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Today in History for Jan. 30, 2014

Today is Thursday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2014. There are 335 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Jan. 30, 1964, the United States launched Ranger 6, an unmanned spacecraft carrying television cameras that crash-landed on the moon, but failed to send back images.

On this date:

In 1649, England’s King Charles I was executed for treason.

In 1862, the ironclad USS Monitor was launched from the Continental Iron Works in Greenpoint, N.Y., during the Civil War.

In 1882, the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was born in Hyde Park, N.Y.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. The first episode of the “Lone Ranger” radio program was broadcast on station WXYZ in Detroit.

In 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Tennessee Electric Power Co. v. Tennessee Valley Authority, upheld the right of the federally-owned TVA to compete with private utilities.

In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.)

In 1962, two members of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit.

In 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.

In 1972, 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

In 1974, President Richard Nixon delivered what would be his last State of the Union address; Nixon pledged to rein in rising prices without the “harsh medicine of recession” and establish a national health care plan that every American could afford.

In 1981, an estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the freed American hostages from Iran.

In 1993, Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.

Ten years ago: Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe was found guilty in connection with a party financing scandal and declared ineligible for public office for 10 years (later reduced to one year on appeal). NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity spied hints of a mineral that typically forms in water – a finding that could mean the dry and dusty Red Planet was once wetter and more hospitable to life.

Five years ago: Michael Steele was elected the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee. President Barack Obama signed a series of executive orders that he said should “level the playing field” for labor unions in their struggles with management. Ingemar Johansson, who stunned the boxing world by knocking out Floyd Patterson to win the heavyweight title in 1959, died in Kungsbacka, Sweden. Former Alabama Gov. Guy Hunt died in Birmingham at age 75.

One year ago: In a dramatic appeal before the Senate Judiciary Committee, wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged Congress to enact tougher curbs on guns, saying, “too many children are dying” without them. Israel conducted a rare airstrike on a military target inside Syria amid fears President Bashar Assad’s regime could provide powerful weapons to the Islamic militant group Hezbollah. Patty Andrews, 94, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio, died in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge.

Today’s birthdays: Actress Dorothy Malone is 89. Producer-director Harold Prince is 86. Actor Gene Hackman is 84. Actress Tammy Grimes is 80. Actress Vanessa Redgrave is 77. Chess grandmaster Boris Spassky is 77. Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 77. Country singer Norma Jean is 76. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is 73. Rock singer Marty Balin is 72. Rhythm-and-blues musician William King (The Commodores) is 65. Singer Phil Collins is 63. Actor Charles S. Dutton is 63. World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange is 59. Actress-comedian Brett Butler is 56. Singer Jody Watley is 55. Actor-filmmaker Dexter Scott King is 53. The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, is 52. Actor Norbert Leo Butz is 47. Country singer Tammy Cochran is 42. Actor Christian Bale is 40. Rock musician Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is 40. Pop-country singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is 34. Actor Wilmer Valderrama is 34. Actor Jake Thomas is 24.

Thought for today: “History repeats itself in the large because human nature changes with geological leisureliness.” — Will (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant (1898-1981), American historians.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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