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Today in History

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2012. There are 349 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 17, 1962, ten former winners of rigged TV quiz shows, including Charles Van Doren, pleaded guilty in New York to perjury, admitting they'd lied under oath when they denied being given answers in advance. (All received suspended sentences.)

On this date:

In 1562, French Protestants were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.

In 1893, the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70. Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Lili'uokalani to abdicate.

In 1917, the United States paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

In 1929, the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor made his debut in the "Thimble Theatre" comic strip.

In 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II; Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.

In 1950, the Great Brink's Robbery took place as seven masked men held up a Brink's garage in Boston, stealing $1.2 million in cash and $1.5 million in checks and money orders. (Although the entire gang was caught, only part of the loot was recovered.)

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against "the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex."

In 1971, the Baltimore Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.

In 1989, five children were shot to death at the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif., by a drifter, Patrick Purdy, who then killed himself.

In 1994, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 72 people.

In 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe, Japan.

Ten years ago: Enron fired accounting firm Arthur Andersen, citing its destruction of thousands of documents and its accounting advice; for its part, Andersen said its relationship with Enron ended in early December 2001 when the company slid into bankruptcy. A Palestinian gunman 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.

Five years ago: A year after disclosure of a domestic spying program that President George W. Bush maintained was within his authority to operate, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced the administration had shifted its position and would seek the approval of an independent panel of federal judges. Pulitzer Prize-winning satirist Art Buchwald died in Washington, D.C., at age 81.

One year ago: Apple Inc. announced that its CEO, Steve Jobs, was taking his second medical leave of absence in two years. (Jobs died in October 2011.) Rock promoter Don Kirshner, 76, died in Boca Raton, Fla.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Betty White is 90. Former Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach is 90. Former FCC chairman Newton N. Minow is 86. Hairdresser Vidal Sassoon is 84. Actor James Earl Jones is 81. Talk show host Maury Povich is 73. International Boxing Hall of Famer Muhammad Ali is 70. Pop singer Chris Montez is 70. Rhythm-and-blues singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 67. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 64. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 59. Singer Steve Earle is 57. Singer Paul Young is 56. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 55. Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 53. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 50. First Lady Michelle Obama is 48. Actor Joshua Malina is 46. Singer Shabba Ranks is 46. Rock musician Jon Wysocki is 44. Actor Naveen Andrews is 43. Rapper Kid Rock is 41. Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 37. Actress Zooey Deschanel is 32. Singer Ray J is 31. Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 30.

Thought for Today: "The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever." -- Herb Caen, American newspaper columnist (1916-1997).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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