Today in History
Today is Thursday, Jan. 7, the seventh day of 2021. There are 358 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 7, 1789, America held its first presidential election as voters chose electors who, a month later, selected George Washington to be the nation’s first chief executive.
On this date:
In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.
In 1942, Japanese forces began besieging American and Filipino troops in Bataan during World War II. (The fall of Bataan three months later was followed by the notorious Death March.)
In 1953, President Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.
In 1959, the United States recognized the new government of Cuba, six days after Fidel Castro led the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1972, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and William H. Rehnquist were sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
In 1989, Emperor Hirohito of Japan died in Tokyo at age 87; he was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.
In 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate. President Bill Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice; he was acquitted.
In 2004, President George W. Bush proposed legal status, at least temporarily, for millions of immigrants improperly working in the U.S.
In 2006, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, facing corruption charges, stepped down as House majority leader. (DeLay was found guilty in Nov. 2010 of illegally funneling corporate money to Texas candidates; his conviction was eventually overturned.)
In 2015, masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper that had caricatured the Prophet Mohammad, methodically killing 12 people, including the editor, before escaping in a car. (Two suspects were killed two days later.)
In 2019, Amazon eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly-traded company in the U.S. For the first time in more than 25 years, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent from oral arguments as she recuperated from cancer surgery.
Ten years ago: A package addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ignited at a Washington postal facility, a day after fiery packages sent to Maryland’s governor and state transportation secretary burned the fingers of workers who opened them.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama tore into the National Rifle Association during a televised town hall meeting in Fairfax, Virginia, as he dismissed what he called a “conspiracy” alleging that the federal government — and Obama in particular — wanted to seize all firearms as a precursor to imposing martial law.
One year ago: A magnitude 6.4 earthquake, the strongest to hit Puerto Rico in more than 100 years, killed one person, injured nine others and knocked out power across the U.S. territory. A stampede at the funeral of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in his Iranian hometown of Kerman killed 56 people and injured more than 200. Jury selection began in New York for the rape and sexual assault trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein; about a third of the first 120 prospective jurors were sent home after they said they could not be impartial. Neil Peart, the drummer for the influential rock trio Rush, died at the age of 67 at his California home; the band said he had been battling brain cancer.
Today’s Birthdays: Magazine publisher Jann Wenner is 75. Singer Kenny Loggins is 73. Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman is 72. Actor Erin Gray is 71. Actor Sammo Hung is 69. Actor Jodi Long is 67. Actor David Caruso is 65. Talk show host Katie Couric is 64. Country singer David Lee Murphy is 62. Rock musician Kathy Valentine is 62. Actor David Marciano is 61. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is 60. Actor Hallie Todd is 59. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is 58. Actor Nicolas Cage is 57. Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik (on-DRAH’-sik) (Five for Fighting) is 56. Actor Rex Lee is 52. Actor Doug E. Doug is 51. Actor Kevin Rahm is 50. Actor Jeremy Renner is 50. Country singer-musician John Rich is 47. Actor Dustin Diamond is 44. Actor Reggie Austin is 42. Singer-rapper Aloe Blacc is 42. Actor Lauren Cohan is 39. Actor Brett Dalton is 38. Actor Robert Ri’chard is 38. Actor Lyndsy Fonseca is 34. Actor Liam Aiken is 31. Actor Camryn Grimes is 31. Actor Max Morrow is 30. Actor Marcus Scribner is 21.