Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2018. There are 356 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 9, 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew from Philadelphia to Woodbury, New Jersey.

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On this date:

In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, retreated because of artillery fire.

In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, California.

In 1916, the World War I Battle of Gallipoli ended after eight months with an Ottoman Empire victory as Allied forces withdrew.

In 1931, Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper broke an endurance record for female aviators as they returned to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.

In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing on the shores of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines as the Battle of Luzon got underway, resulting in an Allied victory over Imperial Japanese forces.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his State of the Union address to Congress, warned of the threat of Communist imperialism.

In 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.

In 1987, the White House released a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 1993, the two owners of a fast food restaurant in Palatine, Illinois, and five employees were found shot and stabbed to death. (Two suspects were arrested in May 2002; both were convicted in separate trials and sentenced to life in prison.)

In 1997, a Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, on his first visit to Israel while in office, warned Iran of “serious consequences” if it again harassed U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. military reported nine American soldiers were killed in the first two days of a new offensive to root out al-Qaida in Iraq fighters holed up in districts north of Baghdad. Johnny Grant, the honorary mayor of Hollywood, died in Los Angeles at age 84.

Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden heard personal stories of gun violence from representatives of victims groups and gun-safety organizations at the White House as he undertook to draft the Obama administration’s response to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. The Seastreak Wall Street, a commuter ferry, made a hard landing into a Manhattan pier, injuring 85 people (investigators later cited operator error). No one was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; for the second time in four decades, baseball writers failed to give any player the 75 percent required for induction to Cooperstown, sending a firm signal that stars of the Steroids Era would be held to a different standard.

One year ago: President-elect Donald Trump appointed his influential son-in-law Jared Kushner as a White House senior adviser. The outgoing Obama administration blacklisted five Russians as the feud over U.S. election hacking escalated. Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, an Orlando, Florida, police officer, was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Wal-mart store while trying to arrest a man suspected of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend (the suspect has since been arrested). In college football’s first national championship rematch, No. 3 Clemson took down top-ranked Alabama 35-31.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Judith Krantz is 90. Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr is 84. Actress K. Callan is 82. Folk singer Joan Baez is 77. Rockabilly singer Roy Head is 77. Rock musician Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) is 74. Actor John Doman is 73. Singer David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) is 68. Singer Crystal Gayle is 67. Actor J.K. Simmons is 63. Actress Imelda Staunton is 62. Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberto Menchu is 59. Rock musician Eric Erlandson is 55. Actress Joely Richardson is 53. Rock musician Carl Bell (Fuel) is 51. Actor David Costabile is 51. Rock singer Steve Harwell (Smash Mouth) is 51. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 51. Actress-director Joey Lauren Adams is 50. Actress Angela Bettis is 45. Actor Omari Hardwick is 44. Roots singer-songwriter Hayes Carll is 42. Singer A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) is 40. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is 36. Pop-rock musician Drew Brown (OneRepublic) is 34. Rock-soul singer Paolo Nutini is 31. Actress Nina Dobrev is 29. Actor Basil Eidenbenz is 25. Actress Kerris Dorsey is 20. Actor Tyree Brown is 14.