Today in History
On Jan. 18, 1943, during World War II, Jewish insurgents in the Warsaw Ghetto launched their initial armed resistance against Nazi troops, who eventually succeeded in crushing the rebellion. The Soviets announced they'd broken through the long Nazi siege of Leningrad (it was another year before the siege was fully lifted). In the U.S., a ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread -- aimed at reducing bakeries' demand for metal replacement parts -- went into effect.
On this date:
In 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook reached the present-day Hawaiian Islands, which he named the "Sandwich Islands."
In 1862, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Va., at age 71, shortly before he could take his seat as an elected member of the Confederate Congress.
In 1871, William I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles, France.
In 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his Curtiss biplane in for a safe landing on the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Harbor.
In 1913, entertainer Danny Kaye was born David Daniel Kaminsky in New York City.
In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending World War I, opened in Versailles (vehr-SY'), France.
In 1949, Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular mass swindles in history, died destitute at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 66.
In 1957, a trio of B-52's completed the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.
In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973.)
In 1970, David Oman McKay, the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at the age of 96.
In 1988, a China Southwest Airlines Ilyushin 18 crashed while on approach to Chongqing Airport, killing all 108 people on board.
In 1993, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
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