Today is Tuesday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2011. There are 347 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History
On Jan. 18, 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene Ely brought his Curtiss biplane in for a safe landing on the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Harbor.
On this date
In 1778, English navigator Capt. James Cook reached the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the “Sandwich Islands.”
In 1862, the 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Va. at age 71.
In 1871, William I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles, France.
In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending World War I, opened in Versailles, France.
In 1943, during World War II, the Soviets announced they’d broken through the long Nazi siege of Leningrad (it was another year before the siege was fully lifted). A wartime ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread in the U.S. — aimed at reducing bakeries’ demand for metal replacement parts — went into effect.
In 1949, Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular swindles in history, died destitute at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 66.
In 1957, a trio of B-52’s completed the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.
In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler,” was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973.)
In 1970, David Oman McKay, the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at the age of 96.
In 1991, financially strapped Eastern Airlines shut down after more than six decades in business. Former New York Rep. Hamilton Fish died in Cold Spring, N.Y., at age 102.
Ten years ago
President Bill Clinton, in a farewell from the Oval Office, told the nation that America had “done well” during his presidency, with record-breaking prosperity and a cleaner environment. Electricity-strapped California saw a second day of rolling blackouts. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson revealed an extramarital affair that had resulted in the birth of a daughter.
Five years ago
The Supreme Court gave New Hampshire a chance to salvage its restrictions on abortion, reaffirming that states can require parental involvement in abortion decisions but also ordering a lower court to fix problems with New Hampshire’s 2003 notification law. (New Hampshire ended up appealing the law in 2007.) Knicks forward Antonio Davis climbed into the stands during a game because he believed his wife was involved in an altercation with a Bulls fan; Davis was ejected without a scuffle during New York’s 106-104 overtime loss at Chicago. (He was suspended for five games.)
One year ago
Taliban militants wearing explosive vests launched a brazen daylight assault on the center of Kabul with suicide bombings and gunbattles that paralyzed the Afghan capital for hours. Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot and seriously wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981, emerged from a prison on the outskirts of Ankara, Turkey, after more than 29 years behind bars. Crime novelist Robert Parker died in Cambridge, Mass., at age 77.
Movie director John Boorman is 78. Former Sen. Paul Kirk (D-Mass.) is 73. Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 70. Comedian-singer-musician Brett Hudson is 58. Actor-director Kevin Costner is 56. Country singer Mark Collie is 55. Actress Jane Horrocks is 47. Comedian Dave Attell is 46. Actor Jesse L. Martin is 42. Rapper DJ Quik is 41. Rock singer Jonathan Davis (Korn) is 40. Singer Christian Burns (BBMak) is 38. NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous is 38. Actor Derek Richardson is 35. Actor Jason Segel is 31. Actress Samantha Mumba is 28. Country singer Kristy Lee Cook (TV: “American Idol”) is 27.
Thought for Today
“What has made this nation great? Not its heroes but its households.”
— Sarah Orne Jewett,
American author (1849-1909)