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Friday, January 16, 2009


Today is Friday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2009.
There are 349 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Jan. 16, 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 (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)

On this date:

  • In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as "Ivan the Terrible") was crowned Czar.
  • In 1883, the U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.
  • In 1919, pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski became the first premier of the newly created republic of Poland.
  • In 1942, actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother and about 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas while returning from a war-bond promotion tour.
  • In 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in London.
  • 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 K. Ride, who became America's first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America's first black astronaut in space.
  • In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of a passenger. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)
  • In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off under extremely tight security; on board was Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. (The mission ended in tragedy when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)
  • In 2007, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., launched his successful bid for the White House.

Ten years ago:
  • Closing three days of opening arguments, House prosecutors demanded President Bill Clinton's removal from office, telling a hushed Senate that otherwise the presidency itself may be "deeply and perhaps permanently damaged."
  • Forty-five ethnic Albanians were found slain near the southern Kosovo village of Racak.

Five years ago:
  • Pop star Michael Jackson pleaded innocent to child molestation charges during a court appearance in Santa Maria, Calif.; the judge scolded Jackson for being 21 minutes late. (Jackson was eventually acquitted.)
  • NASA announced that the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope would be allowed to degrade and eventually become useless.
  • Freddy Adu, the 14-year-old phenom, was selected by D.C. United as the first pick in Major League Soccer draft.

One year ago:
  • President George W. Bush closed out his Mideast trip with a brief visit to Egypt, where he was welcomed by President Hosni Mubarak.
  • Archbishop Earl Paulk, the 80-year-old leader of a megachurch, pleaded guilty in Atlanta to lying under oath about his sexual affairs and was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Author William Kennedy is 81.
  • Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 79.
  • Rock musician Bob Bogle (The Ventures) is 75.
  • Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 75.
  • Auto racer A.J. Foyt is 74.
  • Singer Barbara Lynn is 67.
  • Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 66.
  • Country singer Jim Stafford is 65.
  • Talk show host Laura Schlessinger is 62.
  • Movie director John Carpenter is 61.
  • Actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 59.
  • Singer Sade is 50.
  • Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 47.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 43.
  • Actor David Chokachi is 41.
  • Actor Richard T. Jones is 37.
  • Actress Josie Davis is 36.
  • Model Kate Moss is 35.
  • Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 28.
  • Actress Yvonne Zima is 20.

Thought for Today:
"Only the sinner has the right to preach."
Christopher Morley, American journalist (1890-1957).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"