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Today in history: January 21

In 1973, which king was executed on the guillotine for treason?
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2005. There are 344 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Jan. 21, 1915, the first Kiwanis Club was founded, in Detroit.

On this date:
In 1793, during the French Revolution, King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, was executed on the guillotine.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, and four other Southerners resigned from the U.S. Senate.

In 1924, Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died at age 54.

In 1942, Count Basie and His Orchestra recorded “One O’Clock Jump” in New York for Okeh Records.

In 1950, former State Department official Alger Hiss, accused of being part of a Communist spy ring, was found guilty in New York of lying to a grand jury. (Hiss, who always maintained his innocence, served less than four years in prison.)

In 1950, George Orwell, author of “1984,” died in London.

In 1954, the first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn. (However, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later).

In 1976, the supersonic Concorde jet was put into service by Britain and France.

In 1977, President Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

In 1997, Speaker Newt Gingrich was reprimanded and fined as the House voted for the first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.

Ten years ago: President Clinton, addressing the Democratic National Committee, implored members to “bear down and go forward” despite the results of the 1994 elections.

Five years ago: The grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez traveled to the United States to plead for the boy’s return to Cuba.

One year ago: President Bush visited community colleges in Ohio and Arizona, where he highlighted the economy and several new job-training initiatives he’d proposed a day earlier in his State of the Union speech. The recording industry sued 532 computer users it said were illegally distributing songs over the Internet.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Paul Scofield is 83. Actress Ann Wedgeworth is 70. Blues singer-musician Snooks Eaglin is 69. Golfer Jack Nicklaus is 65. Opera singer Placido Domingo is 64. Singer Richie Havens is 64. Singer Mac Davis is 63. Actress Jill Eikenberry is 58. Country musician Jim Ibbotson (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 58. Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 55. Actor Robby Benson is 49. Actress Geena Davis is 48. Basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon is 42. Actress Charlotte Ross is 37. Actor John Ducey is 36. Actress Karina Lombard is 36. Rapper Levirt (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 35. Rock DJ Chris Kilmore (Incubus) is 32. Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 29. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nokio (Dru Hill) is 26. Actress Izabella Miko is 24.

Thought for today: “Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference, which is, at least, half infidelity.” — Edmund Burke, British statesman (1729-1797).