Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Jan 24, 2016 12:01 AM

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2016. There are 342 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

In 1984, Apple Computer began selling its first Macintosh model, which boasted a built-in 9-inch monochrome display, a clock rate of 8 megahertz and 128k of RAM.

On this date:

In 1742, Charles VII was elected Holy Roman Emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession.

In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49.

In 1908, the Boy Scouts movement began in England under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell.

In 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader. (However, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg.)

In 1935, beer was first sold in cans in Richmond, Virginia, by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Co.

In 1942, the Roberts Commission placed much of the blame for America's lack of preparedness for Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, the Navy and Army commanders.

In 1945, Associated Press war correspondent Joseph Morton was among a group of captives executed by the Germans at the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria.

In 1961, a U.S. Air Force B-52 crashed near Goldsboro, North Carolina, dropping its payload of two nuclear bombs, neither of which went off; three crew members were killed.

In 1963, a U.S. Air Force B-52 on a training mission crashed into Elephant Mountain in Maine after encountering turbulence and losing its vertical stabilizer; seven of the nine crew members were killed.

In 1965, British statesman Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.

In 1975, the extremist group FALN bombed Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four people. Pianist Keith Jarrett performed The Koeln Concert in Germany. Comedian Larry Fine, of "Three Stooges" fame, died in Los Angeles at age 72.

In 1985, the space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first secret, all-military shuttle mission.

In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida's electric chair.

In 2005, Authorities in Iraq said Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, an al-Qaida lieutenant in custody, had confessed to masterminding most of the car bombings in Baghdad. The United Nations broke with years of protocol and commemorated the 60-year anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, directly linking its own founding with the end of the Holocaust in some of the strongest language ever.

Ten years ago: Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito won a 10-8 party-line approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Armed men seized two German engineers from a car in northern Iraq (both were later released). Tap dancer Fayard Nicholas died at age 91; actor Chris Penn died at age 40.

Five years ago: A suicide bomber blew himself up in Moscow's busiest airport, killing 37 people; Chechen separatists claimed responsibility. In his second court appearance, Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF'-nur) pleaded not guilty in Phoenix to federal charges he'd tried to kill U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides in a Tucson shooting rampage that had claimed six lives. An emotional Oprah Winfrey publicly introduced her newly found sibling, a half-sister identified only as "Patricia" who was given up for adoption by Winfrey's mother nearly 50 years earlier, when the talk show host was 8 years old.

One year ago: President Barack Obama condemned the murder of Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa by the Islamic State group and called for the immediate release of another Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto. Parts of the Northeast got their first real taste of winter as a storm dumped rain, sleet and snow as it moved up the coast."Birdman" received the Producers Guild of America's highest film award.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Jerry Maren (Film: "The Wizard of Oz") is 97. Actor Marvin Kaplan (TV: "Top Cat") is 89. Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 80. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 77. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 75. Singer Aaron Neville is 75. Actor Michael Ontkean is 70. Actor Daniel Auteuil is 66. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 66. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 65. Actor William Allen Young is 62. Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 58. Actress Nastassja Kinski is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Theo Peoples is 55. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 53. White House budget director Shaun Donovan is 50. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 49. Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 46. Actor Matthew Lillard is 46. Actress Merrilee McCommas is 45. Blues/rock singer Beth Hart is 44. Actor Ed Helms is 42. Actor Mark Hildreth (TV: "Resurrection") is 38. Actress Tatyana Ali is 37. Rock musician Mitchell Marlow (Filter) is 37. Actor Justin Baldoni (TV: "Jane the Virgin") is 32. Actress Mischa Barton is 30.

Thought for Today: "I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom." — Bob Dylan.