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Today in history: January 25

Which young musical artist shares a birthday with blues singer Etta James?
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, January 25th, the 25th day of 2005. There are 340 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On January 25th, 1959, American Airlines opened the jet age in the United States with the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707.

On this date:
In 1787, Shays’s Rebellion suffered a setback when debt-ridden farmers led by Captain Daniel Shays failed to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts.

In 1890, reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) of the New York World completed a round-the-world journey in 72 days, six hours and eleven minutes.

In 1890, the United Mine Workers of America was founded.

In 1915, the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service.

In 1946, the United Mine Workers rejoined the American Federation of Labor.

In 1947, American gangster Al Capone died in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 48.

In 1961, President Kennedy held the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and television.

In 1971, Charles Manson and three women followers were convicted in Los Angeles of murder and conspiracy in the 1969 slayings of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate.

In 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States.

In 1990, actress Ava Gardner died in London at age 67.

Ten years ago: The defense gave its opening statement in the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles, saying Simpson was the victim of a “rush to judgment” by authorities who had mishandled evidence and ignored witnesses.

Five years ago: Under government orders, the Florida relatives of Elian Gonzalez agreed to make the boy available for a meeting with his Cuban grandmothers at a neutral site. Martina Navratilova entered the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

One year ago: NASA’s Opportunity rover zipped its first pictures of Mars to Earth, showing a surface smooth and dark red in some places, and strewn with fragmented slabs of light bedrock in others. Outgoing U.S. weapons inspector David Kay told National Public Radio his inability to find illicit arms in Iraq raised serious questions about U.S. intelligence-gathering. Mikhail Saakashvili was inaugurated as Georgia’s president. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” snared best dramatic film at the Golden Globes; HBO’s six-hour adaptation of “Angels in America” won best miniseries or TV movie.

Today’s birthdays: Journalist-author Edwin Newman is 86. The former president of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, is 77. Actor Dean Jones is 74. The former president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, is 72. Blues singer Etta James is 67. Movie director Tobe Hooper is 62. Actress Leigh Taylor-Young is 61. Actress Jenifer Lewis is 48. Actress Dinah Manoff is 47. Country musician Mike Burch (River Road) is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kina is 36. Actress China Kantner is 34. Musician Matt Odmark (Jars of Clay) is 31. Actress Mia Kirshner is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Alicia Keys is 24.

Thought for today: “If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: ‘It seemed a good idea at the time.”’ — Dame Rebecca West, Irish-born author and journalist (1892-1983).