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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2020. There are 350 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 16, 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.)

On this date:

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 1912, a day before reaching the South Pole, British explorer Robert Scott and his expedition found evidence that Roald Amundsen of Norway and his team had gotten there ahead of them.

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 (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)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 1969, two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.

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.

In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd’s passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)

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 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon.

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