Today in History - Jan. 21
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2009. There are 344 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 21, 1793, during the French Revolution, King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, was executed on the guillotine.
On this date:
In 1858, Felix Marma Zuloaga became president of Mexico upon the ouster of Ignacio Comonfort.
In 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and four other Southerners resigned from the U.S. Senate.
In 1915, the first Kiwanis Club was founded, in Detroit.
In 1924, Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin died at age 53.
In 1950, former State Department official Alger Hiss, accused of being part of a Communist spy ring, was found guilty in New York of lying to a grand jury. (Hiss, who always proclaimed his innocence, served less than four years in prison.)
In 1954, the first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn. (However, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later.)
In 1958, Charles Starkweather, 19, killed three relatives of his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, at her family's home in Lincoln, Neb. (Starkweather and Fugate went on a road trip which resulted in seven more slayings.)
In 1959, Ohio saw widespread flooding caused by heavy rain and melted snow. Movie producer-director Cecil B. DeMille died in Hollywood at age 77. Former child actor Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer was shot and killed during an argument in Mission Hills, Calif.; he was 31.
In 1968, the Battle of Khe Sanh began during the Vietnam War as North Vietnamese forces attacked a U.S. Marine base; the Americans were able to hold their position until the siege was lifted 2 1/2 months later. In Greenland, an American B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed, killing one crew member and scattering radioactive material.
In 1976, the supersonic Concorde jet was put into service by Britain and France.
Ten years ago: Former Sen. Dale Bumpers told the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton that the president was guilty of a "terrible moral lapse" but not of conduct warranting or even permitting his removal from office. Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of a former Mexican president, was convicted of masterminding the murder of rival Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu. (The conviction was later overturned.) Actress Susan Strasberg died in New York at age 61.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush visited community colleges in Ohio and Arizona, where he highlighted the economy and several new job-training initiatives he'd proposed a day earlier in his State of the Union speech. The recording industry sued 532 computer users it said were illegally distributing songs over the Internet.
One year ago: Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama accused each other of repeatedly and deliberately distorting the truth for political gain in a highly personal debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Ann Wedgeworth is 75. Blues singer-musician Snooks Eaglin is 73. Golfer Jack Nicklaus is 69. Opera singer Placido Domingo is 68.Singer Richie Havens is 68. Singer Mac Davis is 67. Actress Jill Eikenberry is 62. Country musician Jim Ibbotson (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 62. Singer-songwriterBilly Ocean is 59. Actor-director Robby Benson is 53. Actress Geena Davis is 53. Basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon is 46. Actress Charlotte Ross is 41. Actor John Ducey is 40. Actress Karina Lombard is 40. Rapper Levirt (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 39. Rock musician Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel) is 39. Rock singer-songwriter Cat Power is 37. Rock DJ Chris Kilmore (Incubus) is 36. Actor Vincent Laresca is 35. Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 33. Country singer Phil Stacey is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nokio (Dru Hill) is 30. Actress Izabella Miko is 28.
Thought for Today: "It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact." — Edmund Burke, British statesman (1729-1797).