Today's Highlight in History: Two Hundred & Fifty years ago, in 1759, Scottish poet Robert Burns was born in Alloway. On this date: In 1533, England's King Henry VIII secretly married Anne Boleyn, his second wife. In 1787, Shays' Rebellion suffered a setback when debt-ridden farmers led by Capt. Daniel Shays failed to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Mass. In 1858, Britain's Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, married Crown Prince Frederick William (the future German Emperor and King of Prussia) at St. James's Palace. In 1890, the United Mine Workers of America was founded in Columbus, Ohio. Reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) of the New York World completed a round-the-world journey in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes. One Hundred years ago, in 1909, the opera "Elektra" by Richard Strauss premiered in Dresden, Germany. In 1915, Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated US transcontinental telephone service between New York and San Francisco. In 1947, American gangster Al Capone died in Miami Beach, Fla., at age 48. Fifty years ago, in 1959, American Airlines began jet flights between New York and Los Angeles on the Boeing 707. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy held the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and television.Forty years ago, in 1969, Vietnam War peace talks resumed in Paris, with the inclusion of representatives from South Vietnam and the Viet Cong. In 1971, Charles Manson and three women followers were convicted in Los Angeles of murder and conspiracy in the 1969 slayings of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate. In 1988, Vice President George Bush and Dan Rather clashed on "The CBS Evening News" as the anchorman attempted to question the Republican presidential candidate about his role in the Iran-Contra affair. In 1993, a gunman shot and killed two CIA employees outside agency headquarters in Virginia. (Aimal Khan Kasi, a Pakistani man, was later convicted and was executed in 2002.) In 1994, singer Michael Jackson settled a child molestation lawsuit against him. In 1995, the defense gave its opening statement in the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles, saying Simpson was the victim of a "rush to judgment" by authorities. Ten years ago: The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the 2000 census could not use statistical sampling to enhance its accuracy. In Louisville, Ky., a man who'd lost his left hand received the first hand transplant in the United States. A powerful earthquake rocked Colombia, killing more than 1,000 people. Five years ago: NASA's Opportunity rover zipped its first pictures of Mars to Earth, showing a surface smooth and dark red in some places, and strewn with fragmented slabs of light bedrock in others. Outgoing US weapons inspector David Kay told National Public Radio his inability to find illicit arms in Iraq raised serious questions about US intelligence-gathering. Mikhail Saakashvili was inaugurated as Georgia's president. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" snared best dramatic film at the Golden Globes; HBO's six-hour adaptation of "Angels in America" won best miniseries or TV movie. In 2006, the Islamic militant group Hamas won a large majority of seats in Palestinian parliamentary elections. In 2007, Ford Motor Co. said it had lost a staggering $12.7 billion in 2006, the worst loss in the company's 103-year history. One year ago: President Bush urged Congress to quickly pass an economic stimulus package void of extraneous spending, saying only quick action would kickstart the sputtering economy. Democrat Dennis Kucinich abandoned his presidential bid to focus on a tough race for re-election to Congress. Thought for Today: "There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing." — Robert Burns, Scottish poet (1759-1796).
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