Today is Thursday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2020. There are 350 days left in the year.
Highlight: In 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. (Allied forces prevailed on Feb. 28, 1991.)
In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as “Ivan the Terrible”) was crowned czar.
In 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression “forty acres and a mule.”)
In 1912, a day before reaching the South Pole, British explorer Robert Scott and his expedition found evidence that Roald Amundsen of Norway and his team had gotten there first.
In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)
In 1969, two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.
In 1978, NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally Ride, who became America’s first woman in space, and Guion Bluford Jr., who became America’s first black astronaut in space.
In 1987, Hu Yaobang resigned as head of China’s Communist Party, declaring he’d made mistakes in dealing with student turmoil.
In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd’s passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)
In 1992, officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders signed a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war that had left at least 75,000 dead.
In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)
In 2004, pop star Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges during a court appearance in Santa Maria, California. (Jackson was eventually acquitted.)
In 2007, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., launched his successful bid for the White House.
Ten years ago: As precious water and food began reaching parched and hungry earthquake survivors on the streets of Haiti’s ruined capital Port-au-Prince, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Haitian President Rene Preval and promised that U.S. quake relief efforts would be coordinated with local officials.
Five years ago: The NCAA agreed to restore 112 football wins it had stripped from Penn State and Joe Paterno in the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal and to reinstate the late coach as the winningest in major college football history.
One year ago: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Donald Trump to postpone his scheduled Jan. 29 State of the Union speech, citing concerns about whether the partially shuttered government could provide adequate security; Republicans said the move was a ploy to deny Trump the stage. (Trump delivered the speech a week later than scheduled.)
Author William Kennedy is 92. Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 90. Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 86. Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 85. Country singer Jim Stafford is 76. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 73. Movie director John Carpenter is 72. Singer Sade is 61. Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 58. Actor David Chokachi is 52. Former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is 51. Actor-writer-director Josh Evans is 49. Actor-comedian Jonathan Mangum is 49. Model Kate Moss is 46. Actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda is 40. Country musician James Young (The Eli Young Band) is 40. Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 39. NFL quarterback Joe Flacco is 35.