Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 7, 1953, President Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.
On this date:
In 1608, an accidental fire devastated the Jamestown settlement in the Virginia Colony.
In 1789, America held its first presidential election as voters chose electors who, a month later, selected George Washington to be the nation’s first chief executive.
In 1927, Harlem Globetrotters play their first game in Hinckley, Illinois.
In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.
In 1955, singer Marian Anderson made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera.”
In 1959, the United States recognized the new government of Cuba, six days after Fidel Castro led the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1963, the U.S. Post Office raised the cost of a first-class stamp from 4 to 5 cents.
In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
In 1989, Emperor Hirohito of Japan died in Tokyo at age 87; he was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.
In 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate. President Bill Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice; he was acquitted.
In 2004, President George W. Bush proposed legal status, at least temporarily, for millions of immigrants improperly working in the U.S.
In 2015, masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper that had caricatured the Prophet Mohammad, methodically killing 12 people, including the editor, before escaping in a car. (Two suspects were killed two days later.)
In 2019, Amazon eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded company in the U.S. For the first time in more than 25 years, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent from oral arguments as she recuperated from cancer surgery.
Ten years ago: Three days before the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney brushed aside rivals’ criticism in the opening round of a weekend debate doubleheader that left his Republican presidential campaign challengers squabbling among themselves and unable to knock the front-runner off stride. Record-shattering Drew Brees threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints poured it on in the second half for a 45-28 NFC wild-card victory over the Detroit Lions.
Five years ago: President-elect Donald Trump, in a series of tweets, said “only ‘stupid’ people or fools” would dismiss closer ties with Russia, and he seemed unswayed after his classified briefing on an intelligence report that accused Moscow of meddling on his behalf in the election that catapulted him to power. Nat Hentoff, an eclectic columnist, critic, novelist and agitator dedicated to music, free expression and defying the party line, died in New York at age 91.
One year ago: Hours after Congress certified Joe Biden’s victory, President Donald Trump acknowledged in a video that a “new administration will be inaugurated” and said he’d focus on “ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power”; Trump condemned the violence from his supporters who stormed the Capitol but did not address his role in inciting the violence. Lawmakers of both parties spoke of ousting Trump from office, possibly through the action of his own Cabinet under the 25th Amendment. President-elect Joe Biden denounced the rioters at the Capitol as “domestic terrorists” and blamed Trump for the violence. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned; in a resignation letter, DeVos blamed Trump for inflaming tensions in the assault on the Capitol. The head of the U.S. Capitol Police, Steven Sund, resigned. Facebook and Instagram said they would silence Trump’s accounts for the rest of his presidency. The U.S. topped 4,000 daily deaths from the coronavirus for the first time. Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda died at 93.
Today’s Birthdays: Magazine publisher Jann Wenner is 76. Singer Kenny Loggins is 74. Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman is 73. Actor Erin Gray is 72. Actor Sammo Hung is 70. Actor Jodi Long is 68. Actor David Caruso is 66. Talk show host Katie Couric is 65. Country singer David Lee Murphy is 63.
Rock musician Kathy Valentine (The Go-Go’s) is 63. Actor David Marciano is 62. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is 61. Actor Hallie Todd is 60. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is 59. Actor Nicolas Cage is 58. Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) is 57. Actor Rex Lee is 53. Actor Doug E. Doug is 52. Actor Kevin Rahm is 51. Actor Jeremy Renner is 51. Country singer-musician John Rich is 48. Actor Reggie Austin is 43. Singer-rapper Aloe Blacc is 43. Actor Lauren Cohan is 40. Actor Brett Dalton is 39. Actor Robert Ri’chard is 39. Actor Lyndsy Fonseca is 35. Actor Liam Aiken is 32. Actor Camryn Grimes is 32. Actor Max Morrow is 31. Actor Marcus Scribner is 22.