updated 1/18/2007 12:02:59 AM ET 2007-01-18T05:02:59

Today is Thursday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2007. There are 347 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 18, 1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it. (Scott and his party perished during the return trip.)

On this date:
In 1778, English navigator Capt. James Cook reached the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the “Sandwich Islands.”

In 1862, the 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Va., at age 71.

In 1871, William I of Prussia was proclaimed “German Emperor” (which was not the same thing as “Emperor of Germany”) in Versailles, France.

In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending World War I, opened in Versailles, France.

In 1936, author Rudyard Kipling died in Burwash, England.

In 1943, a wartime ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread in the U.S. — aimed at reducing bakeries’ demand for metal replacement parts — went into effect.

In 1943, during World War II, the Soviets announced they’d broken through the long Nazi siege of Leningrad (it was another year before the siege was fully lifted).

In 1957, a trio of B-52’s completed the first nonstop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.

In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler,” was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed by a fellow inmate in 1973.)

In 1990, a jury in Los Angeles acquitted former preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges.

Ten years ago: Former Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas, who rebounded from cancer to briefly become the Democratic front-runner for president in 1992, died in Boston of pneumonia at age 55.

Five years ago: ’70s radical-turned-suburban mother Sara Jane Olson was sentenced in Los Angeles to 20 years to life in prison for plotting to blow up a pair of police cars 27 years earlier. Two Israeli tanks and an armored personnel carrier parked outside Yasser Arafat’s headquarters, confining the Palestinian leader to his office complex a day after a Palestinian gunman burst into a banquet hall and gunned down six Israelis. Talk magazine announced it was shutting down, less than three years after its highly publicized launch.

One year ago: The Supreme Court gave New Hampshire a chance to salvage its restrictions on abortion, reaffirming that states can require parental involvement in abortion decisions but also ordering a lower court to fix problems with New Hampshire’s 2003 notification law. Knicks forward Antonio Davis climbed into the stands out of concern for his wife and was ejected without a scuffle during New York’s overtime loss at Chicago. (He was suspended for five games.)

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director John Boorman is 74. Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 66. Comedian-singer-musician Brett Hudson is 54. Actor-director Kevin Costner is 52. Country singer Mark Collie is 51. Actress Jane Horrocks is 43. Comedian Dave Attell is 42. Actor Jesse L. Martin (“Law & Order”) is 38. Rapper DJ Quik is 37. Rock singer Jonathan Davis (Korn) is 36. Singer Christian Burns (BBMak) is 34. Actor Jason Segel is 27. Actress Samantha Mumba is 24.

Thought for Today: “A lean sorrow is hardest to bear.” — Sara Orne Jewett, American author (1849-1909).

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