Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2021. There are 359 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 6, 2001, with Vice President Al Gore presiding in his capacity as president of the Senate, Congress formally certified George W. Bush the winner of the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election.
On this date:
In 1412, tradition holds that Joan of Arc was born this day in Domremy.
In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. (The marriage lasted about six months.)
In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.
In 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, New York, at age 60.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, outlined a goal of “Four Freedoms”: Freedom of speech and expression; the freedom of people to worship God in their own way; freedom from want; freedom from fear.
In 1968, a surgical team at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, led by Dr. Norman Shumway, performed the first U.S. adult heart transplant, placing the heart of a 43-year-old man in a 54-year-old patient (the recipient died 15 days later).
In 1993, jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, 75, died in Englewood, N.J.; ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev died in suburban Paris at age 54.
In 1994, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the leg by an assailant at Detroit’s Cobo Arena; four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s rival, Tonya Harding, went to prison for their roles in the attack. (Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution, but denied any advance knowledge about the assault.)
In 1998, in a new bid to expand health insurance, President Clinton unveiled a proposal to offer Medicare coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans from ages 55 to 64.
In 2003, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein accused U.N. inspectors of engaging in “intelligence work” instead of searching for suspected nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in his country.
In 2005, former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen was arrested on murder charges 41 years after three civil rights workers were slain in Mississippi. (Killen was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison; he died in prison in 2018.)
In 2017, Congress certified Donald Trump’s presidential victory over the objections of a handful of House Democrats, with Vice President Joe Biden pronouncing, “It is over.”
Ten years ago: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he would cut $78 billion from the Defense Department budget over the next five years, an effort to trim fat in light of the nation’s ballooning deficit. Vang Pao, a revered former general in the Royal Army of Laos who’d led thousands of Hmong guerrillas in a CIA-backed secret army in the Vietnam War, died in Clovis, California, at age 81.
Five years ago: North Korea said that it had conducted a powerful hydrogen bomb test, a claim greeted with widespread skepticism. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Actor-comedian Pat Harrington Jr., 86, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Throngs of Iranians attended the funeral of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who’d been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq; Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept while praying over the casket. Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said he was “prepared to testify” if subpoenaed by the Senate in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (The Senate voted against calling witnesses.) Facebook said it would ban “deepfake” videos, the false but realistic clips created with artificial intelligence, as it stepped up efforts to fight online manipulation. As he recovered from surgery on his injured hip, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said he would enter the NFL draft. (He would be the fifth player drafted, and was chosen by the Miami Dolphins.)
Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Joey Miskulin (Riders in the Sky) is 72. Former FBI director Louis Freeh is 71. Rock singer-musician Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) is 70. Singer Jett Williams is 68. Actor-comedian Rowan Atkinson is 66. World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez is 64. Actor Scott Bryce is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kathy Sledge is 62. TV chef Nigella Lawson is 61. Rhythm-and-blues singer Eric Williams (BLACKstreet) is 61. Actor Norman Reedus is 52. TV personality Julie Chen is 51. Actor Danny Pintauro (TV: “Who’s the Boss?”) is 45. Actor Cristela Alonzo is 42. Actor Rinko Kikuchi (RINK’-oh kih-KOO’-chee) is 40. Actor Eddie Redmayne is 39. Retired NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas is 39. Actor-comedian Kate McKinnon is 37. Actor Diona Reasonover is 37. Rock singer Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) is 35.