Today in History

·5-min read

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2022. There are 357 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

On this date:

In 1815, the last major engagement of the War of 1812 came to an end as U.S. forces defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, not having received word of the signing of a peace treaty.

In 1867, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in overriding President Andrew Johnson’s veto of the District of Columbia Suffrage Bill, giving Black men in the nation’s capital the right to vote.

In 1912, the African National Congress was founded in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

In 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 1994, Tonya Harding won the ladies’ U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, a day after Nancy Kerrigan dropped out because of the clubbing attack that had injured her right knee. (The U.S. Figure Skating Association later stripped Harding of the title.)

In 1998, Ramzi Yousef (RAHM’-zee YOO’-sef), the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sentenced in New York to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2008, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire’s 2008 Democratic primary in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House; Sen. John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination.

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF’-nur) was sentenced in Nov. 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.)

In 2016, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the world’s most-wanted drug lord, was captured for a third time in a daring raid by Mexican marines, six months after walking through a tunnel to freedom from a maximum security prison.

In 2020, Iran struck back at the United States for killing Iran’s top military commander, firing missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing American troops; more than 100 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the attack. As Iran braced for a counterattack, the country’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a Ukrainian jetliner after apparently mistaking it for a missile; all 176 people on board were killed, including 82 Iranians and more than 50 Canadians.

Ten years ago: Bells rang in Tucson, Arizona, as residents paused to remember the six people killed in the shooting rampage a year earlier that left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords severely wounded; Giffords led a crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance during an evening vigil. Mitt Romney’s Republican presidential rivals piled on the criticism during a morning debate, two days before the New Hampshire primary.

Five years ago: A Palestinian truck driver rammed his vehicle into a crowd of Israeli soldiers, killing at least four people in one of the deadliest attacks of a wave of violence lasting more than a year. (The driver was shot dead.) “La La Land” won seven Golden Globe Awards, including best motion picture, comedy or musical, while “Moonlight” was recognized as best movie drama; Meryl Streep, accepting a lifetime achievement award, criticized President-elect Donald Trump without mentioning him by name.

One year ago: President Donald Trump said he would skip President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration; Biden responded that he was just fine with that, calling it “one of the few things we have ever agreed on.” Twitter said it was banning Trump from its platform, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.” Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the first Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing Trump from initiating military actions or a nuclear strike; she said the situation of “this unhinged President could not be more dangerous.” Adam Johnson, accused of making off with Pelosi’s lectern during the chaos at the U.S. Capitol, was arrested on a federal warrant in Florida. A video tribute to Alex Trebek closed the day’s episode of “Jeopardy,” the last one Trebek taped before pancreatic cancer claimed his life in November.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 99. Former CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 89. Singer Shirley Bassey is 85. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 84. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 82. R&B singer Jerome Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 81. Actor Yvette Mimieux is 80. Singer Juanita Cowart Motley (The Marvelettes) is 78. Actor Kathleen Noone is 77. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 76. Movie director John McTiernan is 71. Actor Harriet Sansom Harris is 67. Actor Ron Cephas Jones is 65. Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is 64. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 58. Actor Michelle Forbes is 57. Actor Maria Pitillo (pih-TIHL’-loh) is 56. Singer R. Kelly is 55. Actor/producer Ami Dolenz is 53. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 49. Actor Donnell Turner is 49. Country singer Tift Merritt is 47. Actor-rock singer Jenny Lewis is 46. Actor Amber Benson is 45. Actor Scott Whyte is 44. Singer-songwriter Erin McCarley is 43. Actor Sarah Polley is 43. Actor Rachel Nichols is 42. Actor Gaby (GAB’-ee) Hoffman is 40. Rock musician Disashi Lumumbo-Kasongo (dih-SAH’-shee LUHM’-uhm-boh kuh-SAHN’-goh) (Gym Class Heroes) is 39. Actor Cynthia Erivo is 35. Actor Freddie Stroma is 35.

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