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Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today is Saturday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2009.
There are 341 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • Jan. 24, 1908, is considered the starting date of the Boy Scouts movement in England, under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell.

On this date:

  • In 1742, Charles VII was elected Holy Roman Emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession.
  • In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49.
  • In 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader. (However, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg.)
  • In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
  • In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.
  • In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.
  • In 1984, Apple Computer began selling its Macintosh PC.
  • In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner and Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh (All were eventually released.)
  • In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida's electric chair.
  • In 2003, Tom Ridge was sworn in as the first head of the new Department of Homeland Security.

Ten years ago:
  • House prosecutors interviewed Monica Lewinsky, a move that triggered fresh partisan convulsions in President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.
  • Olympic leaders recommended the expulsions of six International Olympic Committee members in an unprecedented response to the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the games.

Five years ago:
  • Howard Dean sharply questioned John Kerry's judgment on Iraq as Democratic presidential rivals raced through a final weekend of campaigning before the New Hampshire primary.
  • NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars, arriving at the Red Planet exactly three weeks after its identical twin's landing.

One year ago:
  • Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200.
  • French bank Societe Generale announced it had uncovered a 4.9 billion euro ($7.14 billion) fraud by a single futures trader whose scheme of fictitious transactions was discovered as stock markets began to stumble in recent days.
  • Italian Premier Romano Prodi resigned after losing a Senate confidence motion.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actor Ernest Borgnine is 92.
  • Evangelist Oral Roberts is 91.
  • Actor Jerry Maren ("The Wizard of Oz") is 90.
  • Actor Marvin Kaplan ("Top Cat") is 82.
  • Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 73.
  • Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 70.
  • Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 68.
  • Singer Aaron Neville is 68.
  • Actor Michael Ontkean is 63.
  • Actor Daniel Auteuil is 59.
  • Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 59.
  • Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 58.
  • Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 51.
  • Actress Nastassja Kinski is 50.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Theo Peoples is 48.
  • Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 46.
  • Comedian Phil LaMarr is 42.
  • Olympic gold-medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 41.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 39.
  • Actor Matthew Lillard is 39.
  • Actress Merrilee McCommas is 38.
  • Actor Ed Helms is 35.
  • Actress Tatyana Ali is 30.
  • Actress Mischa Barton is 23.

Thought for Today:
"All men wish to have truth on their side; but few to be on the side of truth."
Richard Whately, British theologian (1787-1863).

"Let's all be careful out there!"