Today is Friday, Jan. 29, the 29th day of 2010. There are 336 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1676 - Theodore III becomes Czar of Russia on death of his father Alexis.
1801 - France and Spain issue ultimatum to Portugal to break allegiance to Britain.
1819 - Sir Stamford Raffles lands on Singapore and concludes a treaty with a local ruler to set up a British trading post.
1820 - Britain's King George III dies insane at Windsor Castle, ending a reign that saw both the American and French revolutions.
1845 - Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" is first published, in the New York Evening Mirror.
1850 - Henry Clay introduces in the U.S. Senate a compromise bill on slavery that includes the admission of California into the Union as a free state.
1900 - The American League, consisting of eight baseball teams, is organized in Philadelphia.
1916 - Germans stage first Zeppelin raid on Paris in World War I.
1919 - Czechoslovak forces defeat Poles at Galicia, Poland.
1936 - The first members of U.S. baseball Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, are named in Cooperstown, New York.
1942 - Ecuador and Peru sign Rio de Janeiro protocol, ending their war over a large swath of Amazon Jungle. The treaty establishes the present-day border, which is still disputed.
1947 - United States abandons its mediation role in China.
1949 - Britain grants de facto recognition to new state of Israel.
1950 - First series of riots occur in Johannesburg, provoked by South Africa's racial apartheid policy.
1959 - The Danish passenger ship Hans Hedtoft, sailing along Greenland's coast, hits an iceberg and sinks, killing 95 people.
1963 - Britain is refused entry into European Common Market by French veto.
1973 - United States, Soviet Union and 17 other nations agree to meet in Vienna to try to reach an accord on cutting strength of armed forces in Europe.
1989 - Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers reach agreement on peace formula to end fighting between their Shiite surrogates in Lebanon.
1990 - Ousted East German Communist Party leader Erich Honecker is arrested and ordered to stand trial for high treason; former Exxon Valdez skipper Joseph Hazelwood goes on trial in Anchorage, Alaska, on charges stemming from the worst U.S. oil spill disaster. He is later acquitted.
1991 - South African political rivals Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Nelson Mandela meet for first time in 30 years and call for cease-fire between their supporters.
1992 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin unveils a nuclear weapons reduction plan.
1993 - French Marines enter Zaire's capital. Dozens of civilians, soldiers and foreigners die in the bloodshed.
1994 - Ulrike Maier, a 10-year downhill veteran with two world titles, dies after breaking her neck in a freak crash during a World Cup race.
1995 - Two Peruvian helicopters are shot down, killing seven people as Ecuadorean officials accuse Peru of mounting a massive offensive along a disputed border; the San Francisco 49ers become the first team in U.S. National Football League history to win five Super Bowl titles, beating the San Diego Chargers 49-26.
1996 - La Fenice, the 204-year-old opera house, burns down in Venice, Italy.
1998 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair announces a new inquiry into the 1972 "Bloody Sunday" violence, in which British troops killed Catholic protesters.
2000 - In Egypt, a 32-year-old housewife is the first woman to file for divorce under a new law that doesn't require women to prove physical or psychological harm.
2002 - In a direct defiance to South Africa's patent laws, Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization, begins importing a cheap, genetic version of patented AIDS drugs into South Africa.
2003 - U.S. President George W. Bush announces an initiative to spend $15 billion over five years for AIDS treatment and prevention in 12 African countries and two Caribbean nations.
2005 - Tsunami-battered nations end a conference in Thailand without resolving differences about which one of them should host a warning center to help prevent future disasters and instead stick with plans to have smaller facilities in individual countries.
2007 - A Palestinian suicide bomber attacks a bakery in Eilat, a normally tranquil, southern Israeli resort town, killing three people and himself.
2008 - Gunmen hold more than 30 people hostage inside a Venezuelan bank for more than a day. They flee Jan. 30 in an ambulance, but eventually surrender and free their last five captives.
2009 - Zimbabwe's government admits defeat in a fight against dizzying inflation, allowing business to be done in U.S. dollars and bank notes of neighboring countries.
Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish philosopher (1688-1772); Thomas Paine, American patriot-author (1737-1809); Daniel Huber, French composer (1782-1871); Frederick Delius, English composer (1863-1934); Germaine Greer, Australian born feminist (1939--); Oprah Winfrey, U.S. actress/television personality (1954--).
Thought For Today:
Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted — Hesketh Pearson, British biographer (1887-1964).