Thursday, January 29
Today is Thursday, Jan. 29, the 29th day of 2015. There are 336 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1676 - Theodore III becomes Czar of Russia on death of his father Alexis.
1801 - France and Spain issue ultimatum to Portugal to break allegiance to Britain.
1819 - Sir Stamford Raffles lands on Singapore and concludes a treaty with a local ruler to set up a British trading post.
1820 - Britain’s King George III dies insane at Windsor Castle, ending a reign that saw both the American and French revolutions.
1845 - Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” is first published in the New York Evening Mirror.
1850 - Henry Clay introduces in the U.S. Senate a compromise bill on slavery that includes the admission of California into the Union as a free state.
1900 - The American League, consisting of eight baseball teams, is organized in Philadelphia.
1916 - Germans stage first Zeppelin raid on Paris in World War I.
1919 - Czechoslovak forces defeat Poles at Galicia, Poland.
1936 - The first members of U.S. baseball Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, are named in Cooperstown, New York.
1942 - Ecuador and Peru sign Rio de Janeiro protocol, ending their war over a large swath of Amazon jungle. The treaty establishes the present-day border, which is still disputed.
1947 - United States abandons its mediation role in China.
1949 - Britain grants de facto recognition to new state of Israel.
1950 - First series of riots occur in Johannesburg, provoked by South Africa’s racial apartheid policy.
1959 - The Danish passenger ship Hans Hedtoft, sailing along Greenland’s coast, hits an iceberg and sinks, killing 95 people.
1963 - Britain is refused entry into European Common Market by French veto.
1973 - The United States, Soviet Union and 17 other nations agree to meet in Vienna to try to reach an accord on cutting the strength of armed forces in Europe.
1989 - Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers reach agreement on peace formula to end fighting between their Shiite surrogates in Lebanon.
1990 - Ousted East German Communist Party leader Erich Honecker is arrested and ordered to stand trial for high treason; former Exxon Valdez skipper Joseph Hazelwood goes on trial in Anchorage, Alaska, on charges stemming from the U.S. oil spill disaster. He is later acquitted.
1991 - South African political rivals Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Nelson Mandela meet for first time in 30 years and call for cease-fire between their supporters.
1992 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin unveils a nuclear weapons reduction plan.
1993 - French Marines enter Zaire’s capital. Dozens of civilians, soldiers and foreigners die in the bloodshed.
1994 - Ulrike Maier, a 10-year downhill veteran with two world titles, dies after breaking her neck in a freak crash during a World Cup race.
1995 - Two Peruvian helicopters are shot down, killing seven people, as Ecuadorean officials accuse Peru of mounting a massive offensive along their disputed border; the San Francisco 49ers become the first team in U.S. National Football League history to win five Super Bowl titles, beating the San Diego Chargers 49-26.
1996 - La Fenice, the 204-year-old opera house, burns down in Venice, Italy.
1998 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair announces a new inquiry into the 1972 “Bloody Sunday” violence, in which British troops killed Catholic protesters in Northern Ireland.
2000 - In Egypt, a 32-year-old housewife is the first woman to file for divorce under a new law that doesn’t require women to prove physical or psychological harm.
2002 - In a direct defiance of South Africa’s patent laws, Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization, begins importing a cheap, genetic version of patented AIDS drugs into South Africa.
2003 - U.S. President George W. Bush announces an initiative to spend $15 billion over five years for AIDS treatment and prevention in 12 African countries and two Caribbean nations.
2005 - Tsunami-battered nations end a conference in Thailand without resolving differences about which one of them should host a warning center to help prevent future disasters and instead stick with plans to have smaller facilities in individual countries.
2007 - A Palestinian suicide bomber attacks a bakery in Eilat, a normally tranquil, southern Israeli resort town, killing three people and himself.
2008 - Gunmen hold more than 30 people hostage inside a Venezuelan bank for more than a day. They flee Jan. 30 in an ambulance, but eventually surrender and free their last five captives.
2009 - Zimbabwe’s government admits defeat in a fight against dizzying inflation, allowing business to be conducted in U.S. dollars and bank notes of neighboring countries.
2010 - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair fights for his place in history against critics who contend it was folly to join the Americans in invading Iraq based on intelligence that was faulty and weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to exist. He says it was the right decision and he would do it again.
2011 - With protests raging, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak names his intelligence chief as his first-ever vice president, setting the stage for a successor as chaos engulfs Cairo. The death toll from five days of anti-government fury rises sharply to 74.
2012 - Europe’s crippling debt crisis dominates the world’s foremost gathering of business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland, but for the first time the growing inequality between the planet’s haves and have-nots becomes an issue.
2013 - BP PLC closes the book on the Justice Department’s criminal probe of its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico when a federal judge agreed to let the London-based oil giant plead guilty to manslaughter charges for the deaths of 11 rig workers and pay a record $4 billion in penalties.
2014 — The Top U.S. intelligence official says the Syrian militant group tied to al-Qaida , the al Nusra Front, wants to attack the United States and is training a growing cadre of fighters from Europe, the Middle East and even the U.S.
Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish philosopher (1688-1772); Thomas Paine, American patriot-author (1737-1809); Daniel Huber, French composer (1782-1871); Frederick Delius, English composer (1863-1934); Germaine Greer, Australian born feminist (1939--); Oprah Winfrey, U.S. actress/television personality (1954--).
Thought For Today:
Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted — Hesketh Pearson, British biographer (1887-1964).