Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2015. There are 342 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 23, 1968, North Korea seized the Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, charging its crew with being on a spying mission. (The crew was released 11 months later.)

On this date:

In 1789, Georgetown University was established in present-day Washington D.C.

In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

In 1915, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was born in Jackson, Michigan.

In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the so-called “Lame Duck Amendment,” was ratified as Missouri approved it.

In 1937, 17 people went on trial in Moscow during Josef Stalin’s “Great Purge.” (All were convicted of conspiracy; all but four were executed.)

In 1944, Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (“The Scream”) died near Oslo at age 80.

In 1950, the Israeli Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In 1960, the U.S. Navy-operated bathyscaphe (BATH’-ih-skahf) Trieste carried two men to the deepest known point in the Pacific Ocean, reaching a depth of more than 35,000 feet.

In 1964, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified as South Dakota became the 38th state to endorse it.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War, and would be formally signed four days later in Paris.

In 1985, debate in Britain’s House of Lords was carried on live television for the first time.

In 1995, the Supreme Court, in McKennon vs. Nashville Banner Publishing Co., ruled that companies accused of firing employees illegally could not escape liability by later finding a lawful reason to justify the dismissal.

Ten years ago: Former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson died in Los Angeles at age 79. Viktor Yushchenko was sworn in as president of Ukraine. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-10 to win the NFC championship game; the New England Patriots won the AFC championship by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 41-27.

Five years ago: Abby Sunderland, 16, left Marina del Rey, California, on her first attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. (The voyage ended a week and a-half later because the boat experienced power problems; Sunderland then made a second attempt, but that, too, fell short.) Rachael Flatt won her first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Washington, finishing more than 10 points ahead of Mirai Nagasu (mih-RY’ NAH’-guh-soo).

One year ago: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered immediate actions to define the depth of trouble inside the nation’s nuclear force, which had been rocked by disclosures about security lapses, poor discipline, weak morale and other problems. A fire at a seniors’ home in L’Isle-Verte, Quebec, Canada, killed 32 people. Pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. (Bieber later pleaded guilty to careless driving and resisting arrest under a deal that spared him jail time.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Jeanne Moreau is 87. Actress Chita Rivera is 82. Actor-director Lou Antonio is 81. Actor Gil Gerard is 72. Actor Rutger Hauer is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jerry Lawson (The Persuasions) is 71. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., is 68. Singer Anita Pointer is 67. Actor Richard Dean Anderson is 65. Rock musician Bill Cunningham is 65. Rock singer Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) is 62. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (vee-yah-ry-GOH’-sah) is 62. Princess Caroline of Monaco is 58. Singer Anita Baker is 57. Reggae musician Earl Falconer (UB40) is 56. Actress Gail O’Grady is 52. Actress Mariska Hargitay is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Nelson is 44. Actress Tiffani Thiessen is 41. Rock musician Nick Harmer (Death Cab for Cutie) is 40. Christian rock musician Nick DePartee (Kutless) is 30. Singer-actress Rachel Crow is 17.

Thought for Today: “The trouble is that hardly anybody in America goes to bed angry at night.” – George J. Stigler, American economist (1911-1991).

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