Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 25, 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States.
On this date:
In 1533, England’s King Henry VIII secretly married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who later gave birth to Elizabeth I.
In 1759, Scottish poet Robert Burns was born in Alloway.
In 1915, America’s first official transcontinental telephone call took place as Alexander Graham Bell, who was in New York, spoke to his former assistant, Thomas Watson, who was in San Francisco, over a line set up by American Telephone & Telegraph.
In 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix, France.
In 1945, the World War II Battle of the Bulge ended as German forces were pushed back to their original positions. Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first community to add fluoride to its public water supply.
In 1947, gangster Al Capone died in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 48.
In 1949, the first Emmy Awards, honoring local Los Angeles TV programs and talent, were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
In 1959, American Airlines began Boeing 707 jet flights between New York and Los Angeles.
In 1971, Idi Amin seized power in Uganda by ousting President Milton Obote (oh-BOH’-tay) in a military coup.
In 2004, NASA’s Opportunity rover zipped its first pictures of Mars to Earth, showing a surface smooth and dark red in some places, and strewn with fragmented slabs of light bedrock in others.
In 2017, President Donald Trump moved aggressively to tighten the nation’s immigration controls, signing executive actions to jumpstart construction of his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall and cut federal grants for immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities.” Death claimed actor Mary Tyler Moore at age 80 and actor John Hurt at age 77.
In 2019, President Donald Trump’s confidant Roger Stone was arrested by the FBI in a pre-dawn raid at his Florida home and charged with lying about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election bid. (Stone was convicted in November 2019 on charges including lying to Congress and witness tampering; Trump commuted his 40-month prison sentence just days before Stone was due to report to prison in July 2020 and issued Stone a pardon in December of that year.)
Ten years ago: Pleading for unity in a newly divided government, President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to implore Democrats and Republicans to rally behind his vision of economic revival, declaring: “We will move forward together or not at all.” In Egypt, thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with police during a Tunisia-inspired demonstration to demand the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule. A federal judge in New York sentenced Ahmed Ghailani (guh-LAHN’-ee), the first Guantanamo detainee to have a U.S. civilian trial, to life in prison for conspiring in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama said he would ban the use of solitary confinement for juvenile and low-level offenders in federal prisons, citing the potential for “devastating, lasting psychological consequences” from the use of the isolation as punishment. A Houston grand jury investigating undercover footage of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing by the abortion provider, and instead indicted anti-abortion activists for using fake driver’s licenses when making the videos that targeted the handling of fetal tissue in clinics. (The charges were later dropped.)
One year ago: President Donald Trump’s defense team opened its arguments at his Senate impeachment trial, casting the effort to remove him from office as a politically-motivated attempt to subvert the 2016 election and the upcoming 2020 contest. Canada, Australia and Malaysia each reported their first cases of the new coronavirus. The virus caused Lunar New Year festivities to be canceled across mainland China. LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers moved past former Laker Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA’s career scoring list.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Claude Gray is 89. Actor Leigh Taylor-Young is 77. Actor Jenifer Lewis is 64. Country musician Mike Burch (River Road) is 55. R&B singer Kina is 52. Actor China Kantner is 50. Actor Ana Ortiz is 50.
Drummer Joe Sirois (Mighty Mighty Bosstones) is 49. Musician Matt Odmark (Jars of Clay) is 47. Actor Mia Kirshner is 46. Actor Christine Lakin is 42. R&B singer Alicia Keys is 41. Actor Michael Trevino is 36. Pop musician Calum Hood (5 Seconds to Summer) is 25. Actor Olivia Edward is 14.