Today in History


Today is Thursday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2022. There are 339 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 26, 1998, President Bill Clinton forcefully denied having an affair with a former White House intern, telling reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

On this date:

In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act, which created America’s 10th national park.

In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon. (The probe ended up missing its target by more than 22,000 miles.)

In 1992, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, appearing with his wife, Hillary, on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” acknowledged “causing pain in my marriage,” but said past problems were not relevant to the campaign.

In 1993, Vaclav Havel (VAHTS’-lahv HAH’-vel) was elected president of the newly formed Czech Republic.

In 1994, a scare occurred during a visit to Sydney, Australia, by Britain’s Prince Charles as college student David Kang lunged at the prince, firing two blank shots from a starter’s pistol. (Kang was later sentenced to 500 hours of community service.)

In 2005, a U.S. Marine helicopter crashed in western Iraq, killing 30 Marines and a Navy medic aboard. A man parked his SUV on railroad tracks in Glendale, California, setting off a crash of two commuter trains that killed 11 people. (The SUV’s driver, Juan Alvarez, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms.)

In 2009, Nadya Suleman gave birth at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California to six boys and two girls; criticism came after the public learned that the unemployed, single mother had gotten pregnant with the octuplets and six elder children through in vitro fertilization.

In 2016, the FBI arrested the leaders of an armed group that was occupying a national wildlife refuge in Oregon for more than three weeks during a traffic stop that left one man, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, dead. Character actor Abe Vigoda, 94, died in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

In 2020, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed when their helicopter plunged into a steep hillside in dense morning fog in Southern California; the former Lakers star was 41. Eighteen-year-old singer Billie Eilish made history at the Grammy Awards, becoming the youngest to win one of Grammy’s top awards and the first to sweep all four in nearly 40 years.

Ten years ago: Thousands of people, many holding signs with names of gun violence victims, joined a rally in Washington, D.C. for gun control, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. Victoria Azarenka won her second consecutive Australian Open title, beating Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Ashley Wagner became the first woman since Michelle Kwan in 2005 to win back-to-back titles in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, holding off up-and-comer Gracie Gold in Omaha, Neb.

Five years ago: A jury in suburban New Orleans found Ronald Gasser guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of NFL running back Joe McKnight in a December 2016 road-rage confrontation. (Gasser, 56, was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.) Michigan State University Athletic Director Mark Hollis retired, two days after the university’s president resigned over the school’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar. A fire raced through a small South Korean hospital with no sprinkler system, killing 37 people.

One year ago: The Federal Reserve signaled that it planned to start raising interest rates to fight high inflation. Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital defended its decision to deny a man a heart transplant in part because he refused to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Spotify said it would grant the request of veteran rocker Neil Young to have his music removed from the streaming platform; Young objected to what he said was Spotify’s decision to allow COVID-19 misinformation to spread in podcasts. After 40 consecutive wins and nearly $1.4 million in prize money, the winning streak of “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider came to an end.

Today’s birthdays: Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 94. Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker is 88. Actor Scott Glenn is 84. Singer Jean Knight is 80. Activist Angela Davis is 79. Actor Richard Portnow is 76. Rock musician Corky Laing (Mountain) is 75. Actor David Strathairn (streh-THEHRN’) is 74. Producer-director Mimi Leder is 71. Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is 70. Reggae musician Norman Hassan (UB40) is 65. Actor-comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 65. Rock musician Charlie Gillingham (Counting Crows) is 63. Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky is 62. Musician Andrew Ridgeley is 60. R&B singer Jazzie B (Soul II Soul) is 60. Actor Paul Johansson is 59. Director Lenny Abrahamson is 57. Actor Bryan Callen is 56. Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is 53. Actor Nate Mooney is 51. Actor Jennifer Crystal is 50. Rock musician Chris Hesse (Hoobastank) is 49. Actor Matilda Szydagis is 49. Actor Gilles Marini (ZHEEL ma-REE’-nee) is 47. Gospel singer Tye Tribbett is 47. Retired NBA player Vince Carter is 46. Actor Sarah Rue is 45. Actor Colin O’Donoghue is 42.

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