Today in History

  • Thursday, January 6, 2011 12:01am
  • Life

Today is Thursday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2011. There are 359 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 6, 1941, President Franklin 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.

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 1861, Florida militiamen seized the federal arsenal at Chattahoochee.

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 1942, the Pan American Airways Pacific Clipper arrived in New York more than a month after leaving California and following a westward route.

In 1950, Britain recognized the Communist government of China.

In 1967, U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Deckhouse Five, an offensive in the Mekong River delta.

In 1982, truck driver William Bonin was convicted in Los Angeles of 10 of the “Freeway Killer” slayings of young men and boys. (Bonin was later convicted of four other killings; he was executed in 1996.)

Ten years ago: With the vanquished Vice President Al Gore presiding (in his capacity as president of the Senate), Congress formally certified George W. Bush the winner of the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election.

Five years ago: Al-Qaida’s No. 2 official, Ayman al-Zawahri, said in a videotape that a recent U.S. decision to withdraw some troops from Iraq represented “the victory of Islam.” Hugh Thompson, Jr., a former Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow GIs during the My Lai massacre, died in Alexandria, La., at age 62. The 115-year-old Pilgrim Baptist Church of Chicago was gutted by fire. Velvet-voiced singer Lou Rawls died in Los Angeles at age 72.

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