Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 24, 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair.
On this date:
In 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.
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 1985, the space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first secret, all-military shuttle mission.
In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. (All were eventually released.)
In 2003, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge was sworn as the first secretary of the new Department of Homeland Security.
In 2011, a suicide bomber attacked Moscow’s busiest airport, killing 37 people; Chechen separatists claimed responsibility.
In 2013, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the lifting of a ban on women serving in combat.
In 2020, health officials in Chicago said a woman in her 60s had become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with a new virus that had emerged in China; she’d returned from that country in mid-January. Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff upset defending champ Naomi Osaka in the third round of the Australian Open.
Ten years ago: Declaring the American dream under siege, President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to deliver a populist challenge to shrink the gap between rich and poor, promising to tax the wealthy more and help jobless Americans get work and hang onto their homes. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns, showing that his annual income topped $20 million and that he had paid about $3 million in federal income taxes.
Five years ago: President Donald Trump moved swiftly to advance the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, signing executive actions to aggressively overhaul America’s energy policy and deal a sharp blow to Barack Obama’s legacy on climate change. The 89th annual Academy Awards nominations were announced; the retro musical “La La Land” received a record-tying 14 nods; eight went to eventual best picture winner “Moonlight.”
One year ago: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and that the symptoms were mild; he’d been criticized for his handling of his country’s pandemic and for not setting an example of prevention in public. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs reached the Super Bowl with a 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game; Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game.
Today’s Birthdays: Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 86. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 83. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 81.
Singer Aaron Neville is 81. Actor Michael Ontkean is 76. Actor Daniel Auteuil is 72. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 72. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 71. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is 69. Actor William Allen Young is 68. Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 64. Actor Nastassja Kinski is 61. R&B singer Theo Peoples is 61. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 59. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 55. Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 54. R&B singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 52. Actor Matthew Lillard is 52. Actor Merrilee McCommas is 51. Blues/rock singer Beth Hart is 50. Actor Ed Helms is 48. Actor Mark Hildreth is 44. Actor Christina Moses is 44. Actor Tatyana Ali is 43. Actor Carrie Coon is 41. Actor Daveed Diggs is 40. Actor Justin Baldoni is 38. Actor Mischa Barton is 36.