Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2016. There are 340 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 26, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act, which created America’s 10th national park.

On this date:

In 1784, in a letter to his daughter Sarah, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the choice of the bald eagle as the symbol of America, and stated his own preference: the turkey.

In 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.

In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.

In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.

In 1925, actor Paul Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

In 1939, during the Spanish Civil War, rebel forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco captured Barcelona.

In 1942, the first American Expeditionary Force to go to Europe during World War II arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.

In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon – but the probe ended up missing its target by more than 22,000 miles.

In 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.

In 1988, Australians celebrated the 200th anniversary of their country as a grand parade of tall ships re-enacted the voyage of the first European settlers. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Phantom of the Opera” opened at Broadway’s Majestic Theater.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton forcefully denied having an affair with a former White House intern, telling reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

In 2005, A U.S. Marine helicopter crashed in western Iraq, killing 30 Marines and a Navy medic aboard. A man parked his SUV on railroad tracks in Glendale, California, setting off a crash of two commuter trains that killed 11 people. (The SUV’s driver, Juan Alvarez, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms.) Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as secretary of state, following her confirmation by the Senate.

Ten years ago: Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Denmark to protest caricatures of the prophet Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper. (Protests spread across the Muslim world for weeks, and dozens of people were killed.) Confronted by Oprah Winfrey on her syndicated talk show, author James Frey acknowledged lies in his addiction memoir “A Million Little Pieces.”

Five years ago: Speaking in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, President Barack Obama campaigned vigorously for his revamped economic message, warning that other countries were grasping for first place in the global marketplace as the U.S. fell down on the job. Afghan President Hamid Karzai swore in the country’s new parliament, marking the end of a drawn-out battle over whether the lawmakers would be able to start work despite ongoing investigations into electoral fraud.

One year ago: A blizzard dumped heavy snow on parts of the Northeast but largely spared New York City, which had shut down in preparation for the storm. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had surgery to remove a clot and blood from his right eye and repair broken facial bones suffered in an accident while exercising. A 2-foot-long drone flown by a hobbyist crashed on the White House grounds, raising questions about the president’s security and a growing threat from the sky.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Anne Jeffreys is 93. Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 87. Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker is 81. Actor Scott Glenn is 77. Singer Jean Knight is 73. Activist Angela Davis is 72. Actor Richard Portnow (“Trumbo,” ”The Sopranos”) is 69. Rock musician Corky Laing (Mountain) is 68. Actor David Strathairn (streh-THEHRN’) is 67. Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is 63. Rock singer-musician Eddie Van Halen is 61. Reggae musician Norman Hassan (UB40) is 58. Actress-comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 58. Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky is 55. Musician Andrew Ridgeley is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazzie B. (Soul II Soul) is 53. Actor Paul Johansson is 52. Director Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) is 50. Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is 46. Actor Nate Mooney (“American Odyssey,” ”It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”) is 44. Actress Jennifer Crystal is 43. Rock musician Chris Hesse (Hoobastank) is 42. Actor Gilles Marini (ZHEEL ma-REE’-nee) is 40. Gospel singer Tye Tribbett is 40. NBA player Vince Carter is 39. Actress Sarah Rue is 38. Actor Colin O’Donoghue is 35. Country musician Michael Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 33.

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