Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 15, 2020, Chinese officials said they couldn’t rule out the possibility that a new coronavirus in central China could spread between humans, though they said the risk of transmission appeared to be low.
On this date:
In 1862, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Abraham Lincoln’s choice of Edwin M. Stanton to be the new Secretary of War, replacing Simon Cameron.
In 1865, as the Civil War neared its end, Union forces captured Fort Fisher near Wilmington, North Carolina, depriving the Confederates of their last major seaport.
In 1892, the original rules of basketball, devised by James Naismith, were published for the first time in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the game originated.
In 1929, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta.
In 1942, Jawaharlal Nehru (jah-WAH’-hahr-lahl NAY’-roo) was named to succeed Mohandas K. Gandhi as head of India’s Congress Party.
In 1943, work was completed on the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of War (now Defense).
In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam, citing progress in peace negotiations.
In 1974, the situation comedy “Happy Days” premiered on ABC-TV.
In 1976, Sara Jane Moore was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco. (Moore was released on the last day of 2007.)
In 1993, a historic disarmament ceremony ended in Paris with the last of 125 countries signing a treaty banning chemical weapons.
In 2009, US Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger ditched his Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after a flock of birds disabled both engines; all 155 people aboard survived.
In 2014, a highly critical and bipartisan Senate report declared that the deadly Sept. 2012 assault on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, could have been prevented; the report spread blame among the State Department, the military and U.S. intelligence.
Ten years ago: Several international envoys — but crucially none from the world powers — got a look inside an Iranian nuclear site at the invitation of the Tehran government before a new round of talks on Iran’s disputed atomic activities. Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan won the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas. Actor Susannah York, 72, died in London.
Five years ago: Al-Qaida fighters attacked a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso’s capital, killing 30 people. A search began for two Marine helicopters carrying 12 crew members that collided off the Hawaiian island of Oahu during a nighttime training mission; there were no survivors. A federal judge rejected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s bid for a new trial and ordered him to pay victims of the deadly attack more than $101 million in restitution. Actor Dan Haggerty, 74, died in Burbank, California.
One year ago: House Democratic leaders carried the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump across the U.S. Capitol in a formal procession to the Senate. The United States and China reached a trade deal easing tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. Russian President Vladimir Putin engineered a surprise shake-up of Russia’s leadership while proposing changes to the country’s constitution that could keep him in power well past the end of his term in 2024. (Putin ordered the amendments made to the constitution in July 2020 after a week-long vote; critics said the reported 78% approval of the changes had been falsified.) Two U.S. government agencies reported that the decade that had just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on earth.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Margaret O’Brien is 83. Actor Andrea Martin is 74. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy White is 68. Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is 64.
Rock musician Adam Jones (Tool) is 56. Actor James Nesbitt is 56. Actor Chad Lowe is 53. Alt-country singer Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) is 51. Actor Regina King is 50. Actor Dorian Missick is 45. Actor Eddie Cahill is 43. NFL quarterback Drew Brees is 42. Rapper/reggaeton artist Pitbull is 40. Actor Victor Rasuk is 36. Actor Jessy Schram is 35. Electronic dance musician Skrillex is 33. Actor/singer Dove Cameron is 25. Singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal (TV: “America’s Got Talent”) is 17.