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Today in history: January 29

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

Today is Sunday, January 29th, the 29th day of 2006. There are 336 days left in the year. This is the Chinese New Year of the Dog.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on January 29th, 1956, editor-essayist H.L. Mencken, the “Sage of Baltimore,” died at age 75.

On this date:
In 1820, Britain’s King George the Third died at Windsor Castle, ending a reign that had seen both the American and French revolutions.

In 1843, the 25th president of the United States, William McKinley, was born in Niles, Ohio.

In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” was first published, in the New York Evening Mirror.

In 1850, Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery which included the admission of California into the Union as a free state.

In 1861, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.

In 1936, the first members of baseball’s Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, were named in Cooperstown, New York.

In 1958, actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married.

In 1963, the first members of football’s Hall of Fame were named in Canton, Ohio.

In 1979, President Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House, following the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In 1998, a bomb rocked an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, killing Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer working as a security guard, and critically injuring Emily Lyons, a nurse. (The bomber, Eric Rudolph, was captured in May 2003.)

Ten years ago: A Navy F-14 fighter jet crashed in Nashville, Tennessee, demolishing three houses and killing five people. French President Jacques Chirac ordered an early end to underground nuclear tests in the South Pacific. Fire destroyed Italy’s opera house La Fenice.

Five years ago: President Bush promised to “act boldly and swiftly” to address the nation’s energy problems, and directed Vice President Dick Cheney to head a task force. DaimlerChrysler announced it was eliminating 26,000 jobs at its money-losing Chrysler division.

One year ago: Jetliners from China landed in rival Taiwan for the first time in 56 years. Serena Williams defeated Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the Australian Open final. Ashley McElhiney, the first female coach of a men’s pro basketball team, was fired after an on-court dispute with Sally Anthony, co-owner of the Nashville Rhythm of the A-B-A. Irina Slutskaya won a sixth title at the European Figure Skating Championships.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Forsythe is 88. Actor Noel Harrison is 72. Author Germaine Greer is 67. Actress Katharine Ross is 66. Actor Tom Selleck is 61. Actor Marc Singer is 58. Actress Ann Jillian is 56. Rock musician Tommy Ramone (Ramones) is 54. Rock musician Louie Perez (Los Lobos) is 53. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 52. Actress Diane Delano is 49. Actress Judy Norton Taylor (“The Waltons”) is 48. Rock musician Johnny Spampinato (NRBQ) is 47. Olympic gold-medal diver Greg Louganis is 46. Rock musician David Baynton-Power (James) is 45. Rock musician Eddie Jackson (Queensryche) is 45. Actor Nicholas Turturro is 44. Rock singer-musician Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) is 42. Actor-director Edward Burns is 38. Actress Heather Graham is 36. Actor Sharif Atkins is 31. Actress Sara Gilbert is 31. Actor Andrew Keegan is 27. Actor Jason James Richter is 26. Blues musician Jonny Lang is 25.

Thought for Today: “The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth— that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.” — H.L. Mencken (1880-1956).