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Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2010. There are 343 days left in the year.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2010. There are 343 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 22, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson pleaded for an end to war in Europe, calling for "peace without victory." (By April, however, America also was at war.)

On this date:

In 1498, during his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, explorer Christopher Columbus arrived at the present-day Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

In 1561, English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon was born in London.

In 1901, Britain's Queen Victoria died at age 81.

In 1905 (New Style calendar), thousands of demonstrating Russian workers were fired on by Imperial army troops in St. Petersburg on what became known as "Bloody Sunday."

In 1922, Pope Benedict XV died; he was succeeded by Pius XI.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces began landing at Anzio, Italy.

In 1959, 12 workers were killed in the Knox Mine Disaster in Pennsylvania when the mine became flooded with water from the Susquehanna River.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, legalized abortions using a trimester approach. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at age 64.

In 1995, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy died at the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 104.

In 2008, actor Heath Ledger was found dead of an accidental prescription overdose in New York City; he was 28.

Ten years ago: Elian Gonzalez's grandmothers met privately with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno as they appealed for help in removing the boy from his Florida relatives and reuniting him with his father in Cuba. Meanwhile, in Cuba, an estimated 150,000 people echoed the demand for the boy's return. Food writer Craig Claiborne died at a New York hospital at age 79.

Five years ago: The Iraqi government pledged to do everything in its power to protect voters from insurgent attacks during upcoming elections, as militants announced they'd killed 15 captive Iraqi National Guardsmen for cooperating with the Americans. Friends and family bade farewell to ten people killed when a mudslide damaged more than two dozen homes in La Conchita, Calif. President Richard Nixon's former secretary, Rose Mary Woods, died in Alliance, Ohio, at age 87. "Besame Mucho" songwriter Consuelo Velazquez died at age 84.

One year ago: President Barack Obama ordered the Guantanamo Bay prison camp closed within a year and banned harsh interrogation of terror suspects. The Senate Finance Committee cleared the nomination of Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary, 18-5, despite unhappiness over his mistakes in paying his taxes. A Chinese court sentenced two men to death and a dairy boss to life in prison for their roles in producing and selling infant formula tainted with melamine.

Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) is 82. Actress Piper Laurie is 78. Actor Seymour Cassel is 75. Author Joseph Wambaugh is 73. Actor John Hurt is 70. Singer Steve Perry is 61. Country singer-musician Teddy Gentry (Alabama) is 58. Movie director Jim Jarmusch is 57. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy is 53. Actress Linda Blair is 51. Actress Diane Lane is 45. Actor-rap DJ Jazzy Jeff is 45. Country singer Regina Nicks (Regina Regina) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gay (Shai) is 41. Actor Gabriel Macht is 38. Actor Balthazar Getty is 35. Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson is 30. Pop singer Willa Ford is 29. Actress Beverley (cq) Mitchell is 29. Rock singer-musician Ben Moody is 29.

Thought for Today: "Would to God that we might spend a single day really well." — Thomas a Kempis, German monk and author (c. 1380-1471).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, Jan. 22)

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.