Today in History


By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2017. There are 359 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 6, 1967, U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Deckhouse Five, an offensive in the Mekong River delta. The 10-day operation reportedly claimed the lives of 21 Viet Cong fighters along with seven Americans.

On this date:

In 1017, Cnut the Great was crowned King of England at Old St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, just over a month following the death of his predecessor, Edmund II.

In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. (The marriage lasted about six months.)

In 1759, George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married in New Kent County, Virginia.

In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail gave the first successful public demonstration of their telegraph in Morristown, New Jersey.

In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.

In 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, New York, at age 60.

In 1945, George Herbert Walker Bush married Barbara Pierce at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York.

In 1950, Britain recognized the Communist government of China.

In 1974, year-round daylight saving time began in the United States on a trial basis as a fuel-saving measure in response to the OPEC oil embargo.

In 1987, the U.S. Senate voted 88-4 to establish an 11-member panel to hold public hearings on the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1994, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the leg by an assailant at Detroit’s Cobo Arena; four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s rival, Tonya Harding, went to prison for their roles in the attack. (Harding denied knowing about plans for the attack.)

In 2001, with Vice President Al Gore presiding in his capacity as president of the Senate, Congress formally certified George W. Bush the winner of the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election.

Ten years ago: At a Baptist church in Fort Worth, Texas, the Denver Broncos filed past the open casket of Darrent Williams, the promising cornerback who had been gunned down in a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Day. A large avalanche pushed two cars off the heavily traveled road at Berthoud Pass in Colorado, but no deaths resulted.

Five years ago: A bomb exploded at a busy Damascus intersection, killing 25 people and wounding dozens in the second major attack in the Syrian capital in as many weeks. The Obama administration expanded the FBI’s more than eight-decades-old definition of rape to count men as victims for the first time and to drop the requirement that victims physically resisted their attackers. Roger Boisjoly, a NASA contractor who had repeatedly voiced concerns about the space shuttle Challenger before it exploded in 1986, died in Nephi, Utah, at age 73. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien agreed to become Penn State’s new football coach. (O’Brien held the position for two seasons.)

One year ago: North Korea said that it had conducted a powerful hydrogen bomb test, a claim greeted with widespread skepticism. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Actor-comedian Pat Harrington Jr., 86, died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Joey, the CowPolka King (Riders in the Sky) is 68. Former FBI director Louis Freeh is 67. Rock singer-musician Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) is 66. Singer Jett Williams is 64. Rock musician Malcolm Young (AC-DC) is 64. Actor-comedian Rowan Atkinson is 62. World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez is 60. Actor Scott Bryce is 59. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kathy Sledge is 58. TV chef Nigella Lawson is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Eric Williams (BLACKstreet) is 57. Movie director John Singleton is 49. Actor Aron Eisenberg is 48. Actor Norman Reedus is 48. TV personality Julie Chen is 47. Actor Danny Pintauro (TV: “Who’s the Boss?”) is 41. Actress Cristela Alonzo is 38. Actress Rinko Kikuchi is 36. Actor Eddie Redmayne is 35. NBA player Gilbert Arenas is 35. Actress-comedian Kate McKinnon (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 33. Rock singer Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) is 31.

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