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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2020. There are 349 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Jan. 17, 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.

On this date:

In 1806, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, Martha, gave birth to James Madison Randolph, the first child born in the White House.

In 1916, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America had its beginnings as department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker hosted a luncheon of pro and amateur golfers in New York City. (The PGA of America was formally established on April 10, 1916.)

In 1917, Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the United States for $25 million.

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 1955, the submarine USS Nautilus made its first nuclear-powered test run from its berth in Groton (GRAH’-tuhn), Connecticut.

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 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 1994, the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 1996, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine followers were handed long prison sentences for plotting to blow up New York-area landmarks.

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