Today in History


Today is Wednesday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2023. There are 361 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female speaker of the House as Democrats took control of Congress.

On this date:

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

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 disabled.

In 1948, Burma (now called Myanmar) became independent of British rule.

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

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

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 1990, Charles Stuart, who’d claimed that he’d been wounded and his pregnant wife fatally shot by a robber, leapt to his death off a Boston bridge after he himself became a suspect.

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 2015, Pope Francis named 156 new cardinals, selecting them from 14 countries, including far-flung corners of the world, to reflect the diversity of the Roman Catholic church and its growth in places like Asia and Africa.

Ten years ago: The new Congress passed a $9.7 billion bill to help pay flood insurance claims to homeowners, renters and businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy. No. 10 Texas A&M beat No. 12 Oklahoma, 41-13, in the Cotton Bowl.

Five years ago: The Trump administration moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a five-year plan that would open up federal waters off of California for the first time in decades and possibly open new areas of oil and gas exploration along the East Coast. A massive winter storm roared into the East Coast, dumping as much as 17 inches of snow in some areas. The Dow Jones Industrial Average burst through the 25,000 mark, closing at 25,075.13 just five weeks after its first close above 24,000. Ray Thomas, a founding member of the British rock group the Moody Blues, died at his home south of London at the age of 76, months before the band would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

One year ago: Nearly a year after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only about 4 in 10 Republicans recalled the attack by supporters of Donald Trump as violent or extremely violent; just 22% of Republicans said Trump bore significant responsibility for the riot. The government reported that a record 4.5 million Americans had quit their jobs in November, more evidence that the U.S. job market was bouncing back strongly from the coronavirus recession.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Barbara Rush is 96. Opera singer Grace Bumbry is 86. Actor Dyan Cannon is 84. Author-historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is 80. Country singer Kathy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 69. Actor Ann Magnuson is 68. Rock musician Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division) is 68. Country singer Patty Loveless is 66. Actor Julian Sands is 65. Rock singer Michael Stipe is 63. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 61. Actor Dave Foley is 60. Actor Dot Jones is 59. Actor Rick Hearst is 58. Singer-musician Cait O’Riordan is 58. Actor Julia Ormond is 58. Former tennis player Guy Forget (ghee fohr-ZHAY’) is 58. Country singer Deana Carter is 57. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 56. Actor Josh Stamberg is 53. Actor Damon Gupton is 50. Actor-singer Jill Marie Jones is 48. Actor D’Arcy Carden is 43. Christian rock singer Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) is 40. Actor Lenora Crichlow is 38. Comedian-actor Charlyne Yi is 37. MLB All-Star Kris Bryant is 30. Actor-singer Coco Jones is 25.

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