Today in History

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Posted: Jan 22, 2017 12:01 AM

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2017. There are 343 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 22, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson, in an address to Congress, pleaded for an end to the war in Europe, calling for "peace without victory." (By April, however, America also was at war.)

On this date:

In 1498, during his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrived at the present-day Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

In 1901, Britain's Queen Victoria died at age 81 after a reign of 63 years; she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII.

In 1922, Pope Benedict XV died; he was succeeded by Pius XI.

In 1938, Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" was performed publicly for the first time in Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1947, America's first commercially licensed television station west of the Mississippi, KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, made its official debut.

In 1957, George P. Metesky, suspected of being the "Mad Bomber" who injured 15 people over a 16-year period, was arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut. (Metesky was later found mentally ill and committed until 1973; he died in 1994.)

In 1968, "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" premiered on NBC-TV.

In 1970, the first regularly scheduled commercial flight of the Boeing 747 began in New York and ended in London some 6 1/2 hours later.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, legalized abortions using a trimester approach. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at his Texas ranch at age 64.

In 1987, Pennsylvania treasurer R. Budd Dwyer, convicted of defrauding the state, proclaimed his innocence at a news conference before pulling out a gun and shooting himself to death in front of horrified onlookers.

In 1997, the Senate unanimously confirmed Madeleine Albright as the nation's first female secretary of state.

In 2008, actor Heath Ledger was found dead of an accidental prescription overdose in New York City; he was 28.

Ten years ago: A double car bombing of a predominantly Shiite commercial area in Baghdad killed 88 people. Iran announced it had barred 38 nuclear inspectors on a United Nations list from entering the country in apparent retaliation for U.N. sanctions imposed the previous month.

Five years ago: Longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who'd won more games than anyone in major college football but was fired amid a child sex abuse scandal that scarred his reputation, died at age 85. The New England Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in the AFC championship game. The New York Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC championship game.

One year ago: North Korea said it had detained Otto Warmbier, a university student from Ohio, for what it called a "hostile act." (Warmbier was later sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor; the 21-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate said before the trial that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner as a trophy for an acquaintance.) A gunman opened fire at a high school and a home in northern Saskatchewan, leaving four dead; a 17-year-old was charged the following day with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Three inmates escaped from a Southern California maximum-security jail by cutting through half-inch steel bars and rappelling from the roof by a makeshift rope. (Within days, one of the inmates surrendered and the other two were captured.)

Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., is 89. Actress Piper Laurie is 85. Actor Seymour Cassel is 82. Author Joseph Wambaugh is 80. Actor John Hurt is 77. Singer Steve Perry is 68. Country singer-musician Teddy Gentry (Alabama) is 65. Movie director Jim Jarmusch is 64. Actor John Wesley Shipp is 62. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy is 60. Actress Linda Blair is 58. Actress Diane Lane is 52. Actor-rap DJ Jazzy Jeff is 52. Country singer Regina Nicks (Regina Regina) is 52. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is 49. Actress Olivia d'Abo is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gay (Shai) is 48. Actress Katie Finneran is 46. Actor Gabriel Macht is 45. Actor Balthazar Getty is 42. Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson is 37. Jazz singer Lizz Wright is 37. Pop singer Willa Ford is 36. Actress Beverley (cq) Mitchell is 36. Rock singer-musician Ben Moody is 36. Actor Kevin Sheridan is 35. Actress-singer Phoebe Strole is 34. Actress Sami Gayle is 21.

Thought for Today: "Advertising has done more to cause the social unrest of the 20th century than any other single factor." — Clare Boothe Luce, American author, politician and diplomat (1903-1987).