Today in History

Today is Monday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2014. There are 359 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Jan. 6, 1994, in an incident that shook the world of figure skating, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the leg by an assailant at Detroit’s Cobo Arena; four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s rival, Tonya Harding, went to prison for their roles in the attack. (Harding, who denied knowing about plans for the attack, received probation after pleading guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution.)

On this date:

In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. (The marriage lasted about six months.)

In 1759, George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married in New Kent County, Va.

In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail gave the first successful public demonstration of their telegraph, in Morristown, N.J.

In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.

In 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, N.Y., at age 60.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, outlined a goal of “Four Freedoms”: Freedom of speech and expression; the freedom of people to worship God in their own way; freedom from want; freedom from fear.

In 1945, George Herbert Walker Bush married Barbara Pierce in Rye, N.Y.

In 1950, Britain recognized the Communist government of China.

In 1963, “Oliver!,” Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist,” opened on Broadway. “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” premiered on NBC-TV.

In 1974, year-round daylight saving time began in the United States on a trial basis as a fuel-saving measure in response to the OPEC oil embargo.

In 1987, the U.S. Senate voted 88-4 to establish an eleven-member panel to hold public hearings on the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1993, authorities rescued Jennifer Stolpa and her infant son, Clayton, after Jennifer’s husband, James, succeeded in reaching help, ending the family’s eight-day ordeal after becoming lost in the snow-covered Nevada desert. Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, 75, died in Englewood, N.J.; ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev died in suburban Paris at age 54.

Ten years ago: Thirteen children and two adults were killed in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province by a time-bomb concealed in an apple cart on a street regularly used by U.S. military patrols. A design consisting of two reflecting pools and a paved stone field was chosen for the World Trade Center memorial in New York. Mijailo Mijailovic (mee-EYE’-loh mee-EYE’-luh-vich) confessed to the fatal stabbing of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in Sept. 2003. Hitting star Paul Molitor and reliever Dennis Eckersley were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: Congress opened for business at the dawn of a new Democratic era with vows to fix the crisis-ridden economy; Republicans pledged cooperation in Congress as well as with President-elect Barack Obama — to a point. Obama vowed to “bring a long-overdue sense of responsibility and accountability to Washington” and called the need for budget reform “an absolute necessity.” Cheryl Holdridge, one of the original Mouseketeers on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 64.

One year ago: President Barack Obama returned to Washington after a winter vacation in Hawaii that was interrupted by the “fiscal cliff” crisis. In his first public speech in six months, a defiant Syrian President Bashar Assad rallied a cheering crowd to fight the uprising against his authoritarian rule, dismissing any chance of dialogue with what he called “murderous criminals.” The NHL and the players’ association agreed on a tentative pact to end a 113-day lockout.

Associated Press

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