Today in History

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Today is Saturday, Jan. 28, the 28th day of 2012. There are 338 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

On this date:

In 1547, England's King Henry VIII died; he was succeeded by his 9-year-old son, Edward VI.

In 1813, the novel "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen was first published in London, anonymously.

In 1853, Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti was born in Havana.

In 1909, the United States withdrew its forces from Cuba as Jose Miguel Gomez became president.

In 1912, abstract painter Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyo.

In 1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.

In 1916, Louis D. Brandeis was nominated by President Woodrow Wilson to the Supreme Court; Brandeis became the court's first Jewish member.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

In 1962, the last of Washington, D.C.'s streetcars made its final run.

In 1973, a cease-fire officially went into effect in the Vietnam War.

In 1980, six U.S. diplomats who had avoided being taken hostage at their embassy in Tehran flew out of Iran with the help of Canadian diplomats.

In 1982, Italian anti-terrorism forces rescued U.S. Brigadier General James L. Dozier, 42 days after he had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades.

Ten years ago: Hamid Karzai, the first Afghan leader to visit Washington in 39 years, met with President George W. Bush, who promised a "lasting partnership" with Afghanistan. Afghan troops backed by U.S. Special Forces stormed a hospital ward in Kandahar, killing six al-Qaida gunmen who had repeatedly refused to surrender. An Ecuadorean Boeing 727 jetliner crashed into the side of a volcano, killing all 94 aboard. "Pippi Longstocking" creator Astrid Lindgren died in Stockholm, Sweden, at age 94.

Five years ago: U.S.-backed Iraqi troops attacked insurgents allegedly plotting to kill pilgrims at a major Shiite Muslim religious festival; Iraqi officials estimated some 300 militants died in the daylong battle near Najaf. (A U.S. helicopter crashed during the fight, killing two American soldiers.) Britain's Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, met with New York schoolchildren as they visited Harlem during their whirlwind American weekend. Roger Federer captured his 10th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open, beating Fernando Gonzalez 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4. The Rev. Robert Drinan, a priest who'd represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House during the 1970s, died in Washington, D.C., at age 86.

One year ago: Chaos engulfed Egypt as protesters seized the streets of Cairo, battling police, burning down the ruling party's headquarters and defying a military curfew. Hundreds gathered at NASA's launch site to mark the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Police in Tampa, Fla., arrested Julie Schenecker in the shooting deaths of her 13-year-old son Beau and 16-year-old daughter Calyx; Schenecker allegedly told detectives she'd killed her children for being "mouthy." The nation's largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., took control of NBC Universal, capping a 13-month bid.

Today's Birthdays: Musician-composer Acker Bilk is 83. Actor Nicholas Pryor is 77. Actor Alan Alda is 76. Actress Susan Howard is 70. Actress Marthe Keller is 67. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is 65. Actress-singer Barbi Benton is 62. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren is 58. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is 57. Actress Harley Jane Kozak is 55. Movie director Frank Darabont is 53. Rock musician Dave Sharp is 53. Rock singer Sam Phillips is 50. Rock musician Dan Spitz is 49. Country musician Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 47. Gospel singer Marvin Sapp is 45. Singer Sarah McLachlan is 44. Rapper Rakim is 44. DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) is 44. Actress Kathryn Morris ("Cold Case") is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Hamilton is 41. Rock musician Brandon Bush is 39. MLB player Jermaine Dye is 38. Singer Joey Fatone Jr. ('N Sync) is 35. Rapper Rick Ross is 35. Actress Rosamund Pike is 33. Singer Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) is 32. Actor Elijah Wood is 31. Rapper J. Cole is 27. Actress Alexandra Krosney is 24. Actress Ariel Winter (TV: "Modern Family") is 14.

Thought for Today: "It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." -- Robert H. Goddard, American rocket engineer (1882-1945).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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