Today is Saturday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2009. There are 341 days left in the year.
Today in Sound & Vision
Today's Highlight in History:
Jan. 24, 1908, is considered the starting date of the Boy Scouts movement in England, under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell.
On this date:
In 1742, Charles VII was elected Holy Roman Emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession.
In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49. [And, of course, the ruin of California. — Ed.]
In 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader. (However, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg.)
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.
In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.
In 1984, Apple Computer began selling its Macintosh PC.
In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner and Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh (All were eventually released.)
In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida's electric chair, for the 1978 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach.
In 2003, Tom Ridge was sworn in as the first head of the new Department of Homeland Security.
Ten years ago: House prosecutors interviewed Monica Lewinsky, a move that triggered fresh partisan convulsions in President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial. Olympic leaders recommended the expulsions of six International Olympic Committee members in an unprecedented response to the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the games.
Five years ago: Howard Dean sharply questioned John Kerry's judgment on Iraq as Democratic presidential rivals raced through a final weekend of campaigning before the New Hampshire primary. NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars, arriving at the Red Planet exactly three weeks after its identical twin's landing.
One year ago: Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200. [Har-de-har-har. How'd that work out, idiots? — Ed.] French bank Societe Generale announced it had uncovered a 4.9 billion euro ($7.14 billion) fraud by a single futures trader whose scheme of fictitious transactions was discovered as stock markets began to stumble in recent days. Italian Premier Romano Prodi resigned after losing a Senate confidence motion.
Thought for Today: "All men wish to have truth on their side; but few to be on the side of truth." — Richard Whately, British theologian (1787-1863).
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Extra History From Elsewhere:
In 1972, the Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year.
In 1986, the Voyager 2 space probe swept past Uranus, coming within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet from the sun.
In 1993, retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died at age 84.
In 1995, the prosecution gave its opening statement in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.