Today in History

Today is Thursday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2017. There are 346 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 19, 1977, on his last full day in office, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American convicted of treason for making English-language radio broadcasts from Japan aimed at demoralizing Allied troops in the Pacific Theater during World War II. (Although she was popularly referred to as “Tokyo Rose,” D’Aquino never used that name, and was believed to be one of a group of female broadcasters.)

On this date:

In 1807, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

In 1861, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the Union.

In 1867, the song “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” by Gaston Lyle, Alfred Lee and George Leybourne was first published in London.

In 1915, Germany carried out its first air raid on Britain during World War I as a pair of Zeppelins dropped bombs onto Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn in England.

In 1937, millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in seven hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.

In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces captured the British protectorate of North Borneo. A German submarine sank the Canadian liner RMS Lady Hawkins off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, killing 251 people; 71 survived.

In 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television and newsreels for the first time, with the permission of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1960, the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America was signed by both countries in Washington, D.C.

In 1966, Indira Gandhi was chosen to be prime minister of India by the National Congress party.

In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon nominated G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court; however, the nomination was defeated because of controversy over Carswell’s past racial views.

In 1987, Guy Hunt became Alabama’s first Republican governor since 1874 as he was sworn into office, succeeding George C. Wallace.

In 1992, German government and Jewish officials dedicated a Holocaust memorial at the villa on the outskirts of Berlin where the notorious Wannsee Conference had taken place.

Ten years ago: Former Rep. Bob Ney (nay), R-Ohio, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for his role in a lobbying scandal. (Ney was released from a halfway house in Aug. 2008 after serving nearly a year and a-half of his prison sentence.) Denny Doherty, a member of the 1960s folk-rock group The Mamas & the Papas, died near Toronto at age 66.

Five years ago: Six U.S. Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan. Texas Gov. Rick Perry abruptly quit the Republican presidential race. One of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, was shut down as its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content. Rupert Murdoch’s media empire apologized and agreed to cash payouts to 37 people who’d been harassed and phone-hacked by its tabloid press.

One year ago: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump received the endorsement of conservative firebrand Sarah Palin, giving the billionaire businessman a potential boost less than two weeks before Iowa’s kick-off caucuses. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, in his State of the State address, again pledged to fix the crisis over Flint’s lead-contaminated water. Italian movie director Ettore Scola, 84, died in Rome.

Today’s Birthdays: Former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar is 97. Actress Tippi Hedren is 87. Former PBS newsman Robert MacNeil is 86. Movie director Richard Lester is 85. Actor-singer Michael Crawford is 75. Actress Shelley Fabares is 73. Country singer Dolly Parton is 71. Former ABC newswoman Ann Compton is 70. TV chef Paula Deen is 70. Rock singer Martha Davis is 66. Singer Dewey Bunnell (America) is 65. Actor Desi Arnaz, Jr. is 64. Actress Katey Sagal is 63. Comedian Paul Rodriguez is 62. Conductor Sir Simon Rattle is 62. Reggae musician Mickey Virtue (UB40) is 60. Rock musician Jeff Pilson (Foreigner) is 59. Actor Paul McCrane is 56. Actor William Ragsdale is 56. Basketball coach Jeff Van Gundy is 55. International Tennis Hall of Famer Stefan Edberg is 51. Rock singer Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) is 49. Singer Trey Lorenz is 48. Actor Shawn Wayans is 46. Rock singer-musician John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) is 46. Actress Drea de Matteo is 45. Comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo is 43. Actor Drew Powell is 41. Actress Marsha Thomason is 41. Actress Bitsie Tulloch is 36. Actress Jodie Sweetin is 35. Movie director Damien Chazelle (Film: “La La Land”) is 32. Actor Logan Lerman is 25. Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson is 25. Rapper Mac Miller is 25.

Thought for Today: “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” — Edgar Allan Poe, American author, poet and critic (born this date in 1809, died 1849).

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