Today in History - Jan. 4

AP News
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Posted: Jan 04, 2010 12:00 AM

Today is Monday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2010. There are 361 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 4, 1960, Algerian-born French author and philosopher Albert Camus died in an automobile accident in Villeblevin, France at age 46.

On this date:

In 1809, Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille raised-dot reading system for the blind, was born in Coupvray, France.

In 1821, the first native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, Md.

In 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state.

In 1904, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gonzalez v. Williams, ruled that Puerto Ricans were not aliens and could enter the United States freely; however, the court stopped short of declaring them U.S. citizens.

In 1948, Burma (now called Myanmar) became independent of British rule.

In 1951, during the Korean War, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces recaptured the city of Seoul.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson outlined the goals of his "Great Society" in his State of the Union Address. Poet T.S. Eliot died in London at age 76.

In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

In 1990, Charles Stuart, who'd claimed to have been wounded and his pregnant wife shot dead by a robber, leapt to his death off a Boston bridge after he himself became a suspect.

In 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female speaker of the House as Democrats took control of Congress.

Ten years ago: Former presidential rival Elizabeth Dole endorsed fellow Republican George W. Bush. Israel and the Palestinians agreed on an Israeli troop pullback from 5 percent of the West Bank.

Five years ago: The governor of the Baghdad region (Ali al-Haidari), known for cooperating closely with American troops, was assassinated along with six bodyguards as he drove to work. No. 1 Southern California overwhelmed No. 2 Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl. Wade Boggs was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and Ryne Sandberg made it with just six votes to spare on his third try.

One year ago: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced he was withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama's commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors had won a lucrative state contract. (Prosecutors later declined to bring charges against Richardson.) A female suicide bomber struck Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing 38.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Barbara Rush is 83. Football Hall-of-Fame coach Don Shula is 80. Actress Dyan Cannon is 73. Opera singer Grace Bumbry is 73. Author-historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is 67. Country singer Kathy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 55. Actress Ann Magnuson is 54. Rock musician Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division) is 54. Country singer Patty Loveless is 53. Rock singer Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) is 50. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 48. Actor Dave Foley is 47. Singer-musician Cait O'Riordan is 45. Actress Julia Ormond is 45. Tennis player Guy Forget is 45. Country singer Deana Carter is 44. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 43. Actor Jeremy Licht is 39. Actress-singer Jill Marie Jones is 35. Alt-country singer Justin Townes Earle is 28. Christian rock singer Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) is 27. Comedian-actress Charlyne Yi is 24.

Thought for Today: "You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." _ Albert Camus (1913-1960).