Today in history

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2020. There are 358 days left in the year.

  • Wednesday, January 8, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2020. There are 358 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Jan. 8, 1815, the last major engagement of the War of 1812 came to an end as U.S. forces defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, not having gotten word of the signing of a peace treaty.

On this date:

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

In 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

In 1968, the Otis Redding single “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released on the Volt label almost a month after the singer’s death in a plane crash.

In 1973, the Paris peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed.

In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 1987, for the first time, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2,000, ending the day at 2,002.25.

In 1998, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sentenced in New York to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2004, A U.S. Black Hawk medivac helicopter crashed near Fallujah, Iraq, killing all nine soldiers aboard.

In 2006, the first funerals were held in West Virginia for the 12 miners who’d died in the Sago Mine disaster six days earlier.

In 2008, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire’s 2008 Democratic primary in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House; Sen. John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination.

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced in November 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.)

Ten years ago: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas, appeared in federal court in Detroit; the judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. (Abdulmutallab eventually pleaded guilty and is serving a life prison term.) Vice President Joe Biden’s mother, Jean Biden, died in Wilmington, Delaware, at age 92.

Five years ago: Three dissidents were abruptly released in what a leading human rights advocate said was part of Cuba’s deal with Washington to release 53 members of the island’s political opposition. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., a tenacious liberal whose election to the Senate in 1992 heralded a new era for women at the upper reaches of political power, announced she would not seek re-election. During a daylong meeting at the Denver airport, U.S. Olympic Committee board members chose Boston over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Gospel singer Andrae Crouch, 72, died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: In a somber televised address, President Donald Trump urged congressional Democrats to fund his border wall and end the stalemate that had shut down much of the government for 18 days; the speech offered little in the way of concessions. Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City would spend up to $100 million per year to expand health care coverage to people without health insurance, including immigrants in the country illegally.

Today’s birthdays: Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 97. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 87. Singer Shirley Bassey is 83. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 82. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 80. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 79. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 78. Singer Juanita Cowart Motley (The Marvelettes) is 76. Actress Kathleen Noone is 75. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 74. Movie director John McTiernan is 69. Actress Harriet Sansom Harris is 65. Actor Ron Cephas Jones is 63. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is 62. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 56. Actress Michelle Forbes is 55. Actress Maria Pitillo is 54. Singer R. Kelly is 53. Rock musician Jeff Abercrombie (Fuel) is 51. Actress Ami Dolenz is 51. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 47. Actor Donnell Turner is 47. Country singer Tift Merritt is 45. Actress-rock singer Jenny Lewis is 44. Actress Amber Benson is 43. Actor Scott Whyte is 42. Singer-songwriter Erin McCarley is 41. Actress Sarah Polley is 41. Actress Rachel Nichols is 40. Actress Gaby Hoffman is 38. Rock musician Disashi Lumumbo-Kasongo (Gym Class Heroes) is 37. Actress Cynthia Erivo is 33. Actor Freddie Stroma is 33.

Thought for today: “Anxiety never yet successfully bridged over any chasm.” — Giovanni Ruffini, Italian writer (1807-1881)

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