By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Monday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2017. There are 349 days left in the year. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 16, 1942, actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother, Elizabeth, and 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nevada, while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.
On this date:
In 27 B.C., Caesar Augustus was declared the first Emperor of the Roman Empire by the Senate.
In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as “Ivan the Terrible”) was crowned Czar.
In 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, “Forty acres and a mule.”)
In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)
In 1935, fugitive gangster Fred Barker and his mother, Kate “Ma” Barker, were killed in a shootout with the FBI at Lake Weir, Florida.
In 1957, three B-52’s took off from Castle Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, which lasted 45 hours and 19 minutes. Classical music conductor Arturo Toscanini died in New York at age 89.
In 1967, Alan S. Boyd was sworn in as the first U.S. secretary of transportation.
In 1978, NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America’s first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America’s first black astronaut in space.
In 1987, Hu Yaobang resigned as head of China’s Communist Party, declaring he’d made mistakes in dealing with student turmoil and intellectual challenges to the system. Broadway columnist Earl Wilson died in Yonkers, New York, at age 79.
In 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. (Allied forces prevailed on Feb. 28, 1991.)
In 1992, officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders signed a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war that had left at least 75,000 people dead.
In 1997, entertainer Bill Cosby’s only son, Ennis, was shot to death in Los Angeles during an apparent roadside robbery attempt.
Thought for Today: “There are three ingredients to the good life: learning, earning, and yearning.” — Christopher Morley, American journalist (1890-1957).