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Wednesday, January 21

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2009. There are 344 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1521 - Pope Leo X excommunicates German reformer Martin Luther.
1606 - England's Parliament imposes severe penalties against Roman Catholics.
1643 - Dutch mariner Abel Tasman discovers Tonga in the Pacific.
1732 - Russia gives up claims to certain Persian territories under Treaty of Riascha.
1793 - France's King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, is executed on the guillotine.
1861 - The future president of the U.S. Confederacy, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, and four other Southerners resign from the U.S. Senate.
1908 - New York City women are prohibited from smoking in public.
1919 - Sinn Fein Congress in Dublin, Ireland, adopts Declaration of Independence.
1924 - First Nationalist Chinese Congress at Canton admits Communists and welcomes Russian advisers.
1942 - German forces launch new offensive in western African desert in World War II.
1945 - The Brazilian Expeditionary Force leads an allied attack on Monte Castelo in Italy, the only participation of South American troops in World War II.
1949 - Chiang Kai-Shek resigns from China presidency following Nationalist Party reversals.
1950 - A federal jury in New York City finds former State Department official Alger Hiss guilty of perjury.
1954 - The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut.
1968 - Thirty-one North Korean commandos attempt to attack South Korea's presidential palace. All but one die in gunfights; thirty-four South Koreans are killed.
1970 - France's sale of Mirage jets to Libya is announced; Iraq's government foils coup and promptly executes 12 men.
1974 - United States rejects South Vietnam's request for naval support in fighting with Chinese for Paracel Islands.
1976 - The supersonic Concorde jet is put into service by Britain and France.
1977 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.
1986 - A car packed with explosives blows up near office of President Amin Gemayel's Phalange Party in east Beirut, Lebanon, killing 22 people and wounding 102.
1990 - East Germany's Communist Party expels Egon Krenz, the leader who oversaw opening of Berlin Wall.
1991 - Latvia's parliament forms volunteer home guard and authorities bolster defenses at public buildings hours after Soviet commandos stage pre-dawn assault on republic's police headquarters.
1992 - U.N. Security Council urges Libya to surrender two agents indicted by United States in bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
1993 - A supertanker carrying 296 million liters (78 million gallons) of crude oil burns and leaks oil after slamming into another ship off Indonesia's northern tip.
1995 - Pope John Paul II ends his 11-day Asia tour in Sri Lanka on a note of controversy, when Buddhist leaders boycott a meeting with him to protest his views of their religion.
1996 - Winning 88 percent of the vote, Yasser Arafat emerges from the first Palestinian election with a mandate to lead his people to independence.
1998 - Pope John Paul II arrives on a historic five-day visit to communist Cuba.
1999 - Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of the ex-president of Mexico, is sentenced to 50 years in prison for having a political opponent murdered.
2000 - Hundreds of Ecuadorean-Indian protesters, outraged by the president's plan to make the U.S. dollar Ecuador's currency, declare a new government. The vice president later replaces the president.
2002 - Israeli troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships seize Palestinian-controlled West Bank city of Tulkarem, occupying the entire city and imposing a 24-hour curfew on its 45,000 residents; international donors at a conference in Tokyo, Japan, pledge more than $4.5 billion in aid to Afghanistan over the next five years.
2005 - A European probe to Saturn's largest moon finds a freezing, primitive but active world that, like Earth, seems to be doused with rains that gouge out rivers, erode rocks and form pools.
2006 - A whale stranded in the River Thames is hauled onto a barge and moved toward the sea while thousands of Londoners flock to the shore to see the rescue operation.
2007 - Sudanese government planes breach a cease-fire by bombing villages in northern Darfur, days after President Omar al-Bashir vows to adhere to a truce brokered by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and others during a visit.
2008 - Four bomb blasts hit the ordinarily peaceful Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, wounding one person, days after it announced the date of an election to end a century of absolute royal rule.
Today's Birthdays:
John Fitch, U.S. naval engineer (1743-1798); Leo Delibes, French composer (1836-1891); Telly Savalas, U.S. actor (1924-1994); Benny Hill, English comedian (1925-1992); Placido Domingo, Spanish tenor (1941--); Geena Davis, U.S. actress (1956--); Charlotte Ross, U.S. actress (1968--).
Thought For Today:
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18 _ Albert Einstein, German-born physicist (1879-1955).


Updated : 2021-06-21 22:31 GMT+08:00