Today in History
Today is Monday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2022. There are 348 days left in the year. This is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
On this date:
In 1917, Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the United States for $25 million.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces launched the first of four battles for Monte Cassino in Italy; the Allies were ultimately successful.
In 1950, the Great Brink’s Robbery took place as seven masked men held up a Brink’s garage in Boston, stealing $1.2 million in cash and $1.5 million in checks and money orders. (Although the entire gang was caught, only part of the loot was recovered.)
In 1955, the submarine USS Nautilus made its first nuclear-powered test run from its berth in Groton (GRAH’-tuhn), Connecticut.
In 1966, the Simon & Garfunkel album “Sounds of Silence” was released by Columbia Records.
In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.
In 1994, the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan.
In 1996, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine followers were handed long prison sentences for plotting to blow up New York-area landmarks.
In 1997, a court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country’s history.
In 2016, Iran released three Americans, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and pastor Saeed Abedini, as part of a prisoner swap that also netted Tehran some $100 billion in sanctions relief.
In 2020, U.S. health officials announced that they would begin screening airline passengers from central China for the new coronavirus; people traveling from Wuhan, China, would have their temperature checked and be asked about symptoms. President Donald Trump added to his legal team for his impeachment trial retired law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.
Ten years ago: Italian officials released a recording of a furious Coast Guard officer demanding that Capt. Francesco Schettino (frahn-CHEHS’-koh skeh-TEE’-noh), commander of the grounded Costa Concordia, re-board the ship to direct its evacuation after the vessel rammed into a reef on Jan. 13. Johnny Otis, the “godfather of rhythm and blues” who wrote and recorded the R&B classic “Willie and the Hand Jive,” died in Los Angeles at age 90.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama granted clemency to Chelsea Manning, allowing the transgender Army intelligence officer convicted of leaking more than 700,000 U.S. documents to go free nearly three decades early. Donald Trump’s choice to head the Interior Department, Rep. Ryan Zinke, rejected the president-elect’s claim that climate change was a hoax, telling his Senate confirmation hearing it was indisputable that environmental changes were affecting the world’s temperature and that human activity was a major reason.
One year ago: An Associated Press review found that veterans of President Donald Trump’s unsuccessful campaign had key roles in the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol. U.S. defense officials said they were worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration; the concerns prompted the FBI to vet all 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested at a Moscow airport as he returned from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.
Today’s Birthdays: Former FCC chairman Newton N. Minow is 96. Actor James Earl Jones is 91. Talk show host Maury Povich is 83. Pop singer Chris Montez is 80. R&B singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 77. Actor Joanna David is 75. Actor Jane Elliot is 75. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 74. R&B singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 69. Singer Steve Earle is 67. Singer Paul Young is 66. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 65. Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 63. Movie director-screenwriter Brian Helgeland is 61. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 60. Actor Denis O’Hare is 60. Former first lady Michelle Obama is 58. Actor Joshua Malina is 56. Singer Shabba Ranks is 56. Actor Naveen Andrews is 53. Electronic music DJ Tiesto is 53. Rapper Kid Rock is 51. Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 47. Actor-writer Leigh Whannel is 45. Actor-singer Zooey Deschanel is 42. Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 42. Singer Ray J is 41. Actor Diogo Morgado is 41. Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 40. Former NBA player Dwyane Wade is 40. Actor Ryan Gage is 39. DJ-singer Calvin Harris is 38. Folk-rock musician Jeremiah Fraites is 36. Actor Jonathan Keltz is 34. Actor Kelly Marie Tran (Film: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) is 33. Actor Kathrine Herzer is 25.