Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 11, 2020, health authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan reported the first death from what had been identified as a new type of coronavirus; the patient was a 61-year-old man who’d been a frequent customer at a food market linked to the majority of cases there.
On this date:
In 1815, Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
In 1861, Alabama became the fourth state to withdraw from the Union.
In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in 1919).
In 1913, the first enclosed sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th National Automobile Show in New York.
In 1927, the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was proposed during a dinner of Hollywood luminaries at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, California, that made her the first person to fly solo across any part of the Pacific Ocean.
In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.
In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued “Smoking and Health,” a report that concluded that “cigarette smoking contributes substantially to mortality from certain specific diseases and to the overall death rate.”
In 1978, two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already docked.
In 1989, nine days before leaving the White House, President Ronald Reagan bade the nation farewell in a prime-time address, saying of his eight years in office: “We meant to change a nation and instead we changed a world.”
In 2001, the Army acknowledged that U.S. soldiers killed an “unknown number” of South Korean refugees early in the Korean War at No Gun Ri, but said there was no evidence they were ordered to do so.
In 2010, Miep Gies (meep khees), the Dutch office secretary who defied Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager’s diary, died at age 100.
Ten years ago: During a public Mass at St. Odilia Catholic Church in Tucson, Arizona, several hundred mourners remembered the victims of the shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. David Nelson, 74, who co-starred on his parents’ popular TV show “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” died in Los Angeles.
Five years ago: Gunmen stormed into a Baghdad mall, killing 18 people; the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. Northern Ireland lawmakers appointed Arlene Foster as the first female leader of their unity government. No. 2 Alabama outlasted No. 1 Clemson in a 45-40 victory in the College Football Playoff championship game. Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, 96, died in Houston. William A. “Bill” Del Monte, the last survivor of the devastating San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, died at a retirement home in nearby Marin County at 109 years old.
One year ago: Iran admitted that its military had “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian jetliner three days earlier, killing all 176 people aboard; the statement blamed “human error” for the shootdown, which took place just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at U.S. forces.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (zhahn kray-tee-EHN’) is 87. Actor Mitchell Ryan is 87. Actor Felix Silla is 84. Movie director Joel Zwick is 79. Country singer Naomi Judd is 75. World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw is 69.
Singer Robert Earl Keen is 65. Actor Phyllis Logan is 65. Musician Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) is 63. Actor Kim Coles is 59. Actor Jason Connery is 58. Former child actor Dawn Lyn (TV: “My Three Sons”) is 58. Rock musician Tom Dumont (No Doubt) is 53. Movie director Malcolm D. Lee is 51. Singer Mary J. Blige is 50. Musician Tom Rowlands (The Chemical Brothers) is 50. Actor Marc Blucas is 49. Actor Amanda Peet is 49. Actor Rockmond Dunbar is 48. Actor Aja Naomi King is 36. Actor Kristolyn Lloyd is 36. Reality TV star Jason Wahler is 34. Pop singer Cody Simpson is 24.