Today in History
Today is Thursday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2018. There are 347 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Jan. 18, 1943, during World War II, Jewish insurgents in the Warsaw Ghetto launched their initial armed resistance against Nazi troops, who eventually succeeded in crushing the rebellion. The Soviets announced they’d broken through the long Nazi siege of Leningrad (it was another year before the siege was fully lifted). A U.S. ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread — aimed at reducing bakeries’ demand for metal replacement parts — went into effect.
On this date:
In 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook reached the present-day Hawaiian Islands, which he named the “Sandwich Islands.”
In 1862, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Virginia, at age 71, shortly before he could take his seat as an elected member of the Confederate Congress.
In 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his Curtiss biplane in for a safe landing on the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Harbor.
In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending the First World War, opened in Versailles (vehr-SY’), France.
In 1936, Nobel Prize-winning author Rudyard Kipling, 70, died in London.
In 1949, Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular mass swindles in history, died destitute at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 66.
In 1957, a trio of B-52’s completed the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.
In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler,” was convicted of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973.)
In 1970, David Oman McKay, the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at the age of 96.
In 1988, a China Southwest Airlines Ilyushin 18 crashed while on approach to Chongqing Airport, killing all 108 people on board.
In 1993, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
In 2005, the world’s largest commercial jet, the Airbus A380 “superjumbo” capable of flying up to 800 passengers, was unveiled in Toulouse, France.
Ten years ago: With recession fears rising and the stock market tumbling, President George W. Bush called for up to $150 billion in tax relief for consumers and business. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated George Clooney a U.N. “messenger of peace” to promote the world body’s activities. Actress Lois Nettleton died in Woodland Hills, California, at age 80.
Five years ago: Former Democratic New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted on charges that he used his office for personal gain, accepting payoffs, free trips and gratuities from contractors while the city was struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (Nagin was found guilty of charges including bribery and money laundering, and is serving a 10-year prison sentence; his conviction is being appealed.)
One year ago: Twenty-nine people were killed when an avalanche buried the Hotel Rigopiano in central Italy (nine people were pulled out alive by rescuers). President Barack Obama firmly defended his decision to cut nearly three decades off convicted leaker Chelsea Manning’s prison term, arguing in his final White House news conference that the former Army intelligence analyst had served a “tough prison sentence” already. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame. Opera singer Roberta Peters, 86, died in Rye, New York.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director John Boorman is 85. Former Sen. Paul Kirk, D-Mass., is 80. Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 77. Comedian-singer-musician Brett Hudson is 65. Actor-director Kevin Costner is 63. Country singer-actor Mark Collie is 62. Actor Mark Rylance is 58. Actress Alison Arngrim (TV: “Little House on the Prairie”) is 56. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is 55. Actress Jane Horrocks is 54. Comedian Dave Attell (uh-TEHL’) is 53. Actor Jesse L. Martin is 49. Rapper DJ Quik is 48. Rock singer Jonathan Davis (Korn) is 47. Former NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous is 45. Singer Christian Burns (BBMak) is 44. Actor Derek Richardson is 42. Actor Jason Segel is 38. Actress Samantha Mumba is 35. Country singer Kristy Lee Cook (TV: “American Idol”) is 34. Actress Devin Kelley is 32. Actress Ashleigh Murray (TV: “Riverdale”) is 30. Tennis player Angelique Kerber is 30. Actor Mateus Ward is 19.
Thought for Today: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” — Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936).