Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2017. There are 348 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 17, 1917, Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the United States for $25 million.

On this date:

In 1893, the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70. Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Lili’uokalani (lee-LEE’-oo-oh-kah-LAH’-nee) to abdicate.

In 1929, the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor made his debut in the “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.

In 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II; Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.

In 1946, the United Nations Security Council held its first meeting, in London.

In 1950, the Great Brink’s Robbery took place as seven masked men held up a Brink’s garage in Boston, stealing $1.2 million in cash and $1.5 million in checks and money orders. In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

In 1966, a U.S. Air Force B-52 carrying four unarmed hydrogen bombs crashed on the Spanish coast. (Three of the bombs were quickly recovered, but the fourth wasn’t recovered until April.) The Simon & Garfunkel album “Sounds of Silence” was released by Columbia Records.

In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.

In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., ruled 5-4 that the use of home video cassette recorders to tape television programs for private viewing did not violate federal copyright laws.

In 1987, hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members and supporters disrupted a “brotherhood anti-intimidation march” through all-white Forsyth County, Georgia.

In 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan.

In 1997, a court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country’s history.

Thought for Today: “Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, it is the only time we have.” — Art Buchwald (1925-2007).

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