Today is Friday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2015. There are 342 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1542 - King Henry VIII takes the title of King of Ireland.
1570 - Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, is assassinated.
1579 - The Union of Utrecht is signed by the provinces of the Netherlands committed to carrying on resistance to Spain. It becomes the foundation of the state of the Netherlands.
1631 - France, under Treaty of Barwalde, undertakes to subsidize Sweden in Thirty Years’ War.
1789 - Georgetown University is established in present-day Washington.
1799 - French troops capture Italian city of Naples.
1845 - U.S. Congress decides all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
1849 - Prussia suggests German union without Austria; Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell receives the first doctor of medicine degree awarded to an American woman.
1878 - Britain’s cabinet sends fleet to Constantinople at Sultan Abdul-Hamid II’s request.
1913 - Nazim Pasha is murdered in Turkish coup, and Shevket Pasha forms ministry.
1918 - The Soviet government officially severs relations with the church.
1920 - Netherlands refuses to surrender Germany’s former Kaiser Wilhelm II to Allies for punishment as World War I criminal.
1937 - Seventeen Communist leaders confess in Moscow that they conspired with Leon Trotsky to undermine Soviet regime of Josef Stalin in the “Great Purge.”
1945 - Soviet forces reach Oder River in World War II.
1950 - The Knesset proclaims Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
1964 - Indonesia and Malaysia agree to cease-fire in their undeclared border war; the 24th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, is ratified.
1968 - North Korea seizes the U.S. Navy ship Pueblo, charging it had intruded into the communist nation’s territorial waters on a spying mission. The crew is released 11 months later.
1973 - U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announces that an accord has been reached in the Vietnam War.
1977 - The TV miniseries “Roots,” based on the Alex Haley novel about an African-American family’s heritage, begins airing on ABC television. It becomes one of the most-watched shows in U.S. history.
1985 - Debate in Britain’s House of Lords is carried live on television for the first time.
1989 - Civilian commandos and army troops backed by tanks battle at infantry base on outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1991 - The Angolan government accepts a peace plan that ends 15-year-old civil war with UNITA rebels.
1992 - The Salvadoran legislature issues an amnesty for guerrilla fighters of a 12-year civil war, allowing them to return to society.
1993 - Iraq denies its anti-aircraft batteries fired at U.S. warplanes and again reaffirms a cease-fire it declared.
1994 - Gunmen believed to be leftist guerrillas fire at a gathering of political rivals in northwest Colombia, killing at least 35 people.
1995 - An opposition party leader is shot to death in Spain’s Basque region, another apparent victim of separatist violence.
1996 - Yigal Amir confesses in court to killing Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
1997 - France’s highest court rejects a final appeal and orders Maurice Papon, a former Vichy official, to stand trial for deporting Jews to death camps during World War II.
1998 - Pakistani Mir Aimal Kasi is sentenced to death in Fairfax, Virginia, for a politically motivated ambush outside the headquarters of the CIA that left two men dead. He is executed in Nov. 2002.
2000 - Over a million people march through downtown Madrid to call for peace after a car-bomb attack is seen as a resurgence of Basque separatists’ 32-year-old campaign of violence. Nearly 800 people have been killed during this period.
2001 - A new administration in the Philippines moves to freeze the bank accounts of ousted President Joseph Estrada and begins a criminal investigation against him.
2002 - A previously unknown militant group kidnaps Daniel Pearl, a reporter for the U.S. Wall Street Journal newspaper, in Karachi, Pakistan. Pearl, who had been working on a story about Islamist militant groups in that country, is later killed.
2005 - With Tamil Tiger rebels claiming the Sri Lankan government is blocking tsunami aid to rebel-controlled areas, Norwegian diplomats urge the two sides to create a joint body that would ensure fair distribution of humanitarian supplies.
2006 - Ugandan rebels ambush U.N. peacekeepers in Congo, killing eight of them in a gunbattle that also leaves 15 attackers dead near the Sudanese border.
2007 - More than 100,000 mourners choke the streets of Istanbul for the funeral of Hrant Dink, the Armenian journalist who was gunned down in broad daylight on Jan. 19 because of public statements made about the mass killings of Armenians by Turks in the early 20th century.
2008 - Tens of thousands of Gazans flood into Egypt through a border fence blown up by militants — puncturing a gaping hole in Israel’s air-tight closure of the Gaza Strip and giving a boost to Hamas militants.
2009 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy orders a frigate deployed immediately to the waters off Gaza in an effort to fight arms smuggling and consolidate a fragile cease-fire.
2010 - The U.S. Marines mark the end of nearly seven years in Iraq by handing the Army their command of Anbar province, once one of the war’s fiercest battlefields but now a centerpiece of U.S.-Iraqi cooperation.
2011 - Allies and adversaries of President Hugo Chavez take to the streets of the capital by the thousands, staging rival demonstrations to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of Venezuela’s democracy.
2012 - France’s parliament votes to make it a crime to deny that the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago constituted a genocide, risking more sanctions from Turkey.
2013 - The U.S. and Canada object to the Palestinians’ latest bid to capitalize on their upgraded U.N. status when their foreign minister speaks at the Security Council behind a nameplate that read “State of Palestine.”
2014 - Syria’s government says stopping terrorism — not talking peace— was its priority while the Western-back opposition said the “road to negotiations” was open” offering a glimmering of hope for a way to half the violence that has killed 130,000 people.
Marie Henri Beyle Stendahl, French author (1783-1842); Edouard Manet, French artist (1832-1883); Jeanne Moreau, French actress (1928--); Derek Walcott, Caribbean poet and Nobel laureate (1930--); Rutger Hauer, Dutch-born actor (1944--); Mariska Hargitay, U.S. actress (1964--).
Thought For Today:
Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember — Oscar Levant, pianist-composer-actor (1906-72).