Today in History

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2022. There are 346 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 19, 1981, the United States and Iran signed an accord paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.

On this date:

In 1853, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Il Trovatore” premiered in Rome.

In 1861, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the Union.

In 1915, Germany carried out its first air raid on Britain during World War I as a pair of Zeppelins dropped bombs onto Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn in England.

In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces captured the British protectorate of North Borneo. A German submarine sank the Canadian liner RMS Lady Hawkins off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, killing 251 people; 71 survived.

In 1944, the federal government relinquished control of the nation’s railroads to their owners following settlement of a wage dispute.

In 1953, CBS-TV aired the widely watched episode of “I Love Lucy” in which Lucy Ricardo, played by Lucille Ball, gave birth to Little Ricky. (By coincidence, Ball gave birth the same day to her son, Desi Arnaz Jr.)

In 1966, Indira Gandhi was chosen to be prime minister of India by the National Congress party.

In 1987, Guy Hunt became Alabama’s first Republican governor since 1874 as he was sworn into office, succeeding George C. Wallace.

In 2005, the American Cancer Society reported that cancer had passed heart disease as the top killer of Americans age 85 and younger.

In 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney defended the administration’s domestic surveillance program, calling it an essential tool in monitoring al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

In 2009, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal restoring natural gas shipments to Ukraine and paving the way for an end to the nearly two-week cutoff of most Russian gas to a freezing Europe.

In 2020, health officials in central China reported that 17 more people had been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, which had killed two patients and placed other countries on alert.

Ten years ago: Six U.S. Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan. Texas Gov. Rick Perry abruptly quit the Republican presidential race. One of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites,, was shut down as its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content. Rupert Murdoch’s media empire apologized and agreed to cash payouts to 37 people who’d been harassed and phone-hacked by its tabloid press.

Five years ago: With fireworks heralding his big moment, Donald Trump swept into Washington on the eve of his presidential inauguration and pledged to unify a nation sorely divided and clamoring for change. Actor Miguel Ferrer died at his Los Angeles home at age 61.

One year ago: On President Donald Trump’s last full day in office, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell placed blame on Trump for the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6; McConnell said the mob had been “fed lies,” and that Trump and others “provoked” those who were intent on overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s election. Twelve National Guard members were removed from the security operation for Biden’s inauguration after vetting by the FBI, including two who had made extremist statements in posts or texts about the event. The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed 400,000 in Trump’s waning hours in office. Just before midnight, Trump signed a flurry of pardons and commutations for more than 140 people, including his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as well as rap performers and ex-members of Congress. Don Sutton, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, died at 75.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Tippi Hedren is 92. Former PBS newsman Robert MacNeil is 91. Movie director Richard Lester is 90. Actor-singer Michael Crawford is 80. Actor Shelley Fabares (fab-RAY’) is 78. Country singer Dolly Parton is 76. Former ABC newswoman Ann Compton is 75. TV chef Paula Deen is 75. Rock singer Martha Davis is 71. Singer Dewey Bunnell (America) is 70. Actor Desi Arnaz Jr. is 69. Actor Katey Sagal is 68. Comedian Paul Rodriguez is 67. Conductor Sir Simon Rattle is 67. Rock musician Jeff Pilson (Foreigner) is 64. Actor Paul McCrane is 61. Actor William Ragsdale is 61. Basketball coach and commentator Jeff Van Gundy is 60. International Tennis Hall of Famer Stefan Edberg is 56. Rock singer Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) is 54. Singer Trey Lorenz is 53. Actor Shawn Wayans is 51. Rock singer-musician John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) is 51. Actor Drea (DRAY-uh’) de Matteo is 50. Comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo is 48. Actor Drew Powell is 46. Actor Marsha Thomason is 46. Actor Bitsie Tulloch is 41. Actor Jodie Sweetin is 40. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is 40. Movie director Damien Chazelle is 37. Actor Shaunette Renee Wilson is 32. Actor Briana Henry is 30. Actor Logan Lerman is 30. Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson is 30. Rapper Taylor Bennett is 26. Actor Lidya Jewett is 15.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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