Today in History
Today is Monday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2023. There are 349 days left in the year. This is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 16, 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. (Allied forces prevailed on Feb. 28, 1991.)
On this date:
In 27 B.C., Caesar Augustus was declared the first Emperor of the Roman Empire by the Senate.
In 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, “Forty acres and a mule.”)
In 1912, a day before reaching the South Pole, British explorer Robert Scott and his expedition found evidence that Roald Amundsen of Norway and his team had gotten there ahead of them.
In 1919, pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski (pah-dehr-EHF’-skee) became the first premier of the newly created Republic of Poland.
In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)
In 1942, actor Carole Lombard, 33, her mother, Elizabeth, and 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nevada, while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.
In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a Black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd’s passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)
In 2002, Richard Reid was indicted in Boston on federal charges alleging he’d tried to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes. (Reid later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.)
In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN’ rah-MOHN’). (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)
In 2017, former NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan, to date the last man to walk on the moon, died in Houston at age 82.
In 2020, the first impeachment trial of President Donald Trump opened in the Senate, with senators standing and swearing an oath of “impartial justice.” Trump, who denounced the proceedings as a “hoax,” would later be acquitted on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Ten years ago: Braced for a fight, President Barack Obama unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Pauline Friedman Phillips, better known as advice columnist Dear Abby, died in Minneapolis at age 94.
Five years ago: Pope Francis met with survivors of priests who sexually abused them; a spokesman said Francis wept with them and apologized for the “irreparable damage” they suffered. Authorities in Denmark charged inventor Peter Madsen with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall during a trip on his private submarine. (Madsen was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.)
One year ago: Tennis star Novak Djokovic, who refused to be vaccinated for COVID-19, was deported from Australia after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title. France’s parliament approved a law to exclude unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports arenas and other venues, as the government tried to protect hospitals amid record numbers of COVID-19 infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.
Author William Kennedy is 95. Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 93. Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 89. Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 88. Singer Barbara Lynn is 81. Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 80. Singer Katherine Anderson Schaffner (The Marvelettes) is 79. Country singer Jim Stafford is 79. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 76. Movie director John Carpenter is 75. Actor-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 73. R&B singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 64. Singer Sade (shah-DAY’) is 64. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is 64. Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 61. Actor David Chokachi (CHOH’-kuh-chee) is 55. Former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is 54. Actor-writer-director Josh Evans is 52. Actor-comedian Jonathan Mangum is 52. Actor Richard T. Jones is 51. Actor Josie Davis is 50. Model Kate Moss is 49. Actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda is 43. Country musician James Young (The Eli Young Band) is 43. Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 42. Actor Renee Felice Smith is 38. NFL quarterback Joe Flacco is 38. Actor Yvonne Zima (“The Young and the Restless”) is 34.