Friday, January 05, 2007

Today in History....January 5

On this day in …

1643, in the first record of a legal divorce in the American colonies, Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a divorce from her absent and adulterous husband, Denis Clarke, by the Quarter Court of Boston, Massachusetts. In a signed and sealed affidavit presented to John Winthrop Jr., the son of the colony's founder, Denis Clarke admitted to abandoning his wife, with whom he had two children, for another woman, with whom he had another two children
1781, a British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Va.

1895, French Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of treason, was publicly stripped of his rank. (He was ultimately vindicated.)

1925, Nellie T. Ross succeeded her late husband as governor of Wyoming, becoming the first female governor in U.S. history

1945, Japanese pilots received the first order to become kamikaze, meaning "divine wind" in Japanese. The suicidal blitz of the kamikazes revealed Japan's desperation in the final months of World War II. Most of Japan's top pilots were dead, but youngsters needed little training to take planes full of explosives and crash them into ships. At Okinawa, they sank 30 ships and killed almost 5,000 Americans

1949, in his State of the Union address, President Truman labeled his administration the Fair Deal

1957, President Eisenhower, in an address to Congress, proposed offering military assistance to Middle Eastern countries so they could resist Communist aggression; this became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine

1972, President Nixon ordered development of the space shuttle

1976, Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot announces a new constitution changing the name of Cambodia to Kampuchea and legalizing its Communist government. It was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1 to 2 million Cambodians

2001, Italy's foreign minister, Renato Ruggiero, resigned after a spat with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over the government's lukewarm reception of the euro

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