Today in History

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Posted: Jan 24, 2012 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2012. There are 342 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 24, 1942, the Roberts Commission, which had looked into America's lack of preparedness for Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, publicly released its report placing much of the blame on Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, the Navy and Army commanders.

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 1862, author Edith Wharton was born in New York.

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

In 1922, Christian K. Nelson of Onawa, Iowa, received a U.S. patent for his Eskimo Pie.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

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

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

In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.

In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. (All were eventually released.)

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

In 1992, a judge in El Salvador sentenced an army colonel and a lieutenant to 30 years in prison for their part in the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. (However, Col. Guillermo Alfredo Benavides and Lt. Yusshy Mendoza were freed in April 1993 under an amnesty law.)

Ten years ago: A House committee opened hearings into the collapse of energy giant Enron Corp. Officials of Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, claimed fired auditor David Duncan was solely responsible for the massive destruction of Enron documents; Duncan refused to answer questions, invoking the Fifth Amendment. John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," made his first court appearance in suburban Washington, D.C.

Five years ago: The Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a nonbinding measure, 12-9, dismissing President George W. Bush's plans for a troop buildup in Iraq as "not in the national interest" of the United States. Colorado's Joe Sakic had four assists to lead the Western Conference to a 12-9 victory in the NHL All-Star game.

One year 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.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Ernest Borgnine is 95. Actor Jerry Maren ("The Wizard of Oz") is 93. Actor Marvin Kaplan ("Top Cat") is 85. Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 76. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 73. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 71. Singer Aaron Neville is 71. Actor Michael Ontkean is 66. Actor Daniel Auteuil is 62. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 62. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 61. Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 54. Actress Nastassja Kinski is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Theo Peoples is 51. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 49. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is 46. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 45. Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 42. Actor Matthew Lillard is 42. Actress Merrilee McCommas is 41. Actor Ed Helms is 38. Actress Tatyana Ali is 33. Rock musician Mitchell Marlow (Filter) is 33. Actress Mischa Barton is 26.

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

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, Jan. 24)

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