Today is Monday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2005. There are 348 days left in the year. This is Martin Luther King Day.
Today’s highlight in history:
Fifty years ago, on Jan. 17, 1955, the submarine USS Nautilus made its first nuclear-powered test run from its berth in Groton, Conn.
On this date:
In 1706, Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston.
In 1893, the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70.
In 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.
In 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II.
In 1945, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.
In 1961, in his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned against the rise of “the military-industrial complex.”
In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.
In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the private use of home video cassette recorders to tape television programs did not violate federal copyright laws.
In 1991, in the first day of Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led forces hammered Iraqi targets in an effort to drive Iraq out of Kuwait; a defiant Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared that the “mother of all battles” had begun.
In 1994, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 61 people and causing $20 billion worth of damage.
Ten years ago: More than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe, Japan.
Five years ago: Decrying the Confederate flag as a symbol of slavery and racism, nearly 50,000 people marched to South Carolina’s Statehouse on Martin Luther King Day to demand the banner be taken down. British pharmaceutical firms Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC announced a merger to form the world’s largest drug maker.
One year ago: Three U.S. soldiers were killed north of Baghdad, pushing the U.S. death toll in the Iraq conflict to 500. Hollywood producer Ray Stark died at age 88.
Today’s birthdays: Actress Betty White is 83. Ballerina-actress Moira Shearer is 79. Singer-actress Eartha Kitt is 78. Actor James Earl Jones is 74. Actress Sheree North is 72. Talk show host Maury Povich is 66. Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is 63. R&B singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 60. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 57. R&B singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 52. Singer Steve Earle is 50. Singer Paul Young is 49. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 48. Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 46. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 43. Actor Joshua Malina is 39. Singer Shabba Ranks is 39. Rapper Kid Rock is 34. Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 30. Actress Zooey Deschanel is 25. Singer Ray J is 24. Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 23.
Thought for today: “The course of history can be changed but not halted.” — Paul Robeson, American actor, singer and civil rights activist (1898-1976).