By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Saturday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2021. There are 349 days left in the year.
Todayís Highlight in History:
On Jan. 16, 2020, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump opened in the Senate, with senators standing and swearing an oath of ìimpartial justice.î Trump again denounced the proceedings as a ìhoax,î while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said new evidence reinforced the need to call additional witnesses.
On this date:
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, ìForty acres and a mule.î)
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 1919, pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski (pah-dehr-EHFí-skee) became the first premier of the newly created Republic of Poland.
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 (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)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 1987, Hu Yaobang resigned as head of Chinaís Communist Party, declaring heíd 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 Lloydís passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)
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 2002, Richard Reid was indicted in Boston on federal charges alleging heíd tried to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes. (Reid later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.)
In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israelís first astronaut, Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHNí rah-MOHNí). (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)
In 2006, Africaís first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was sworn in as Liberiaís new president.
In 2007, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois launched his successful bid for the White House.
Ten years ago: Former Haitian strongman Jean-Claude ìBaby Docî Duvalier, whoíd been living in exile in France, made a surprise return to Haiti as the country wrestled with a political crisis, cholera outbreak and stalled reconstruction from a devastating earthquake. ì
— — —