Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Jan. 11, the 11th day of 2018. There are 354 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 11, 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued “Smoking and Health,” a report which concluded that “cigarette smoking contributes substantially to mortality from certain specific diseases and to the overall death rate.”

On this date:

In 1861, Alabama became the fourth state to withdraw from the Union.

In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in 1919).

In 1913, the first enclosed sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th National Automobile Show in New York.

In 1927, the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was proposed during a dinner of Hollywood luminaries at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, California, that made her the first person to fly solo across any part of the Pacific Ocean.

In 1942, Japan declared war against the Netherlands, the same day that Imperial Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.

In 1946, the People’s Republic of Albania was proclaimed after King Zog was formally deposed by the Communists.

In 1977, France set off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In 1978, two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already docked.

In 1989, nine days before leaving the White House, President Ronald Reagan bade the nation farewell in a prime-time address, saying of his eight years in office: “We meant to change a nation and instead we changed a world.”

In 1995, 51 people were killed when a Colombian DC-9 jetliner crashed as it was preparing to land near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena — however, 9-year-old Erika Delgado survived.

In 2003, calling the death penalty process “arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral,” Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 condemned inmates, clearing his state’s death row two days before leaving office.

Ten years ago: Bank of America said it would buy Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion in stock in a deal rescuing the country’s biggest mortgage lender. Former Olympic track gold medalist Marion Jones was sentenced in White Plains, New York, to six months in prison for lying to investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs and her role in a check-fraud scam. Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with Tenzing Norgay conquered Mount Everest in 1953, died in Auckland, New Zealand, at age 88.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met at the White House, where they agreed to speed up slightly the schedule for moving Afghanistan’s security forces into the lead across the country, with U.S. troops shifting fully to a support role. Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, a suicide; he was 26. Italian actress Mariangela Melato (“Swept Away”), 71, died in Rome.

One year ago: In a combative and freewheeling news conference at Trump Tower in New York, President-elect Donald Trump said for the first time that he accepted that Russia was behind the election year hacking of Democrats that roiled the White House race; looking ahead, he urged Congress to move quickly to replace President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and insisted anew that Mexico would pay the cost of a border wall. Six high-level Volkswagen employees from Germany were indicted in the U.S. in the VW emissions-cheating scandal, while the company agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $4.3 billion — by far the biggest fine ever levied by the government against an automaker.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (zhahn kray-tee-EHN’) is 84. Actor Mitchell Ryan is 84. Actor Felix Silla is 81. Movie director Joel Zwick is 76. Country singer Naomi Judd is 72. World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw is 66. Singer Robert Earl Keen is 62.

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