Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, January 19, 2018

Today is Friday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2018. There are 346 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 19, 1953, CBS-TV aired the widely watched episode of “I Love Lucy” in which Lucy Ricardo, played by Lucille Ball, gave birth to Little Ricky. (By coincidence, Ball gave birth the same day to her son, Desi Arnaz Jr.)

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On this date:

In 1807, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

In 1861, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the Union.

In 1867, the song “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” by Gaston Lyle, Alfred Lee and George Leybourne was first published in London.

In 1915, Germany carried out its first air raid on Britain during World War I as a pair of Zeppelins dropped bombs onto Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn in England.

In 1937, millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.

In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces captured the British protectorate of North Borneo. A German submarine sank the Canadian liner RMS Lady Hawkins off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, killing 251 people; 71 survived.

In 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television and newsreels for the first time, with the permission of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1966, Indira Gandhi was chosen to be prime minister of India by the National Congress party.

In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon nominated G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court; however, the nomination was defeated because of controversy over Carswell’s past racial views.

In 1977, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American convicted of treason for making radio broadcasts aimed at demoralizing Allied troops in the Pacific Theater during World War II. (Although she was popularly referred to as “Tokyo Rose,” D’Aquino never used that name.)

In 1987, Guy Hunt became Alabama’s first Republican governor since 1874 as he was sworn into office, succeeding George C. Wallace.

In 1998, “rockabilly” pioneer Carl Perkins died in Jackson, Tennessee, at age 65.

Ten years ago: Republican John McCain won a hard-fought South Carolina primary; Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama split the spoils in the Nevada caucuses. A U.S. soldier was killed south of Baghdad in a roadside bomb attack; it was the first American death to occur on a newly introduced, heavily armored vehicle known as MRAP. Death claimed actress Suzanne Pleshette in Los Angeles at age 70; John Stewart, a former member of the Kingston Trio, in San Diego at age 68; and former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer at age 73.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama said the U.S. stood ready to provide whatever assistance Algerian officials needed in the aftermath of a deadly terrorist attack at a natural gas complex in the Sahara, a siege which finally came to an end with a second assault by special forces. Thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully at state capitals around the U.S. to rally against stricter limits on firearms. Death claimed baseball Hall of Famers Stan Musial at age 92 and Earl Weaver at age 82.

One year ago: With fireworks heralding his big moment, Donald Trump swept into Washington on the eve of his presidential inauguration and pledged to unify a nation sorely divided and clamoring for change. Treasury secretary-nominee Steven Mnuchin clashed with Democrats during a lengthy confirmation hearing over his handling of thousands of mortgage foreclosures and his failure to initially disclose to the committee $100 million in assets and interests in a Cayman Islands corporation. Actor Miguel Ferrer died at his Los Angeles home at age 61.

Today’s Birthdays: Former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar is 98. Actress Tippi Hedren is 88. Former PBS newsman Robert MacNeil is 87. Movie director Richard Lester is 86. Actor-singer Michael Crawford is 76. Actress Shelley Fabares (fab-RAY’) is 74. Country singer Dolly Parton is 72. Former ABC newswoman Ann Compton is 71. TV chef Paula Deen is 71. Rock singer Martha Davis is 67. Singer Dewey Bunnell (America) is 66. Actor Desi Arnaz Jr. is 65. Actress Katey Sagal is 64. Comedian Paul Rodriguez is 63. Conductor Sir Simon Rattle is 63. Reggae musician Mickey Virtue (UB40) is 61. Rock musician Jeff Pilson (Foreigner) is 60. Actor Paul McCrane is 57. Actor William Ragsdale is 57. Basketball coach Jeff Van Gundy is 56. International Tennis Hall of Famer Stefan Edberg is 52. Rock singer Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) is 50. Singer Trey Lorenz is 49. Actor Shawn Wayans is 47. Rock singer-musician John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) is 47. Actress Drea (DRAY-uh’) de Matteo is 46. Comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo is 44. Actor Drew Powell is 42. Actress Marsha Thomason is 42. Actress Bitsie Tulloch is 37. Actress Jodie Sweetin is 36. Movie director Damien Chazelle is 33. Actor Logan Lerman is 26. Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson is 26. Rapper Mac Miller is 26.