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Today in History - Jan. 16

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

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2007. There are 349 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 16, 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)

On this date:

In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as “Ivan the Terrible”) was crowned Czar.

In 1883, the U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.

In 1942, actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother and about 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas while returning from a war-bond promotion tour.

In 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in London.

In 1957, three B-52’s (accompanied at first by two spare aircraft) took off from Castle Air Force Base in California on the first nonstop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, which lasted 45 hours and 19 minutes.

In 1957, classical music conductor Arturo Toscanini died in New York at age 89.

In 1964, the musical “Hello, Dolly!” opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.

In 1967, Alan S. Boyd was sworn in as the first secretary of transportation.

In 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off with Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle burned up during its return, killing all seven crew members.)

Ten years ago: Entertainer Bill Cosby’s only son, Ennis, was shot to death in Los Angeles in an apparent roadside robbery attempt. (Mikhail Markhasev was later convicted of Ennis Cosby’s killing, and sentenced to life in prison.) In Atlanta, two bomb blasts an hour apart rocked a building containing an abortion clinic, injuring six people. Israeli soldiers dismantled their military headquarters in Hebron, marking the beginning of the end of Israel’s 30-year-old rule in the West Bank city.

Five years ago: Richard Reid was indicted in Boston on federal charges alleging he’d tried to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes. A gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., killing the dean, a professor and a student; a Nigerian student, Peter Odighizuwa, was arrested — he was later found incompetent to stand trial.

One year ago: A U.S. military helicopter crashed north of Baghdad, killing the two crew members; it was the third American chopper to go down in 10 days. Africa’s first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was sworn in as Liberia’s new president. “Brokeback Mountain” won four Golden Globes, including best motion picture drama; “Lost” won best dramatic television series while “Desperate Housewives” won for best musical or comedy series.

Today’s Birthdays: Author William Kennedy is 79. Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 77. Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 73. Auto racer A.J. Foyt is 72. Singer Barbara Lynn is 65. Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 64. Country singer Jim Stafford is 63. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 60. Movie director John Carpenter is

59. Actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 57. Singer Sade is

48. Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 41. Actor David Chokachi is 39. Actor Richard T. Jones is 35. Actress Josie Davis is 34. Model Kate Moss is 33. Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 26. Actress Yvonne Zima is 18.

Thought for Today: “A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case.” — Finley Peter Dunne, American humorist (1867-1936).