Monday, January 21, 2008

Today in History....January 21

* 1789, the first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, is printed in Boston

* 1793, after being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France is guillotined

* 1861, during the Civil War: Jefferson Davis resigns from the United States Senate

* 1908, New York City's Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance prohibiting women from smoking in public. (However, the measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. two weeks later)

* 1924, Vladimir Lenin dies and Joseph Stalin begins to purge his rivals to clear way for his leadership

* 1950, Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury

* 1954, the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched in Groton, Connecticut by Mamie Eisenhower, then the First Lady of the United States

* 1976, commercial service of Concorde begins with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes

* 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada

* 1985, because January 20 had fallen on a Sunday, Ronald Reagan's public inaugural ceremony (for his second term as President) was moved to Monday, January 21. Due to bad weather, the ceremony was held indoors in the United States Capital Rotunda

* 1997, Newt Gingrich becomes the first leader of the United States House of Representatives to be internally disciplined for ethical misconduct

* 1999, in one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepts a ship with over 9,500 pounds (4,300 kg) of cocaine on board

* 2004, NASA's MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies with Flash Memory management and is fixed remotely from Earth on February 6

* 2003, the Census Bureau announced that Hispanics had surpassed blacks as America's largest minority group

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