Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, January 6, 2018

Today is Saturday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2018. There are 359 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 6, 1968, a surgical team at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, led by Dr. Norman Shumway performed the first U.S. adult heart transplant, placing the heart of a 43-year-old man in a 54-year-old patient (the recipient died 15 days later).

Email newsletter signup

On this date:

In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. (The marriage lasted about six months.)

In 1759, George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married in New Kent County, Virginia.

In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail gave the first successful public demonstration of their telegraph in Morristown, New Jersey.

In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.

In 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, New York, at age 60.

In 1945, George Herbert Walker Bush married Barbara Pierce at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York.

In 1950, Britain recognized the Communist government of China.

In 1974, year-round daylight saving time began in the United States on a trial basis as a fuel-saving measure in response to the OPEC oil embargo.

In 1987, the U.S. Senate voted 88-4 to establish an 11-member panel to hold public hearings on the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1993, authorities rescued Jennifer Stolpa and her infant son, Clayton, after Jennifer’s husband, James, succeeded in reaching help, ending the family’s eight-day ordeal after becoming lost in the snow-covered Nevada desert. Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, 75, died in Englewood, New Jersey; ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev died in suburban Paris at age 54.

In 1994, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the leg by an assailant at Detroit’s Cobo Arena; four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s rival, Tonya Harding, went to prison for their roles in the attack. (Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution, but denied any advance knowledge about the assault.)

In 2001, with Vice President Al Gore presiding in his capacity as president of the Senate, Congress formally certified George W. Bush the winner of the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election.

Ten years ago: In a video posted on the Internet, al-Qaida’s American-born spokesman, Adam Gadahn (ah-DAHM’ guh-DAHN’), urged fighters to meet President George W. Bush with bombs during his upcoming Mideast visit. Mikhail Saakashvili (sah-kahsh-VIH’-leh) was declared winner of a second term as Georgia’s president.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama returned to Washington after a winter vacation in Hawaii that was interrupted by the “fiscal cliff” crisis. In his first public speech in six months, a defiant Syrian President Bashar Assad rallied a cheering crowd to fight the uprising against his authoritarian rule, dismissing any chance of dialogue with what he called “murderous criminals.” The NHL and the players’ association agreed on a tentative pact to end a 113-day lockout.

One year ago: Congress certified Donald Trump’s presidential victory over the objections of a handful of House Democrats, with Vice President Joe Biden pronouncing, “It is over.” An arriving airline passenger pulled a gun from his luggage and opened fire in the baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, killing five people and wounding eight. (A suspect is in custody.) Actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher were laid to rest together at Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills. Tilikum the orca died after more than two decades at SeaWorld Orlando, where he gained notoriety for killing a trainer.

Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Joey, the CowPolka King (Riders in the Sky) is 69. Former FBI director Louis Freeh is 68. Rock singer-musician Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) is 67. Singer Jett Williams is 65. Actor-comedian Rowan Atkinson is 63. World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez is 61. Actor Scott Bryce is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kathy Sledge is 59. TV chef Nigella Lawson is 58. Rhythm-and-blues singer Eric Williams (BLACKstreet) is 58. Movie director John Singleton is 50. Actor Aron Eisenberg is 49. Actor Norman Reedus is 49. TV personality Julie Chen is 48. Actor Danny Pintauro (TV: “Who’s the Boss?”) is 42. Actress Cristela Alonzo is 39. Actress Rinko Kikuchi (RINK’-oh kih-KOO’chee) is 37. Actor Eddie Redmayne is 36. Retired NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas is 36. Actress-comedian Kate McKinnon is 34. Rock singer Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) is 32.