Today in History

The Associated Press
·4-min read

Today in History

Today is Monday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2021. There are 361 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 4, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address in which he outlined the goals of his “Great Society.”

On this date:

In 1821, the first native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

In 1904, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gonzalez v. Williams, ruled that Puerto Ricans were not aliens and could enter the United States freely; however, the court stopped short of declaring them citizens. (Puerto Ricans received U.S. citizenship in March 1917.)

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, called for legislation to provide assistance for the jobless, elderly, impoverished children and the handicapped.

In 1944, Ralph Bunche became the first African-American officer at the State Department as he was appointed to a post in the Near East and African Section.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI began a visit to the Holy Land, the first papal pilgrimage of its kind

In 1974, President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

In 1987, 16 people were killed when an Amtrak train bound from Washington, D.C., to Boston collided with Conrail locomotives that had crossed into its path from a side track in Chase, Maryland.

In 1999, Europe’s new currency, the euro, got off to a strong start on its first trading day, rising against the dollar on world currency markets. Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura took the oath of office as Minnesota’s governor.

In 2002, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, was killed by small-arms fire during an ambush in eastern Afghanistan; he was the first American military death from enemy fire in the war against terrorism.

In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a significant stroke; his official powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert (EH’-hood OHL’-murt). (Sharon remained in a coma until his death in January 2014.)

In 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female speaker of the House as Democrats took control of Congress.

In 2010, Dubai opened the world’s tallest skyscraper, and in a surprise move renamed the 2,717-foot gleaming glass-and-metal tower Burj Khalifa in a nod to the leader of neighboring Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich sheikdom that had come to its financial rescue.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama signed a $1.4 billion overhaul of the nation’s food safety system. The Navy fired the commander of the USS Enterprise, Capt. Owen Honors, more than three years after he’d made lewd videos to boost morale for his crew. (Honors was later reprimanded but allowed to remain in the Navy; he retired in 2012.) The Mega Millions lottery drew two winning tickets for a jackpot totaling $380 million. (In a strange coincidence, four of the six winning numbers matched those used by a lottery-winning character on the TV show “Lost.”)

Five years ago: Workers returned to their offices at the San Bernardino, California campus where 14 people were killed the previous month in a terror attack carried out by a county restaurant inspector and his wife. The Justice Department sued Volkswagen over emissions-cheating software found in nearly 600,000 vehicles sold in the United States.

One year ago: Thousands of militiamen and other supporters marched across Iraq’s capital in a funeral procession for Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike. President Donald Trump threatened to hit dozens of targets in Iran “very fast and very hard,” including sites “important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” if Iran retaliated for the killing. Australia’s prime minister said the death toll in the worst wildfire season in Australian history had climbed to 23, including a father and son who had been battling flames for two days.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Barbara Rush is 94. Opera singer Grace Bumbry is 84. Actor Dyan Cannon is 82. Author-historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is 78. Country singer Kathy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 66. Actor Ann Magnuson is 65. Rock musician Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division) is 65. Country singer Patty Loveless is 64. Actor Julian Sands is 63. Rock singer Michael Stipe is 61. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 59. Actor Dave Foley is 58. Actor Dot Jones is 57. Actor Rick Hearst is 56. Singer-musician Cait O’Riordan is 56. Actor Julia Ormond is 56. Former tennis player Guy Forget (ghee fohr-ZHAY’) is 56. Country singer Deana Carter is 55. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 54. Actor Josh Stamberg is 51. Actor Damon Gupton is 48. Actor-singer Jill Marie Jones is 46. Actor D’Arcy Carden is 41. Christian rock singer Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) is 38. Actor Lenora Crichlow is 36. Comedian-actor Charlyne Yi is 35. MLB All-Star Kris Bryant is 29. Actor-singer Coco Jones is 23.