updated 1/18/2005 12:01:34 AM ET 2005-01-18T05:01:34

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2005. 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 1788, the first English settlers arrived in Australia’s Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.

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

In 1919, the World War I Peace Congress opened in Versailles, France.

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

In 1943, during World War II, the Soviets announced they’d broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.

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

In 1970, Mormon president David McKay died at the age of 96.

In 1975, the situation comedy “The Jeffersons,” a spin-off from “All in the Family,” premiered on CBS TV.

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: The death toll continued to climb in Kobe, Japan, where a major earthquake had claimed more than 6,000 lives. South African President Nelson Mandela’s cabinet denied amnesty sought by 3,500 police officers in apartheid’s waning days.

Five years ago: In a blow to the Pentagon’s push to develop a national missile defense by 2005, officials announced that a prototype missile interceptor had roared into space in search of a mock warhead over the Pacific, but had failed to hit it.

One year ago: A suicide truck bombing outside the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad killed at least 31 people. The New England Patriots earned their second trip to the Super Bowl in three seasons by defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 in the AFC championship game; the Carolina Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3, in the NFC championship game.

Today’s birthdays: Movie director John Boorman is 72. Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 64. Comedian-singer-musician Brett Hudson is 52. Actor-director Kevin Costner is 50. Country singer Mark Collie is 49. Actress Jane Horrocks is 41. Comedian Dave Attell is 40. Actor Jesse L. Martin (“Law & Order”) is 36. Rapper DJ Quik is 35. Rock singer Jonathan Davis (Korn) is 34. Singer Christian Burns (BBMak) is 32. Actor Jason Segel is 25. Actress Samantha Mumba is 22.

Thought for today: “I love my past. I love my present. I’m not ashamed of what I’ve had, and I’m not sad because I have it no longer.” — Colette, French author (1873-1954).

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