Today in History

Today is Thursday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2015. There are 343 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 22, 1901, Britain’s Queen Victoria died at age 81 after a reign of 63 years; she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII.

On this date:

In 1498, during his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrived at the present-day Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

In 1908, Katie Mulcahey became the first – and only – woman to run afoul of New York City’s just-passed ban on women smoking in public establishments. (Declaring, “No man shall dictate to me,” Mulcahey served a night in jail after refusing to pay a $5 fine; the law, which did not specify any fines, ended up being vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr.)

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson pleaded for an end to war in Europe, calling for “peace without victory.” (By April, however, America also was at war.)

In 1922, Pope Benedict XV died; he was succeeded by Pius XI.

In 1938, Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town” was performed publicly for the first time in Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces began landing at Anzio, Italy.

In 1957, suspected “Mad Bomber” George P. Metesky was arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut. (He was later found mentally ill and committed until 1973; he died in 1994.)

In 1968, “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” premiered on NBC-TV.

In 1970, the first regularly scheduled commercial flight of the Boeing 747 began in New York and ended in London some 6 1/2 hours later.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, legalized abortions using a trimester approach. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at his Texas ranch at age 64.

In 1984, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 to win Super Bowl XVIII (18) at Tampa Stadium in Florida; the CBS-TV broadcast featured Apple Computer’s famous “1984” commercial introducing the Macintosh computer.

In 1995, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy died at the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, at age 104.

Ten years ago: The Iraqi government pledged to do everything in its power to protect voters from insurgent attacks during upcoming elections, as militants announced they’d killed 15 captive Iraqi National Guardsmen for cooperating with the Americans. Friends and family bade farewell to ten people killed when a mudslide damaged more than two dozen homes in La Conchita, California. President Richard Nixon’s former secretary, Rose Mary Woods, died in Alliance, Ohio, at age 87. “Besame (BAY’-sah-may) Mucho” songwriter Consuelo Velazquez died in Mexico; she was believed to have been 88.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama tried to revive his battered agenda and rally Democrats with a renewed emphasis on jobs during a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio. The “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon raised over $66 million. Conan O’Brien ended his brief tenure on “The Tonight Show” after accepting a $45 million buyout from NBC to leave the show he’d long dreamed of hosting after only seven months. Actress Jean Simmons, 80, died in Santa Monica, California. Actor James Mitchell, 89, died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: The White House Council on Women and Girls released a report on rape at college campuses, saying 1 in 5 female students were assaulted while only 1 in 8 student victims reported it. Edgar Tamayo, a Mexican national, was put to death in Texas for killing Houston police officer Guy Gaddis despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from Mexico and the U.S. State Department to halt the execution. Israel said it had foiled an “advanced” al-Qaida plan to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and bomb other targets.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., is 87. Actress Piper Laurie is 83. Actor Seymour Cassel is 80. Author Joseph Wambaugh is 78. Actor John Hurt is 75. Singer Steve Perry is 66. Country singer-musician Teddy Gentry (Alabama) is 63. Movie director Jim Jarmusch is 62. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy is 58. Actress Linda Blair is 56. Actress Diane Lane is 50. Actor-rap DJ Jazzy Jeff is 50. Country singer Regina Nicks (Regina Regina) is 50. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri (TV: “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”) is 47. Actress Olivia d’Abo is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gay (Shai) is 46. Actress Katie Finneran (TV: “The Michael J. Fox Show”) is 44. Actor Gabriel Macht is 43. Actor Balthazar Getty is 40. Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson is 35. Pop singer Willa Ford is 34. Actress Beverley (cq) Mitchell is 34. Rock singer-musician Ben Moody is 34. Actor Kevin Sheridan is 33. Actress-singer Phoebe Strole (TV: “Glee”) is 32. Actress Sami Gayle (TV: “Blue Bloods”) is 19.

Thought for Today: “Children need models rather than critics.” – Joseph Joubert (zhoo-BAYR’), French moralist (1754-1824).

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