Today in History - Jan. 7

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Jan. 7, the seventh day of 2007. There are 358 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 7, 1789, the first U.S. presidential election was held. Americans voted for electors who, a month later, chose George Washington to be the nation’s first president.

On this date:
In 1610, astronomer Galileo Galilei began observing three of Jupiter’s moons.

In 1800, the 13th president of the United States, Millard Fillmore, was born in Summerhill, N.Y.

In 1904, the Marconi International Marine Communication Company, Limited, of London announced that the telegraphed letters “C-Q-D” would serve as a maritime distress call (it was later replaced by “S-O-S”).

In 1927, commercial trans-Atlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.

In 1942, the Japanese siege of Bataan began during World War II.

In 1953, President Truman announced in his State of the Union address that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.

In 1955, singer Marian Anderson made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera.”

In 1972, Lewis F. Powell Jr. and William H. Rehnquist were sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1989, Emperor Hirohito of Japan died in Tokyo at age 87; he was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.

In 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate. President Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice; he was acquitted.

Ten years ago: Newt Gingrich overcame dissension in the GOP ranks to become the first Republican re-elected House speaker in 68 years.

Five years ago: British Prime Minister Tony Blair and nine U.S. senators swept into Bargam Air Base in Afghanistan for an unannounced visit and promised Afghan leaders their full support in rebuilding the shattered country. Yves Saint Laurent announced his retirement and closure of the fashion house he’d started 40 years earlier. Comedian Avery Schreiber died in Los Angeles at age 66.

One year ago: Jill Carroll, a freelance journalist for The Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped and her translator shot dead in one of Baghdad’s most dangerous Sunni Arab neighborhoods. (Carroll was freed almost three months later.) A Black Hawk helicopter carrying eight U.S. troops and four American civilians crashed near the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, killing all aboard. U.S. Representative Tom DeLay (R-Texas), facing corruption charges, stepped down as House majority leader.

Today’s Birthdays: Author William Peter Blatty is 79. Country singer Jack Greene is 77. Pop musician Paul Revere is 69. Magazine publisher Jann Wenner is 61. Singer Kenny Loggins is 59. Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman is 58. Latin pop singer Juan Gabriel is 57. Actress Erin Gray is 57. Actor Sammo Hung is 55. Actor David Caruso is 51. “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric is 50. Country singer David Lee Murphy is 48. Rock musician Kathy Valentine (The Go-Go’s) is 48. Actor David Marciano is 47. Actress Hallie Todd is 45. Actor Nicolas Cage is 43. Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) is 42. Actor Doug E. Doug is 37. Actor Kevin Rahm is 36. Country singer-musician John Rich is 33. Actor Dustin Diamond is 30. Actor Liam Aiken is 17. Actress Camryn Grimes is 17. Actor Max Morrow is 16.

Thought for Today: “Freedom breeds freedom. Nothing else does.” — Anne Roe, American psychologist.