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Today in history: January 8

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2006. There are 357 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 8, 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

On this date:
In 1815, U.S. forces led by General Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans -- the closing engagement of the War of 1812.

In 1918, President Wilson outlined his 14 points for peace after World War One.

In 1959, Charles De Gaulle was inaugurated as president of France’s Fifth Republic.

In 1964, President Johnson declared a “War on Poverty.”

In 1965, the Star of India and other stolen gems were returned to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

In 1973, secret peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed near Paris.

In 1975, Judge John J. Sirica ordered the release of Watergate figures John W. Dean the Third, Herbert W. Kalmbach and Jeb Stuart Magruder from prison.

In 1976, Chinese premier Chou En-lai died in Beijing at age 78.

In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 2003, a commuter plane crashed at the Charlotte, North Carolina, airport, killing all 21 people on board; a Turkish Airlines jet crashed in Turkey, killing 75 people.

Ten years ago: Federal employees who had been out of work for weeks while the government was shut down began returning to their jobs; however, along the East Coast, many government workers were idled by a huge blizzard that had paralyzed the nation’s capital. More than 300 people were killed in Kinshasa, Zaire, when a cargo plane crashed into a market on takeoff. Former French president Francois Mitterrand died at age 79.

Five years ago: Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined a $250,000 for extorting payoffs from businessmen applying for riverboat casino licenses. Pope John Paul the Second was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

One year ago: An Army platoon sergeant who ordered his soldiers to throw Iraqis into the Tigris River was sentenced to six months in military prison; the jury in Fort Hood, Texas also reduced the rank of Army Sergeant First Class Tracy Perkins by one grade.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 83. Actor Ron Moody is 82. Comedian Soupy Sales is 80. Broadcast journalist Sander Vanocur is 78. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 73. Singer Shirley Bassey is 69. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 68. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 65. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 64. Physicist Stephen Hawking is 64. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 60. Rock singer David Bowie is 59. Movie director John McTiernan is 55. Actress Harriet Sansom Harris is 51. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 42. Actress Maria Pitillo is 41. Actress Michelle Forbes is 39. Singer R. Kelly is 39. Rock musician Jeff Abercrombie (Fuel) is 37. Actress Ami Dolenz is 37. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 33. Country singer Tift Merritt is 31. Actress Jenny Lewis is 30. Actor Scott Whyte is 28. Actress Sarah Polley is 27. Actress Gaby Hoffman is 24.

Thought for Today: “The devil is easy to identify. He appears when you’re terribly tired and makes a very reasonable request which you know you shouldn’t grant.” -- Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City (1882-1947).