Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2016. There are 357 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 9, 1916, the World War I Battle of Gallipoli ended after eight months with an Ottoman Empire victory as Allied forces withdrew.

On this date:

In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, New Jersey.

In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, retreated because of artillery fire.

In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, California.

In 1914, the County of Los Angeles opened the country’s first public defender’s office. The fraternity Phi Beta Sigma was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

In 1931, Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper broke an endurance record for female aviators as they returned to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.

In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing on the shores of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines as the Battle of Luzon got underway, resulting in an Allied victory over Imperial Japanese forces.

In 1957, Anthony Eden resigned as British prime minister for health reasons; he was succeeded by Harold Macmillan.

In 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.

In 1987, the White House released a Jan. 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 1997, a Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.

Ten years ago: Confirmation hearings opened in Washington for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. “The Phantom of the Opera” leapt past “Cats” to become the longest-running show in Broadway history (a record that still stands). Actor Don Stewart died in Santa Barbara, California, at age 70.

Five years ago: Federal prosecutors brought charges against Jared Loughner, the man accused of attempting to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and killing six people at a political event in Tucson the day before. British movie director Peter Yates, who sent actor Steve McQueen screeching through the streets of San Francisco in a Ford Mustang in “Bullitt,” died in London at age 81.

One year ago: French security forces shot and killed two al-Qaida-linked brothers suspected of carrying the rampage at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that had claimed 12 lives, the same day a gunman killed four people at a Paris kosher grocery store before being killed by police. Samuel Goldwyn Jr., 88, a champion of the independent film movement and son of one of the founders of Hollywood, died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Judith Krantz is 88. Football Hall-of-Famer Bart Starr is 82. Sportscaster Dick Enberg is 81. Actress K. Callan is 80. Folk singer Joan Baez is 75. Rockabilly singer Roy Head is 75. Rock musician Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) is 72. Actor John Doman is 71. Singer David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) is 66. Singer Crystal Gayle is 65. Actor J.K. Simmons is 61. Actress Imelda Staunton is 60. Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberto Menchu is 57. Rock musician Eric Erlandson is 53. Actress Joely Richardson is 51. Rock musician Carl Bell (Fuel) is 49. Rock singer Steve Harwell (Smash Mouth) is 49. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 49. Actress-director Joey Lauren Adams is 48. Actress Angela Bettis is 43. Roots singer-songwriter Hayes Carll is 40. Singer A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) is 38. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is 34. Pop-rock musician Drew Brown (OneRepublic) is 32. Rock-soul singer Paolo Nutini is 29. Actress Nina Dobrev is 27. Actor Tyree Brown is 12.

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