By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2021. There are 346 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 19, 1981, the United States and Iran signed an accord paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.
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On this date:
In 1809, author, poet and critic Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston.
In 1861, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the Union.
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 1944, the federal government relinquished control of the nation’s railroads to their owners following settlement of a wage dispute.
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 1980, retired Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas died in Washington, D.C., at age 81.
In 1987, Guy Hunt became Alabama’s first Republican governor since 1874 as he was sworn into office, succeeding George C. Wallace.
In 2005, the American Cancer Society reported that cancer had passed heart disease as the top killer of Americans age 85 and younger.
In 2006, Osama bin Laden, in an audiotape that was his first in more than a year, said al-Qaida was preparing for attacks in the United States; at the same time, he offered a “long-term truce” without specifying the conditions. Vice President Dick Cheney defended the administration’s domestic surveillance program, calling it an essential tool in monitoring al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.
In 2009, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal restoring natural gas shipments to Ukraine and paving the way for an end to the nearly two-week cutoff of most Russian gas to a freezing Europe.
Ten years ago: Chinese President Hu Jintao, visiting the White House, declared “a lot still needs to be done” to improve his country’s record on human rights; the exchange with President Barack Obama over human rights was balanced by U.S. delight over newly announced Chinese business deals expected to generate about $45 billion in new export sales for the U.S.
Five years ago: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump received the endorsement of conservative firebrand Sarah Palin, giving the businessman a potential boost less than two weeks before Iowa’s kick-off caucuses. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, in his State of the State address, again pledged to fix the crisis over Flint’s lead-contaminated water. Italian movie director Ettore Scola, 84, died in Rome.
One year ago: Health officials in central China reported that 17 more people had been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, which had killed two patients and placed other countries on alert. The South Korean film “Parasite” became the first foreign language film to take top honors from the Screen Actors Guild, en route to an Academy Award as best picture. The San Francisco 49ers rolled past the Green Bay Packers, 37-20, to advance to the franchise’s seventh Super Bowl; the Kansas City Chiefs reached their first Super Bowl in a half century by beating the Tennessee Titans 35-24 for the AFC championship.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Tippi Hedren is 91. Former PBS newsman Robert MacNeil is 90. Movie director Richard Lester is 89. Actor-singer Michael Crawford is 79. Actor Shelley Fabares (fab-RAY’) is 77. Country singer Dolly Parton is 75. Former ABC newswoman Ann Compton is 74. TV chef Paula Deen is 74. Rock singer Martha Davis is 70. Singer Dewey Bunnell (America) is 69. Actor Desi Arnaz Jr. is 68. Actor Katey Sagal is 67. Comedian Paul Rodriguez is 66. Conductor Sir Simon Rattle is 66. Reggae musician Mickey Virtue (formerly with UB40) is 64. Rock musician Jeff Pilson (Foreigner) is 63. Actor Paul McCrane is 60. Actor William Ragsdale is 60. Basketball coach and commentator Jeff Van Gundy is 59. International Tennis Hall of Famer Stefan Edberg is 55. Rock singer Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) is 53. Singer Trey Lorenz is 52. Actor Shawn Wayans is 50. Rock singer-musician John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) is 50. Actor Drea (DRAY-uh’) de Matteo is 49. Comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo is 47. Actor Drew Powell is 45. Actor Marsha Thomason is 45. Actor Bitsie Tulloch is 40. Actor Jodie Sweetin is 39. Movie director Damien Chazelle is 36. Actor Shaunette Renee Wilson is 31. Actor Briana Henry is 29. Actor Logan Lerman is 29. Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson is 29. Rapper Taylor Bennett is 25. Actor Lidya Jewett is 14.