Today in History….January 17

On this day in . . .

• 1595, Henry IV of France declares war on Spain

• 1608, Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia surprises an Oromo army at Ebenat; his army reportedly kills 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 men 

• 1648, England’s Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War

• 1806, the first baby was born in the White House, the grandson of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson

• 1871, Andrew Hallikie received a patent for a cable car system that went into service in San Francisco in 1873

• 1893, Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii was deposed in a bloodless revolution and a provisional government established, with annexation by the United States as its aim

• 1912, Sir Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen 

• 1917, the United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands 

• 1929, Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip. ALSO: Inayatullah Khan, king of the Emirate of Afghanistan abdicates the throne after only three days into his reign

• 1945, the Nazis, ym”sh, begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in. ALSO: Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was taken into Soviet custody while in Hungary; he is never publicly seen again. AND: Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw

• 1946, the UN Security Council holds its first session

• 1949, “The Goldbergs”, the first sitcom on American television, first airs

• 1950, the Great Brinks Robbery: 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car Company’s offices in Boston 

• 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military-industrial complex”

• 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States

• 1981, President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos lifts martial law eight years and five months after declaring it

• 1982, “Cold Sunday”: In the United States temperatures fell to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities

• 1991, Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation

• 1993, U.S. missiles attacked an Iraqi nuclear weapons facility outside Baghdad in an effort to destroy Saddam Hussein’s ability to build weapons of mass destruction

• 1998, Matt Drudge breaks the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report 

• 2001, President Bill Clinton posthumously raises the rank of Meriwether Lewis — an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition — from Lieutenant to Captain. ALSO: Faced with an electricity crisis, California used rolling blackouts to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people; Gov. Gray Davis signed an emergency order authorizing the state to buy power 

• 2002,  a practitioner of that “religion of peace” walked into a bat mitzvah party in northern Israel and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing six people; the gunman was killed by police. ALSO: Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people

• 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Oregon’s assisted suicide law by a 6-3 vote. It allows doctors to help mentally competent terminally ill patients end their lives

• 2007, The Doomsday Clock — a symbolic clock face, maintained since 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago —  is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing. The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the world is estimated to be to global disaster. As of January 14, 2010, the Doomsday Clock now stands at six minutes to midnight

2013, U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong, in an interview broadcast on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network), confessed to he using banned substances and blood transfusions in all of his Tour de France wins


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