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Today in History

Monday, January 30, 2012

Today is Monday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2012. There are 336 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 30, 1962, two members of "The Flying Wallendas" high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit.

On this date:

In 1649, England's King Charles I was beheaded.

In 1798, a brawl broke out in the U.S. House of Representatives in Philadelphia, as Matthew Lyon of Vermont spat in the face of Roger Griswold of Connecticut.

In 1862, the ironclad USS Monitor was launched from the Continental Iron Works in Greenpoint, N.Y., during the Civil War.

In 1882, the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was born in Hyde Park, N.Y.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" radio program was broadcast on station WXYZ in Detroit.

In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.)

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. Author, journalist and radio commentator Dorothy Thompson died in Lisbon, Portugal, at age 67.

In 1964, the United States launched Ranger 6, an unmanned spacecraft carrying television cameras that crash-landed on the moon, but failed to send back images.

In 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.

In 1972, 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as "Bloody Sunday."

In 1981, an estimated two million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the freed American hostages from Iran.

In 1982, actor-comedian Stanley Holloway died in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England, at age 91.

Ten years ago: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the United States would watch closely to see what Iraq, Iran and North Korea did next, a day after President George W. Bush singled them out as part of a dangerous "axis of evil." Interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai visited the World Trade Center site and placed a wreath of yellow roses by a memorial wall as he surveyed the ruins of Sept. 11.

Five years ago: A propane tank explosion leveled the Flat Top Little General Store in Ghent, W.Va., killing four people. Two gunmen shot and killed Mellie McDaniel, the wife of the Jackson County, Fla., sheriff and a deputy sent to check on her; other deputies opened fire and killed the assailants. Hollywood writer-producer and novelist Sidney Sheldon died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 89.

One year ago: Egypt's most prominent democracy advocate, Mohamed ElBaradei, called for President Hosni Mubarak to resign during an address to thousands of protesters in Cairo who were defying a curfew for a third night. Rachid Ghanouchi, leader of the long-outlawed Tunisian Islamist party, returned home after two decades in exile. MVP DeAngelo Hall had one of his team's five interceptions and returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown to help the NFC match a Pro Bowl scoring record in a 55-41 victory over the AFC. Novak Djokovic won his second Australian Open title, breezing past Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Ryan Bradley won his first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Dorothy Malone is 87. Producer-director Harold Prince is 84. Actor Gene Hackman is 82. Actress Tammy Grimes is 78. Actress Vanessa Redgrave is 75. Chess grandmaster Boris Spassky is 75. Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 75. Country singer Norma Jean is 74. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is 71. Rock singer Marty Balin is 70. Rhythm-and-blues musician William King (The Commodores) is 63. Singer Phil Collins is 61. Actor Charles S. Dutton is 61. World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange is 57. Actress-comedian Brett Butler is 54. Singer Jody Watley is 53. Actor-filmmaker Dexter Scott King is 51. The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, is 50. Actor Norbert Leo Butz is 45. Country singer Tammy Cochran is 40. Actor Christian Bale is 38. Rock musician Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is 38. Pop-country singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is 32. Actor Wilmer Valderrama is 32. Actor Jake Thomas is 22.

Thought for Today: "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death." -- Harold Wilson, British prime minister (1916-1995).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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