Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2018. There are 335 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 30, 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese towns and cities; although the Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major setback for the U.S. and its allies.

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On this date:

In 1649, England’s King Charles I was executed for high treason.

In 1798, during a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives in Philadelphia, Matthew Lyon of Vermont spat tobacco juice in the face of Roger Griswold of Connecticut (two weeks later, Griswold physically attacked Lyon on the House floor).

In 1882, the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was born in Hyde Park, New York.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. The first episode of the “Lone Ranger” radio program was broadcast on station WXYZ in Detroit.

In 1945, during World War II, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the German ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea with the loss of more than 9,000 lives, most of them war refugees; roughly 1,000 people survived. Adolf Hitler marked the 12th anniversary of his appointment as Germany’s chancellor with his last public speech in which he called on Germans to keep resisting until victory.

In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse (neh-too-RAHM’ gahd-SAY’), a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.) Aviation pioneer Orville Wright, 76, died in Dayton, Ohio.

In 1958, “Sunrise at Campobello,” a play by Dore Schary (DOHR’-ee SHER’-ee) about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s struggle against polio, opened on Broadway with Ralph Bellamy as FDR.

In 1962, two members of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit.

In 1969, The Beatles staged an impromptu concert atop Apple headquarters in London; it was the group’s last public performance.

In 1972, 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

In 1981, an estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the American hostages freed from Iran.

In 1993, Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.

Ten years ago: John Edwards bowed out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the Republican presidential contest and endorsed front-runner and longtime friend John McCain. The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate for the second time in just over a week, reducing the federal funds rate by a half point to 3 percent.

Five years ago: In a dramatic appeal before the Senate Judiciary Committee, wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged Congress to enact tougher curbs on guns, saying, “too many children are dying” without them. Patty Andrews, 94, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio, died in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge.

One year ago: President Donald Trump fired Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his controversial refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court. It became legal in Maine to possess and grow marijuana.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Michael Anderson is 98. Producer-director Harold Prince is 90. Actor Gene Hackman is 88. Actress Vanessa Redgrave is 81. Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 81. Chess grandmaster Boris Spassky is 81. Country singer Norma Jean is 80. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is 77. Rock singer Marty Balin is 76. Rhythm-and-blues musician William King (The Commodores) is 69. Singer Phil Collins is 67. Actor Charles S. Dutton is 67. World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange is 63. Actress Ann Dowd is 62. Actress-comedian Brett Butler is 60. Singer Jody Watley is 59. Actor-filmmaker Dexter Scott King is 57. The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, is 56. Actor Wayne Wilderson (TV: “Veep”) is 52. Actor Norbert Leo Butz is 51. The King of Spain, Felipe VI, is 50. Country singer Tammy Cochran is 46. Actor Christian Bale is 44. Rock musician Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is 44. Actress Olivia Colman is 44. Actress-singer Lena Hall is 38. Pop-country singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is 38. Actor Wilmer Valderrama is 38. Actress Mary Hollis Imboden is 32. Actress Kylie Bunbury is 29. Actor Jake Thomas is 28. Actress Danielle Campbell is 23.