Today in History

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 5, the fifth day of 2021. There are 360 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 5, 1925, Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming took office as America’s first female governor, succeeding her late husband, William, following a special election.

On this date:

In 1589, Catherine de Medici (MEHD’-uh-chee) of France died at age 69.

In 1781, a British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Virginia.

In 1896, an Austrian newspaper, Wiener Presse, reported the discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen (RENT’-gun) of a type of radiation that came to be known as X-rays.

In 1914, auto industrialist Henry Ford announced he was going to pay workers $5 for an 8-hour day, as opposed to $2.34 for a 9-hour day. (Employees still worked six days a week; the 5-day work week was instituted in 1926.)

In 1943, educator and scientist George Washington Carver, who was born into slavery, died in Tuskegee, Alabama, at about age 80.

In 1949, in his State of the Union address, President Harry S. Truman labeled his administration the Fair Deal.

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed assistance to countries to help them resist Communist aggression in what became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon announced that he had ordered development of the space shuttle.

In 1975, “The Wiz,” a musical version of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” featuring an all-Black cast, opened on Broadway.

In 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.

In 1998, Sonny Bono, the 1960s pop star-turned-politician, was killed when he struck a tree while skiing at the Heavenly Ski Resort on the Nevada-California state line; he was 62.

In 2004, foreigners arriving at U.S. airports were photographed and had their fingerprints scanned in the start of a government effort to keep terrorists out of the country.

Ten years ago: John Boehner was elected speaker as Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives on the first day of the new Congress. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced he was stepping down. Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: With tears streaking his cheeks, President Barack Obama launched a final-year push to tighten sales of firearms in the U.S., using his presidential powers in the absence of tougher gun restrictions that Congress refused to pass, coming out with plans for expanded background checks and other modest measures. French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, 90, died in Baden-Baden, Germany.

One year ago: President Donald Trump reiterated his view that cultural sites in Iran could be targeted if Iran were to retaliate for the drone strike that killed Iran’s top general; there were concerns even within his administration that doing so could constitute a war crime under international law. Amid heightened tensions over the killing of an Iranian general, Iran said it would no longer abide by the limits contained in the 2015 nuclear deal. The World War I tale “1917” captured the Golden Globe for best dramatic film, while “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” won for best comedy or musical; in television categories, real-life stories captured top honors, including Olivia Colman’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II and Michelle Williams’ performance as Broadway star Gwen Verdon.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale is 93. Actor Robert Duvall is 90. Juan Carlos, former King of Spain, is 83. Singer-musician Athol Guy (The Seekers) is 81. Former talk show host Charlie Rose is 79. Actor-director Diane Keaton is 75. Actor Ted Lange (lanj) is 73. Rhythm-and-blues musician George “Funky” Brown (Kool and the Gang) is 72. Rock musician Chris Stein (Blondie) is 71. Former CIA Director George Tenet is 68. Actor Pamela Sue Martin is 68. Actor Clancy Brown is 62. Singer Iris Dement is 60. Actor Suzy Amis is 59. Actor Ricky Paull Goldin is 56. Actor Vinnie Jones is 56. Rock musician Kate Schellenbach (Luscious Jackson) is 55. Actor Joe Flanigan is 54. Talk show host/dancer-choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba is 53. Rock musician Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age) is 53. Actor Heather Paige Kent is 52. Rock singer Marilyn Manson is 52. Actor Shea Whigham is 52. Actor Derek Cecil is 48. Actor-comedian Jessica Chaffin is 47. Actor Bradley Cooper is 46. Actor January Jones is 43. Actor Brooklyn Sudano is 40. Actor Franz Drameh is 28.

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