Today is Thursday, Jan. 28, the 28th day of 2016. There are 338 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Jan. 28, 1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service. The American merchant vessel SS William P. Frye, en route to England with a cargo of wheat, became the first U.S. ship to be sunk during World War I by a German cruiser, the SS Prinz Eitel Friedrich, even though the United States was not at war.
On this date:
In 1547, England’s King Henry VIII died; he was succeeded by his 9-year-old son, Edward VI.
In 1813, the novel “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen was first published anonymously in London.
In 1909, the United States withdrew its forces from Cuba as Jose Miguel Gomez became president.
In 1939, Irish poet-dramatist William Butler Yeats died in Menton, France.
In 1945, during World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.
In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first national TV appearance on “Stage Show,” a CBS program hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.
In 1962, the last of Washington, D.C.’s original streetcars made its final run.
In 1973, a cease-fire officially went into effect in the Vietnam War.
In 1977, actor-comedian Freddie Prinze, 22, co-star of the NBC-TV show “Chico and the Man,” shot and mortally wounded himself at the Beverly Comstock Hotel (he died the following day).
In 1980, six U.S. diplomats who had avoided being taken hostage at their embassy in Tehran flew out of Iran with the help of Canadian diplomats.
In 1985, the charity supergroup USA for Africa recorded the Michael Jackson-Lionel Richie song “We Are the World” at A&M Studios in Los Angeles.
In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
In 2005, Iraqis overseas began three days of voting in 14 nations. Senate Democrats criticized President George W. Bush’s plan to add personal accounts to Social Security and accused his administration of improperly using the Social Security Administration to promote the idea. Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. and Gillette Co. announced a $57 billion merger.
Ten years ago: A memorial service was held at the Kennedy Space Center to honor the crew of the Challenger on the 20th anniversary of the shuttle disaster. Sixty-five people were killed when the roof of an exhibition hall in Katowice, Poland, collapsed during a racing pigeon fair. Amelie Mauresmo won her first Grand Slam singles title when Justine Henin-Hardenne retired in the second set of their Australian Open final because of stomach pain. Mauresmo led 6-1, 2-0.
Five years ago: Chaos engulfed Egypt as protesters seized the streets of Cairo, battling police, burning down the ruling party’s headquarters and defying a military curfew. Hundreds gathered at NASA’s launch site to mark the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Police in Tampa, Fla., arrested Julie Schenecker in the shooting deaths of her 13-year-old son Beau and 16-year-old daughter Calyx; Schenecker allegedly told detectives she’d killed her children for being “mouthy.” The nation’s largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., took control of NBC Universal, capping a 13-month bid.
One year ago: Jordan offered a precedent-setting prisoner swap to the Islamic State group in a desperate attempt to save a Jordanian Air Force pilot the militants threatened to kill along with a Japanese hostage. Jordan asked for proof that the pilot was still alive. The pilot’s father met with Jordan’s king who he said assured him that “everything will be fine.” President Barack Obama phoned Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to congratulate him on his party’s election victory and told him the U.S. would work closely with Greece to help it pursue long-term prosperity. At a farewell ceremony for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama called him a true American patriot who devoted his life to the United States.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Nicholas Pryor is 81. Actor Alan Alda is 80. Actress Susan Howard is 74. Actress Marthe Keller is 71. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is 69. Actress-singer Barbi Benton is 66. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren is 62. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is 61. Actress Harley Jane Kozak is 59. Movie director Frank Darabont is 57. Rock musician Dave Sharp is 57. Rock singer Sam Phillips is 54. Rock musician Dan Spitz is 53. Country musician Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 51. Gospel singer Marvin Sapp is 49. Singer Sarah McLachlan is 48. Rapper Rakim is 48. DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) is 48. Actress Kathryn Morris is 47. Humorist Mo Rocca is 47. Rock/soul musician Jeremy Ruzumna (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Hamilton is 45. Singer Monifah is 44. Rock musician Brandon Bush is 43. Retired MLB All-Star Jermaine Dye is 42. Actress Terro Conn is 41. Singer Joey Fatone Jr. (‘N Sync) is 39. Rapper Rick Ross is 39. Actress Rosamund Pike is 37. Actress Angelique Cabral is 37. Singer Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) is 36. Actor Elijah Wood is 35. Rapper J. Cole is 31. Actress Alexandra Krosney is 28. Actor Yuri Sardarov (“Chicago Fire”) is 28. Actress Ariel Winter is 18.
Thought for Today: “It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.” — Robert H. Goddard, American rocket engineer (1882-1945).