Today in History
Today is Sunday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2023. There are 357 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”
On this date:
In 1815, the last major engagement of the War of 1812 came to an end as U.S. forces defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, not having received word of the signing of a peace treaty.
In 1867, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in overriding President Andrew Johnson’s veto of the District of Columbia Suffrage Bill, giving Black men in the nation’s capital the right to vote.
In 1912, the African National Congress was founded in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.
In 1923, actor-comedian Larry Storch was born.
In 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.
In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.
In 1994, Tonya Harding won the ladies’ U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, a day after Nancy Kerrigan dropped out because of the clubbing attack that had injured her right knee. (The U.S. Figure Skating Association later stripped Harding of the title.)
In 1998, Ramzi Yousef (RAHM’-zee YOO’-sef), the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sentenced in New York to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In 2008, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire’s 2008 Democratic primary in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House; Sen. John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination.
In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF’-nur) was sentenced in Nov. 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.)
In 2016, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the world’s most-wanted drug lord, was captured for a third time in a daring raid by Mexican marines, six months after walking through a tunnel to freedom from a maximum security prison.
In 2020, Iran struck back at the United States for killing Iran’s top military commander, firing missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing American troops; more than 100 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the attack. As Iran braced for a counterattack, the country’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a Ukrainian jetliner after apparently mistaking it for a missile; all 176 people on board were killed, including 82 Iranians and more than 50 Canadians.
Ten years ago: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, launched a political action committee aimed at curbing gun violence as her Arizona hometown paused to mark the second anniversary of the deadly shooting rampage.
Five years ago: Alabama beat Georgia in overtime, 26-23, to claim the College Football Playoff national championship after freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (tag-oh-vay-LOH’-ah) came off the bench to spark a comeback. A judge in Las Vegas dismissed criminal charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons, who were accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities.
One year ago: NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope opened its huge, gold-plated, flower-shaped mirror, the final step in the unfurling of the observatory, which had already traveled more than 660,000 miles since its Christmas Day launch. Negotiations resumed in an effort to resolve a standoff between Chicago school officials and the city’s teachers union over COVID-19 precautions. (An agreement the following week would end the dispute after five days of canceled classes.) Oscar-winning lyricist Marilyn Bergman, who teamed with her husband Alan on songs including “The Way We Were,” died at her Los Angeles home; she was 93.
Today’s birthdays: Former CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 90. Singer Shirley Bassey is 86. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 85. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 83. R&B singer Jerome Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 82. Singer Juanita Cowart Motley (The Marvelettes) is 79. Actor Kathleen Noone is 78. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 77. Movie director John McTiernan is 72. Actor Harriet Sansom Harris is 68. Actor Ron Cephas Jones is 66. Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is 65. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 59. Actor Michelle Forbes is 58. Actor Maria Pitillo (pih-TIHL’-loh) is 57. Singer R. Kelly is 56. Actor/producer Ami Dolenz is 54. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 50. Actor Donnell Turner (“General Hospital”) is 50. Country singer Tift Merritt is 48. Actor-rock singer Jenny Lewis is 47. Actor Amber Benson is 46. Actor Scott Whyte is 45. Singer-songwriter Erin McCarley is 44. Actor Sarah Polley is 44. Actor Gaby (GAB’-ee) Hoffman is 41. Rock musician Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo (dih-SAH’-shee LUHM’-uhm-boh kuh-SAHN’-goh) (Gym Class Heroes) is 40. Actor Cynthia Erivo is 36. Actor Freddie Stroma is 36.