Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2016. There are 350 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 16, 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. (Allied forces prevailed on Feb. 28, 1991.)

On this date:

In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as “Ivan the Terrible”) was crowned Czar.

In 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, “Forty acres and a mule.”)

In 1883, the U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.

In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)

In 1935, fugitive gangster Fred Barker and his mother, Kate “Ma” Barker, were killed in a shootout with the FBI at Lake Weir, Florida.

In 1942, actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother, Elizabeth, and 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nevada, while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.

In 1957, three B-52’s took off from Castle Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, which lasted 45 hours and 19 minutes. Classical music conductor Arturo Toscanini died in New York at age 89.

In 1969, two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.

In 1978, NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America’s first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America’s first black astronaut in space.

In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd’s passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)

In 1992, officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders signed a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war that had left at least 75,000 people dead.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN’ rah-MOHN’). (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)

Ten years ago: A U.S. military helicopter crashed north of Baghdad, killing the two crew members; it was the third American chopper to go down in ten days. Africa’s first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was sworn in as Liberia’s new president. “Brokeback Mountain” won four Golden Globes, including best motion picture drama; “Lost” won best dramatic television series while “Desperate Housewives” won for best musical or comedy series.

Five years ago: Former Haitian strongman Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who’d been living in exile in France, made a surprise return to Haiti as the country wrestled with a political crisis, cholera outbreak and stalled reconstruction from a devastating earthquake. “The Social Network” won top movie honors at the Golden Globes with four prizes, including best drama and director; “The Kids Are All Right” won for best musical or comedy. Top TV honors went to “Boardwalk Empire” and “Glee.”

One year ago: President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron met at the White House; Obama argued that a resurgent fear of terrorism across Europe and the United States should not lead countries to overreact and shed privacy protections, while Cameron pressed for more government access to encrypted communications used by U.S. companies. Anti-terrorism raids across Europe netted dozens of suspects as authorities rushed to thwart more attacks by people with links to Mideast Islamic extremists. The NCAA agreed to restore 112 football wins it had stripped from Penn State and Joe Paterno in the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal and to reinstate the venerated late coach as the winningest in major college football history.

Today’s Birthdays: Author William Kennedy is 88. Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 86. Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 82. Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 81. Singer Barbara Lynn is 74. Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 73. Singer Katherine Anderson Schaffner (The Marvelettes) is 72. Country singer Jim Stafford is 72. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 69. Movie director John Carpenter is 68. Actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 66. Singer Sade (shah-DAY’) is 57. Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 54. Rhythm-and-blues singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 50. Actor David Chokachi (CHOH’-kuh-chee) is 48. Actor-writer-director Josh Evans is 45. Actor Richard T. Jones is 44. Actress Josie Davis is 43. Model Kate Moss is 42. Country musician James Young (The Eli Young Band) is 36. Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 35. Actress Renee Felice Smith (TV: “NCIS: Los Angeles”) is 31. NFL quaterback Joe Flacco is 31. Actress Yvonne Zima is 27.

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