Today is Monday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2013. There are 344 days left in the year. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 21, 1793, during the French Revolution, King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, was executed on the guillotine.
On this date:
In 1648, Margaret Brent went before the Maryland colonial assembly to seek two votes in that body, one for herself as a landowner, the other as the legal representative of the absent Lord Baltimore; the assembly turned her down.
In 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and four other Southerners whose states had seceded from the Union resigned from the U.S. Senate.
In 1908, New York City's Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance prohibiting women from smoking in public (the measure was vetoed two weeks later by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr.).
In 1910, the Great Paris Flood began as the rain-swollen Seine River burst its banks, sending water into the French capital.
In 1924, Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin died at age 53.
In 1937, Count Basie and his band recorded "One O'Clock Jump" for Decca Records (on this date in 1942, they re-recorded the song for Okeh Records).
In 1954, the first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton (GRAH'-tuhn), Conn. (However, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later.)
In 1958, Charles Starkweather, 19, killed three relatives of his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, at her family's home in Lincoln, Neb. (Starkweather and Fugate went on a road trip which resulted in seven more slayings.)
In 1968, the Battle of Khe Sanh began during the Vietnam War. An American B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed in Greenland, killing one crew member and scattering radioactive material.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.
In 1982, convict-turned-author Jack Henry Abbott was found guilty in New York of first-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of waiter Richard Adan in 1981. (Abbott was later sentenced to 15 years to life in prison; he committed suicide in 2002.)
In 1998, Pope John Paul II began a historic pilgrimage to Cuba. Actor Jack Lord of "Hawaii Five-O" fame died in Honolulu at age 77.
Ten years ago: The Census Bureau announced that Hispanics had surpassed blacks as America's largest minority group. A powerful earthquake shook west-central Mexico, killing at least 29 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and leaving 10,000 homeless. A gunman ambushed two U.S. defense workers in Kuwait, killing one and wounding another. Colombian rebels kidnapped an American photographer and a British reporter (Scott Dalton and Ruth Morris were freed after 11 days in captivity).
Five years ago: Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama accused each other of repeatedly and deliberately distorting the truth for political gain in a highly personal debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Page 2 of 3 - One year ago: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stormed to an upset win in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, dealing a sharp setback to Mitt Romney. Hundreds of angry Libyans stormed the transitional government's headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Ann Wedgeworth is 79. World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus is 73. Opera singer Placido Domingo is 72. Singer Richie Havens is 72. Singer Mac Davis is 71. Actress Jill Eikenberry is 66. Country musician Jim Ibbotson (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 66. Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 63. U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke is 63. Attorney General Eric Holder is 62. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is 60. Actor-director Robby Benson is 57. Actress Geena Davis is 57. Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon is 50. Actress Charlotte Ross is 45. Actor John Ducey is 44. Actress Karina Lombard is 44. Rapper Levirt (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 43. Rock musician Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel) is 43. Rock singer-songwriter Cat Power is 41. Rock DJ Chris Kilmore (Incubus) is 40. Actor Vincent Laresca is 39. Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 37. Country singer Phil Stacey is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nokio (Dru Hill) is 34. Actress Izabella Miko (MEE'-koh) is 32.
Thought for Today: "It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact." — Edmund Burke, British statesman (1729-1797).
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 7, 1973, sniper Mark Essex laid siege at a Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge in downtown New Orleans for about 10 hours, killing seven people before he himself was slain by sharpshooters.
On this date:
In 1610, astronomer Galileo Galilei began observing three of Jupiter's moons (he spotted a fourth moon almost a week later).
In 1789, the first U.S. presidential election was held. Americans voted for electors who, a month later, chose George Washington to be the nation's first president.
In 1800, the 13th president of the United States, Millard Fillmore, was born in Summerhill, N.Y.
In 1894, one of the earliest motion picture experiments took place at the Thomas Edison studio in West Orange, N.J., as Fred Ott was filmed taking a pinch of snuff and sneezing.
In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.
In 1942, the Japanese siege of Bataan began during World War II. (The fall of Bataan three months later was followed by the notorious Death March.)
In 1949, George C. Marshall resigned as U.S. Secretary of State; President Harry S. Truman chose Dean Acheson to succeed him.
In 1953, President Harry S. Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.
In 1963, the U.S. Post Office raised the cost of a first-class stamp from 4 to 5 cents.
In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
In 1989, Emperor Hirohito of Japan died in Tokyo at age 87; he was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.
Page 3 of 3 - In 2006, Jill Carroll, a freelance journalist for The Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped and her translator shot dead in Baghdad. (Carroll was freed almost three months later.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush unveiled his $674 billion economic expansion plan. Police in London announced they had found traces of the deadly poison ricin (RY'-sin) in a north London apartment and arrested six men in connection with the virulent toxin that had been linked to al-Qaida terrorists and Iraq.
Five years ago: The Pentagon reported an Iranian fleet of high-speed boats charged at and threatened to blow up a three-ship U.S. Navy convoy passing near Iranian waters, then vanished as the American ship commanders were preparing to open fire. In Baghdad, the head of a key U.S.-backed Sunni group was killed in a double suicide bombing that claimed at least 11 other lives. Second-ranked LSU defeated No. 1 Ohio State, 38-24, in the BCS championship game played in New Orleans. Philip Agee, a renegade CIA agent whose naming of operatives led to a law against exposing spies, died in Cuba at age 72.
One year ago: Three days before the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney brushed aside rivals' criticism in the opening round of a weekend debate doubleheader that left his Republican presidential campaign challengers squabbling among themselves and unable to knock the front-runner off stride. Record-shattering Drew Brees threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints poured it on in the second half for a 45-28 NFC wild-card victory over the Detroit Lions.
Today's Birthdays: Author William Peter Blatty is 85. Country singer Jack Greene is 83. Pop musician Paul Revere is 75. Magazine publisher Jann Wenner is 67. Singer Kenny Loggins is 65. Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman is 64. Latin pop singer Juan Gabriel is 63. Actress Erin Gray is 63. Actor Sammo Hung is 61. Actor David Caruso is 57. Talk show host Katie Couric is 56. Country singer David Lee Murphy is 54. Rock musician Kathy Valentine (The Go-Go's) is 54. Actor David Marciano is 53. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is 52. Actress Hallie Todd is 51. Actor Nicolas Cage is 49. Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik (on-DRAH'-sik) (Five for Fighting) is 48. Actor Doug E. Doug is 43. Actor Kevin Rahm is 42. Actor Jeremy Renner is 42. Country singer-musician John Rich is 39. Actor Dustin Diamond is 36. Actress Lauren Cohan (TV: "The Walking Dead") is 31. Actor Robert Ri'chard is 30. Actress Lyndsy Fonseca is 26. Actor Liam Aiken is 23. Actress Camryn Grimes is 23. Actor Max Morrow is 22.
Thought for Today: "I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable." — Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author (1906-2001).