Today is Saturday, Jan. 5, the fifth day of 2012. There are 360 days left in the year.
On Jan. 5, 1983, President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating Elizabeth Dole to succeed Drew Lewis as secretary of transportation; Dole became the first woman to head a Cabinet department in Reagan’s administration, and the first to head the DOT.
On this date:
In 1781, a British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Va.
In 1895, French Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of treason, was publicly stripped of his rank. (He was ultimately vindicated.)
In 1896, an Austrian newspaper, Wiener Presse, reported the discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen of a type of radiation that came to be known as X-rays.
In 1933, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, died in Northampton, Mass., at age 60. Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge. (Work was completed four years later.)
In 1943, educator and scientist George Washington Carver died in Tuskegee, Ala., at age 81.
In 1949, in his State of the Union address, President Harry Truman labeled his administration the Fair Deal.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon announced that he had ordered development of the space shuttle.
In 1993, the state of Washington executed Westley Allan Dodd, an admitted child rapist and murderer, in America’s first legal hanging since 1965.