Thursday, January 17, 2008

Today in History....January 17

* 1595, Henry IV of France declares war on Spain

* 1819, Simón Bolívar proclaims the Republic of Colombia

* 1893, Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate

* 1899, United States takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean

* 1916 , the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) is formed

* 1917, United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands

* 1929, Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip

* 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II.
ALSO: The Nazis, ym"sh, begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in. AND: Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappears in Hungary while in Soviet custody

* 1946, the UN Security Council holds its first session

* 1949, "The Goldbergs", the first American TV sitcom, debuts

* 1950, the Great Brinks Robbery, 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car Company's offices in Boston

* 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex"

* 1973, Ferdinand Marcos becomes "President for Life" of the Philippines

* 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States

* 1982, "Cold Sunday" in the United States sees temperatures fall to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities

* 1985, British Telecom announces the retirement of the United Kingdom's red telephone boxes

* 1991, Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation

* 1997, a court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country's history

* 2003, on the 12th anniversary of the Gulf War, a defiant Saddam Hussein called on his people to rise up and defend the nation against a new U.S.-led attack. ALSO: Tom Ridge sailed through Senate confirmation hearings on his way to becoming the nation's first Homeland Security Department chief. AND: Gertrude Janeway, the last known widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War, died in Blaine, Tenn., at age 93 (she had married John Janeway in 1927 when he was 81 and she was barely 18)

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