Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 24, 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.
On this date:
In 1908, the Boy Scouts movement began in England under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell.
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 1939, at least 28,000 people were killed by an earthquake that devastated the city of Chillan (chee-YAHN’) in Chile.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
In 1945, Associated Press war correspondent Joseph Morton was among a group of captives executed by the Germans at the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria.
In 1965, British statesman 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 first Macintosh model, which boasted a built-in 9-inch monochrome display, a clock rate of 8 megahertz and 128k of RAM.
In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. (All were eventually released.)
In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair.
In 1993, retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 84.
In 2003, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge was sworn as the first secretary of the new Department of Homeland Security.
Ten years ago: A suicide bomber attacked Moscow’s busiest airport, killing 37 people; Chechen separatists claimed responsibility. In his second court appearance, Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF’-nur) pleaded not guilty in Phoenix to federal charges he’d tried to kill U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides in a Tucson shooting rampage that had claimed six lives. An emotional Oprah Winfrey publicly introduced her newly found sibling, a half-sister identified only as “Patricia” who was given up for adoption by Winfrey’s mother nearly 50 years earlier, when the talk show host was 8 years old.
Five years ago: A magnitude-7.1 quake knocked items off shelves and walls in Alaska, jolting the nerves of residents in the earthquake-prone region. The Denver Broncos defeated the New England Patriots, 20-18, to win the AFC Championship; the Carolina Panthers claimed the NFC Championship with a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
One year ago: Concluding their opening arguments at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, House Democrats warned that Trump would persist in abusing his power and endangering democracy unless Congress acted to remove him before the 2020 election. After the Chinese city of Wuhan halted outbound flights, trains, buses and ferries in an effort to stop the spread of a deadly new virus, 12 other cities in the province followed suit, bringing more than 36 million people under lockdown. Health officials in Chicago said a woman in her 60s had become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the new virus; she’d returned from China in mid-January. President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address abortion opponents at the annual March for Life. The Pentagon said 34 U.S. troops suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran’s missile strike on an Iraqi air base earlier in the month. Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff upset defending champ Naomi Osaka in the third round of the Australian Open.
Today’s Birthdays: Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 85. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 82.
Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 80. Singer Aaron Neville is 80. Actor Michael Ontkean is 75. Actor Daniel Auteuil is 71. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 71. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 70. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is 68. Actor William Allen Young is 67. Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 63. Actor Nastassja Kinski is 60. R&B singer Theo Peoples is 60. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 58. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 54. Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 53. R&B singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 51. Actor Matthew Lillard is 51. Actor Merrilee McCommas is 50. Blues/rock singer Beth Hart is 49. Actor Ed Helms is 47. Actor Mark Hildreth is 43. Actor Christina Moses is 43. Actor Tatyana Ali is 42. Actor Carrie Coon is 40. Actor Daveed Diggs is 39. Actor Justin Baldoni is 37. Actor Mischa Barton is 35.