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Today in History - Jan. 28

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

Today is Sunday, Jan. 28, the 28th day of 2007. There are 337 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven of its crew members: flight commander Francis R. “Dick” Scobee; pilot Michael J. Smith; Ronald E. McNair; Ellison S. Onizuka; Judith A. Resnik; Gregory B. Jarvis; and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

On this date:
In 1547, England’s King Henry VIII died; he was succeeded by his 9-year-old son, Edward VI.

In 1853, Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti was born in Havana.

In 1878, the first daily college newspaper, Yale News (now Yale Daily News), began publication in New Haven, Conn.

In 1909, the United States ended direct control over Cuba.

In 1915, the U.S. Coast Guard was created as President Wilson signed into law a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.

In 1916, Louis D. Brandeis was nominated by President Wilson to the Supreme Court; Brandeis became its first Jewish member.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

In 1973, a cease-fire officially went into effect in the Vietnam War.

In 1980, six U.S. diplomats who had avoided being taken hostage at their embassy in Tehran flew out of Iran with the help of Canadian diplomats.

In 1982, Italian anti-terrorism forces rescued U.S. Brigadier General James L. Dozier, 42 days after he had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades.

Ten years ago: O.J. Simpson’s fate was placed in the hands of a civil court jury that was charged with deciding whether Simpson should be held liable for the slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. (The jury found that Simpson was liable, and ordered him to pay $33.5 million.)

Five years ago: Hamid Karzai became the first Afghan leader to visit Washington in 39 years; President Bush promised a “lasting partnership” with Afghanistan. Afghan troops backed by U.S. Special Forces stormed a hospital ward in Kandahar, killing six al-Qaida gunmen who had repeatedly refused to surrender. An Ecuadorean jetliner crashed in the Andes across the border in Colombia, killing all 92 aboard. “Pippi Longstocking” creator Astrid Lindgren died in Stockholm, Sweden, at age 84.

One year ago: A memorial service was held at the Kennedy Space Center to honor the crew of the Challenger on the 20th anniversary of the shuttle disaster. Sixty-five people were killed when the roof of an exhibition hall in Katowice, Poland, collapsed during a racing-pigeon fair. Amelie Mauresmo won her first Grand Slam singles title when Justine Henin-Hardenne retired in the second set of their Australian Open final because of stomach pain. Mauresmo led 6-1, 2-0.

Today’s Birthdays: Musician-composer Acker Bilk is 78. Actor Nicholas Pryor is 72. Actor Alan Alda is 71. Actress Susan Howard is 65. Actress Marthe Keller is 62. Actress-singer Barbi Benton is 57. Actress Harley Jane Kozak is 50. Movie director Frank Darabont is 48. Rock musician Dave Sharp is 48. Rock singer Sam Phillips is 45. Rock musician Dan Spitz (Anthrax) is 44. Country musician Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 42. Singer Sarah McLachlan is 39. Rapper Rakim is 39. DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) is 39. Actress Kathryn Morris (“Cold Case”) is 38. Rock musician Brandon Bush (Train) is 34. Singer Joey Fatone Junior (’N Sync) is 30. Singer Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) is 27. Actor Elijah Wood is 26.

Thought for Today: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” — Henry Brooks Adams, American historian-author (1838-1918).