Today in History
Today is Saturday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2021. There are 335 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 30, 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse (neh-too-RAHM’ gahd-SAY’), a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.)
On this date:
In 1649, England’s King Charles I was executed for high treason.
In 1862, the ironclad USS Monitor was launched from the Continental Iron Works in Greenpoint, New York, during the Civil War.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.
In 1945, during World War II, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the German ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea with the loss of more than 9,000 lives, most of them war refugees; roughly 1,000 people survived. Adolf Hitler marked the 12th anniversary of his appointment as Germany’s chancellor with his last public speech in which he called on Germans to keep resisting until victory.
In 1948, aviation pioneer Orville Wright, 76, died in Dayton, Ohio.
In 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese towns and cities; although the Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major setback for the U.S. and its allies.
In 1972, 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
In 1974, President Richard Nixon delivered what would be his last State of the Union address; Nixon pledged to rein in rising prices without the “harsh medicine of recession” and establish a national health care plan that every American could afford.
In 1981, an estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the American hostages freed from Iran.
In 1993, Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.
In 2005, Iraqis voted in their country’s first free election in a half-century; President George W. Bush called the balloting a resounding success.
In 2006, Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, at age 78.
Ten years ago: Egypt’s most prominent democracy advocate, Mohamed ElBaradei (ehl-BEHR’-uh-day), called for President Hosni Mubarak to resign during an address to thousands of protesters in Cairo who were defying a curfew for a third night. Rachid Ghanouchi (gah-NOO’-shee), leader of the long-outlawed Tunisian Islamist party, returned home after two decades in exile. Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) won his second Australian Open title, breezing past Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Five years ago: A boat carrying Syrians attempting the short sea journey from Turkey to Greece capsized, causing at least 37 people to drown, among them several babies and young children. Germany’s Angelique Kerber won her first major title, upsetting Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the Australian Open.
One year ago: Health officials reported the first known case in which the new coronavirus was spread from one person to another in the United States. The World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak, which had reached more than a dozen countries, to be a global emergency. Russia ordered the closure of its 2,600-mile-long land border with China in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. President Donald Trump described the handful of U.S. cases of the virus as a “very little problem” and said those people were “recuperating successfully.” The State Department advised U.S. citizens against traveling to China. Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said he would oppose calling witnesses at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, all but dashing Democratic efforts to hear more testimony.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Gene Hackman is 91. Actor Vanessa Redgrave is 84. Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 84. Chess grandmaster Boris Spassky is 84. Country singer Norma Jean is 83. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is 80. R&B musician William King (The Commodores) is 72. Singer Phil Collins is 70. Actor Charles S. Dutton is 70. World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange is 66. Actor Ann Dowd is 65. Actor-comedian Brett Butler is 63. Singer Jody Watley is 62. Actor-filmmaker Dexter Scott King is 60. The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, is 59. Actor Wayne Wilderson (TV: “Veep”) is 55. Actor Norbert Leo Butz is 54. The King of Spain, Felipe VI, is 53. Country singer Tammy Cochran is 49. Actor Christian Bale is 47. Rock musician Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is 47. Actor Olivia Colman is 47. Actor-singer Lena Hall is 41. Pop-country singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is 41. Actor Wilmer Valderrama is 41. Actor Mary Hollis Inboden is 35. Actor Kylie Bunbury is 32. Actor Jake Thomas is 31. Actor Danielle Campbell is 26.