Today in History


Today is Thursday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2023. There are 346 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

In 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.)

On this date:

In 1853, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Il Trovatore” premiered in Rome.

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

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 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.

In 2012, Rupert Murdoch’s media empire apologized and agreed to cash payouts to 37 people who’d been harassed and phone-hacked by its tabloid press.

Ten years ago: Thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully at state capitals around the U.S. to rally against stricter limits on firearms. Minister Greg Griego, his wife, Sara, and three of their children were shot to death in their home near Albuquerque, N.M.; the couple’s teenage son, Nehemiah, is charged with murder. Death claimed baseball Hall-of-Famers Stan Musial at age 92 and Earl Weaver at age 82.

Five years ago: Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman joined dozens of other women and girls in confronting her former doctor, Larry Nassar, at his sentencing hearing for multiple sexual assaults; she warned him that the testimony of the “powerful army” of survivors would haunt him in prison. Amazon announced that it was raising the monthly price of its Prime membership plan by nearly 20%, to $12.99. (The fee for an annual membership would also rise 20% a few months later, to $119 a year.)

One year ago: Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders said was vital to protecting democracy collapsed after two Democratic senators refused to join their own party in changing Senate rules to overcome a Republican filibuster; the measure would have ensured access to early voting and mail-in ballots, and would have enabled the Justice Department to intervene in states with a history of voter interference. In a rebuff to former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court allowed the release of presidential documents sought by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. The NCAA adopted a sport-by-sport approach for transgender athletes, bringing the organization in line with the U.S. and International Olympic Committees.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Tippi Hedren is 93. Former PBS newsman Robert MacNeil is 92. Movie director Richard Lester is 91. Actor-singer Michael Crawford is 81. Actor Shelley Fabares (fab-RAY’) is 79. Country singer Dolly Parton is 77. Former ABC newswoman Ann Compton is 76. TV chef Paula Deen is 76. Rock singer Martha Davis is 72. Singer Dewey Bunnell (America) is 71. Actor Desi Arnaz Jr. is 70. Actor Katey Sagal is 69. Comedian Paul Rodriguez is 68. Conductor Sir Simon Rattle is 68. Rock musician Jeff Pilson (Foreigner) is 65. Actor Paul McCrane is 62. Actor William Ragsdale is 62. Basketball coach and commentator Jeff Van Gundy is 61. International Tennis Hall of Famer Stefan Edberg is 57. Rock singer Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) is 55. Singer Trey Lorenz is 54. Actor Shawn Wayans is 52. Rock singer-musician John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) is 52. Actor Drea (DRAY-uh’) de Matteo is 51. Comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo is 49. Actor Drew Powell is 47. Actor Marsha Thomason is 47. Actor Bitsie Tulloch is 42. Actor Jodie Sweetin is 41. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is 41. Movie director Damien Chazelle is 38. Actor Shaunette Renee Wilson is 33. Actor Briana Henry is 31. Actor Logan Lerman is 31. Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson is 31. Rapper Taylor Bennett is 27. Actor Lidya Jewett is 16.

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