burned during riots by mobs demanding British withdrawal from the Suez.

1987 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan vows he will make no concessions to Lebanese terrorists, and warns Americans to get out of Lebanon.

1988 – The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Phantom of the Opera” opens at Broadway’s Majestic Theater in New York.

1993 – Vaclav Havel is elected president of the new Czech Republic, one of the successors to the Czechoslovak federation.

1998 – U.S. President Bill Clinton says that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.” He acknowledges a relationship some months later.

2001 – The most powerful earthquake to strike India in half a century levels parts of western Gujarat state killing more than 2,000 people and injuring more than 3,000.

2003 – A China Airlines jet lands in Shanghai, China, and picks up passengers, becoming the first Taiwanese airliner to do so in mainland China since 1949.

2004 – U.S. intelligence agencies need to explain why their research indicated Iraq possessed banned weapons of mass destruction before the American-led invasion, says the outgoing top U.S. inspector, David Kay, who now believes Saddam Hussein had no such arms.

2007 – U.N. officials announce that Iran plans to start assembling thousands of uranium-enriching centrifuges in the next month.

2009 – The European Union removes an Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, from its terror list.

2011 – An explosion likely caused by a methane gas buildup rips through an underground coal mine in Colombia during a shift change, killing 21 workers.

2014 – Thousands of Ukrainians chant “Hero!” and sing the national anthem as a coffin carrying a protester who was killed in clashes with police is carried through the streets of Kiev, underscoring the rising tensions in the country’s two-month political crisis.

2015 — At least 43 Philippine police commandos are killed in a fierce battle with Muslim guerrillas after launching an assault in which they may have killed one of southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorists.

Today’s Birthdays:

Ugo Fiscolo, Italian author (1778-1827); Douglas MacArthur, U.S. general (1880-1964); Paul Newman, U.S. actor (1925-2008); Bob Uecker, U.S. baseball player/sports announcer/actor (1935–); David Strathairn, U.S. actor (1949–); Lucinda Williams, U.S. country singer (1953–); Eddie Van Halen, Dutch-born guitarist (1957–); Ellen DeGeneres, U.S. comedian/talk show host (1958–).

Thought For Today:

What we really are matters more than what other people think of us — Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian statesman (1889-1964).

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