By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2021. There are 346 days left in the year.
Todayís Highlight in History:
On Jan. 19, 1981, the United States and Iran signed an accord paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.
On this date:
In 1809, author, poet and critic Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston.
In 1861, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the Union.
In 1915, Germany carried out its first air raid on Britain during World War I as a pair of Zeppelins dropped bombs onto Great Yarmouth and Kingís Lynn in England.
In 1937, millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces captured the British protectorate of North Borneo. A German submarine sank the Canadian liner RMS Lady Hawkins off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, killing 251 people; 71 survived.
In 1944, the federal government relinquished control of the nationís railroads to their owners following settlement of a wage dispute.
In 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television and newsreels for the first time, with the permission of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1980, retired Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas died in Washington, D.C., at age 81. In 1987, Guy Hunt became Alabamaís first Republican governor since 1874 as he was sworn into office, succeeding George C. Wallace.
In 2005, the American Cancer Society reported that cancer had passed heart disease as the top killer of Americans age 85 and younger.
In 2006, Osama bin Laden, in an audiotape that was his first in more than a year, said al-Qaida was preparing for attacks in the United States; at the same time, he offered a ìlong-term truceî without specifying the conditions. Vice President Dick Cheney defended the administrationís domestic surveillance program, calling it an essential tool in monitoring al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.
In 2009, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal restoring natural gas shipments to Ukraine and paving the way for an end to the nearly two-week cutoff of most Russian gas to a freezing Europe.