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Today in history: January 21

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

Today is Saturday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2006. There are 344 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 21, 1793, during the French Revolution, King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, was executed on the guillotine.

On this date:
In 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and four other Southerners resigned from the U.S. Senate.

In 1915, the first Kiwanis Club was founded, in Detroit.

In 1924, Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died at age 54.

In 1942, Count Basie and His Orchestra recorded “One O’clock Jump” in New York for Okeh Records.

In 1950, former State Department official Alger Hiss, accused of being part of a Communist spy ring, was found guilty in New York of lying to a grand jury. (Hiss, who always maintained his innocence, served less than four years in prison.)

In 1950, George Orwell, author of “1984,” died in London.

In 1954, the first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn., (however, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later).

In 1976, the supersonic Concorde jet was put into service by Britain and France.

In 1977, President Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

In 1997, Speaker Newt Gingrich was reprimanded and fined as the House voted for first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.

Ten years ago: At the 53rd annual Golden Globes, “Sense and Sensibility” won best dramatic picture; “Babe” won best comedy.

Five years ago: Pope John Paul II elevated archbishops of New York and Washington and 35 other church leaders to the College of Cardinals. The Roman epic “Gladiator” claimed best dramatic movie and the 1970’s rock-and-roll story “Almost Famous” won best comedy at the Golden Globes Awards. Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist convicted three decades after the fact for assassinating civil rights leader Medgar Evers, died in Jackson, Miss., at age 80.

One year ago: A car bomb outside a Shiite mosque in Baghdad killed at least 14 people; a suicide bombing at a Shiite wedding south of the capital killed at least seven people, including the bride and the groom. The body of Megan Leann Holden, a college student whose abduction was captured on a surveillance videotape as she was leaving her clerk’s job at a Wal-Mart, was found in western Texas.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Paul Scofield is 84. Actress Ann Wedgeworth is 71. Blues singer-musician Snooks Eaglin is 70. Golfer Jack Nicklaus is 66. Opera singer Placido Domingo is 65. Singer Richie Havens is 65. Singer Mac Davis is 64. Actress Jill Eikenberry is 59. Country musician Jim Ibbotson (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 59. Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 56. Actor Robby Benson is 50. Actress Geena Davis is 50. Basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon is 43. Actress Charlotte Ross is 38. Actor John Ducey is 37. Actress Karina Lombard is 37. Rapper Levirt (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 36. Rock musician Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel) is 36. Rock DJ Chris Kilmore (Incubus) is 33. Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nokio (Dru Hill) is 27. Actress Izabella Miko is 25.

Thought for Today: “Know yourself, and your neighbor will not mistake you.” — Scottish proverb.