Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Today in History for Jan. 8, 2014

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2014. There are 357 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

On this date:

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

In 1815, U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans – the closing engagement of the War of 1812.

In 1912, the African National Congress was founded in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

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, Miss.

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

In 1973, the Paris peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed.

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 1989, 47 people were killed when a British Midland Boeing 737-400 carrying 126 people crashed in central England.

In 1994, Tonya Harding won the ladies’ U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, a day after Nancy Kerrigan dropped out because of the clubbing attack that had injured her right knee. (The U.S. Figure Skating Association later stripped Harding of the title.)

In 2003, a commuter plane crashed after takeoff from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing all 21 people on board. A Turkish Airlines jet crashed in Turkey, killing 75 people (five passengers survived).

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 other people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced in Nov. 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after pleading guilty to 19 federal charges in the case.)

Ten years ago: A U.S. Black Hawk medivac helicopter crashed near Fallujah, Iraq, killing all nine soldiers aboard. Libya agreed to compensate family members of victims of a 1989 bombing of a French passenger plane over the Niger desert that killed 170 people.

Five years ago: President-elect Barack Obama urged lawmakers to work with him “day and night, on weekends if necessary” to approve the largest taxpayer-funded stimulus ever. Obama named Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine the next Democratic National Committee chairman. The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza by a 14-0 vote, with the United States abstaining. No. 1 Florida beat No. 2 Oklahoma 24-14 for the BCS national title. Cornelia Wallace, former wife of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, died in Sebring, Fla. at age 69.

One year ago: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, launched a political action committee aimed at curbing gun violence as her Arizona hometown paused to mark the second anniversary of the deadly shooting rampage.

Today’s birthdays: Former Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh is 102. Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 91. Actor Ron Moody is 90. Broadcast journalist Sander Vanocur is 86. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 81. Singer Shirley Bassey is 77. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 76. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 73. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 72. Physicist Stephen Hawking is 72. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 68. Rock singer David Bowie is 67. Movie director John McTiernan is 63. Actress Harriet Sansom Harris is 59. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 50. Actress Maria Pitillo is 49. Actress Michelle Forbes is 49. Singer R. Kelly is 47. Rock musician Jeff Abercrombie (Fuel) is 45. Actress Ami Dolenz is 45. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 41. Country singer Tift Merritt is 39. Actress-rock singer Jenny Lewis is 38. Actress Amber Benson is 37. Actor Scott Whyte is 36. Singer-songwriter Erin McCarley is 35. Actress Sarah Polley is 35. Actor Windell D. Middlebrooks is 35. Actress Rachel Nichols is 34. Actress Gaby Hoffman is 32. Rock musician Disashi Lumumbo-Kasongo (Gym Class Heroes) is 31.

Thought for today: “The devil is easy to identify. He appears when you’re terribly tired and makes a very reasonable request which you know you shouldn’t grant.” — Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City (1882-1947).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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