Today is Wednesday, Jan. 15, the 15th day of 2020. There are 351 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 15, 2009, US Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger ditched his Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after a flock of birds disabled both engines; all 155 people aboard survived.
On this date:
In 1559, England’s Queen Elizabeth I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.
In 1865, as the Civil War neared its end, Union forces captured Fort Fisher near Wilmington, North Carolina, depriving the Confederates of their last major seaport.
In 1892, the original rules of basketball, devised by James Naismith, were published for the first time in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the game originated.
In 1919, in Boston, a tank containing an estimated 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst, sending the dark syrup coursing through the city’s North End, killing 21 people.
In 1929, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta.
In 1943, work was completed on the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of War (now Defense).
In 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League 35-10 in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, retroactively known as Super Bowl I.
In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam, citing progress in peace negotiations.
In 1976, Sara Jane Moore was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco. (Moore was released on the last day of 2007.)
In 1987, entertainer Ray Bolger, perhaps best known for playing the Scarecrow in the 1939 MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz,” died in Los Angeles at age 83.
In 1993, a historic disarmament ceremony ended in Paris with the last of 125 countries signing a treaty banning chemical weapons.
In 2014, a highly critical and bipartisan Senate report declared that the deadly Sept. 2012 assault on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, could have been prevented; the report spread blame among the State Department, the military and U.S. intelligence.
Ten years ago: United Nations humanitarian chief John Holmes appealed for more than $560 million to help 3 million victims of the earthquake in Haiti, calling it “a huge and a horrifying catastrophe.” Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas pleaded guilty to carrying a pistol without a license in the District of Columbia, a felony. (Arenas was later sentenced to a month in a halfway house and suspended until the end of the season by the NBA.)
Five years ago: In its first lethal injection since a botched one the previous spring, Oklahoma executed a convicted killer with a three-drug method. Police in Belgium conducted raids across the country, killing two suspected Islamist militants. Pope Francis arrived in the Philippines, Asia’s most populous Catholic nation, where ecstatic crowds awaited the first papal visit in 20 years.
One year ago: Musical comedy star Carol Channing — best known to Broadway audiences for her role in “Hello, Dolly!” — died in California at the age of 97. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand entered the growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, telling “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS that she was launching an exploratory committee. Extremists launched an attack on a luxury hotel complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi; the attack took the lives of 20 civilians, one police officer and five attackers from the group al-Shabab, based in neighboring Somalia. At a Senate confirmation hearing, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be attorney general, William Barr, said he believed that Russia had tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that the special counsel investigation was not a witch hunt.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Margaret O’Brien is 82. Actress Andrea Martin is 73. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy White is 67. Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is 63. Rock musician Adam Jones (Tool) is 55. Actor James Nesbitt is 55. Actor Chad Lowe is 52. Alt-country singer Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) is 50. Actress Regina King is 49. Actor Eddie Cahill is 42. NFL quarterback Drew Brees is 41. Rapper/reggaeton artist Pitbull is 39. Actor Victor Rasuk is 35. Actress Jessy Schram is 34. Electronic dance musician Skrillex is 32. Actress/singer Dove Cameron is 24. Singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal (TV: “America’s Got Talent”) is 16.
Thought for Today: “A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.” — Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968).