Today In History - Monday, January 23rd

2012


A group of Gaddafi loyalists take control of part of the town of Bani Walid and fly the green flag after a battle with NTC forces left 5 dead and 20 injured.
2009


Dendermonde nursery attack occurred in Dendermonde, Belgium.
2003


Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10.
2002


"American Taliban" John Walker Lindh returns to the United States in FBI custody.
Reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan and subsequently murdered .
2001


The Chinese Communist Party stages a self-immolation in Tiananmen Square to frame Falun Gong and escalate the persecution.
Five people attempt to set themselves on fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, an act that many people later claim is staged by the Communist Party of China to frame Falun Gong and thus escalate their persecution.
1997


Madeleine Albright becomes the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.
Greek Serial Killer Antonis Daglis is sentenced to thirteen consecutive life sentences, plus 25 years for the serial slayings of three women and the attempted murder of six others.
1986


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
1985


O.J. Simpson becomes the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Football Hall of Fame.
1973


In July 1969, Nixon visited South Vietnam, where he met with his U.S. military commanders and President Nguyen Van Thieu. Amid protests at home demanding an immediate pullout, he implemented a strategy of replacing American troops with Vietnamese troops, known as "Vietnamization". He soon instituted phased U.S. troop withdrawals but authorized incursions into Laos, in part to interrupt the Ho Chi Minh trail, used to supply North Vietnamese forces, that passed through Laos and Cambodia. Nixon announced the ground invasion of Cambodia to the American public on April 30, 1970. His responses to protesters included an impromptu, early morning meeting with them at the Lincoln Memorial on May 9, 1970. Documents uncovered from the Soviet archives after 1991 reveal that the North Vietnamese attempt to overrun Cambodia in 1970 was launched at the explicit request of the Khmer Rouge and negotiated by Pol Pot's then second in command, Nuon Chea. Nixon's campaign promise to curb the war, contrasted with the escalated bombing, led to claims that Nixon had a "credibility gap" on the issue.

In 1971, excerpts from the "Pentagon Papers", which had been leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, were published by The New York Times and The Washington Post. When news of the leak first appeared, Nixon was inclined to do nothing; the Papers, a history of United States' involvement in Vietnam, mostly concerned the lies of prior administrations and contained few real revelations. He was persuaded by Kissinger that the papers were more harmful than they appeared, and the President tried to prevent publication. The Supreme Court eventually ruled for the newspapers.

As U.S. troop withdrawals continued, conscription was reduced and in 1973 ended; the armed forces became all-volunteer. After years of fighting, the Paris Peace Accords were signed at the beginning of 1973. The agreement implemented a cease fire and allowed for the withdrawal of remaining American troops; however, it did not require the 160,000 North Vietnam Army regulars located in the South to withdraw. Once American combat support ended, there was a brief truce, before fighting broke out again, this time without American combat involvement. North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam in 1975.
A volcanic eruption devastates Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar chain of islands off the south coast of Iceland.
1968


North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo, claiming the ship had violated its territorial waters while spying.
1967


Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Côte d'Ivoire are established.
Milton Keynes (England) is founded as a new town by Order in Council, with a planning brief to become a city of 250,000 people. Its initial designated area enclosed three existing towns and twenty one villages.
1964


The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified.
1963


The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence officially begins when PAIGC guerrilla fighters attack the Portuguese army stationed in Tite.
1961


The Portuguese luxury cruise ship Santa Maria is hijacked by opponents of the Estado Novo regime with the intention of waging war until dictator António de Oliveira Salazar is overthrown.
1960


The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 metres (35,797 ft) in the Pacific Ocean.
1958


After a general uprising and rioting in the streets, President Marcos Pérez Jiménez leaves Venezuela.
1957


American inventor Walter Frederick Morrison sells the rights to his flying disc to the Wham-O toy company, which later renames it the "Frisbee".
1950


The Knesset passes a resolution that states Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
1945


World War II: German admiral Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal.
1943


World War II: Troops of Montgomery's 8th Army capture Tripoli in Libya from the German-Italian Panzer Army.
World War II: Australian and American forces finally defeat the Japanese army in Papua. This turning point in the Pacific War marks the beginning of the end of Japanese aggression.
Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time.
World War II: The Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse on Guadalcanal during the Guadalcanal campaign ends.
World War II: Australian and American forces finally defeat the Japanese army in Papua.
1942


World War II: The Battle of Rabaul begins, the first fighting of the New Guinea campaign.
1941


Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
1937


In Moscow, 17 leading Communists go on trial accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin's regime and assassinate its leaders.
1920


The Netherlands refuses to surrender the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the Allies.
1912


The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague.
1909


RMS Republic, a passenger ship of the White Star Line, becomes the first ship to use the CQD distress signal after colliding with another ship, the SS Florida, off the Massachusetts coastline, an event that kills six people. The Republic sinks the next day.
1907


Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American U.S. Senator.
1904


Ålesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Ålesund is devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless and one person dead. Kaiser Wilhelm II funds the rebuilding of the town in Jugendstil style.
1900


Second Boer War: The Battle of Spion Kop between the forces of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State and British forces ends in a British defeat.
1899


Emilio Aguinaldo is sworn in as President of the First Philippine Republic.
The Malolos Constitution is inaugurated, establishing the First Philippine Republic.
1897


Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
1879


Anglo-Zulu War: the Battle of Rorke's Drift ends.
1870


In Montana, U.S. cavalrymen kill 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in what becomes known as the Marias Massacre.
1855


The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.
1849


Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States' first female doctor.
1793


Second Partition of Poland: Russia and Prussia partition Poland for the second time.
Second Partition of Poland.
1789


Georgetown College, the first Catholic University in the United States, is founded in Georgetown, Maryland (now a part of Washington, D.C.)
1719


The Principality of Liechtenstein is created within the Holy Roman Empire.
1656


Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales.
1579


The Union of Utrecht forms a Protestant republic in the Netherlands.
1571


The Royal Exchange opens in London.
1570


The assassination of regent James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray throws Scotland into civil war.
James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, regent for the infant King James VI of Scotland, is assassinated by firearm, the first recorded instance of such.
1556


The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.
1546


Having published nothing for eleven years, François Rabelais publishes the Tiers Livre, his sequel to Gargantua and Pantagruel.
1533


Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, discovers herself pregnant.
1510


Henry VIII of England, then 18 years old, appears incognito in the lists at Richmond, and is applauded for his jousting before he reveals his identity.
1368


In a coronation ceremony, Zhu Yuanzhang ascends to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that would last for three centuries.
971


In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han are soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops. The Southern Han state is forced to submit to the Song Dynasty, ending not only Southern Han rule, but also the first regular war elephant corps employed in a Chinese army that had gained the Southern Han victories throughout the 10th century.
393


Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaims his nine year old son Honorius co-emperor.