Wednesday, January 7
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 7, the 7th day of 2015. There are 358 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1537 - Alessandro de Medici is assassinated and Cosimo de Medici succeeds him in Florence.
1558 - French capture Calais from the British.
1610 - The astronomer Galileo Galilei sees four of Jupiter’s moons.
1761 - Afghans defeat Mahrattas at Paniput in India.
1782 - The first commercial American bank, the Bank of North America, opens.
1789 - The first U.S. presidential election is held. Americans vote for electors who, a month later, choose George Washington to be the first president.
1807 - Britain declares blockade of coasts of France and Napoleon Bonaparte’s allies.
1913 - A cracking process to obtain gasoline from crude oil is patented in the United States.
1927 - Commercial trans-Atlantic telephone service is inaugurated between New York and London.
1942 - Japan begins successful siege of Bataan Peninsula during World War II, routing American and Philippine troops.
1953 - U.S. President Harry Truman announces that United States has developed the hydrogen bomb.
1959 - The United States recognizes Fidel Castro’s Cuban government.
1961 - African heads of state issue African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights at Casablanca.
1967 - Fighting is reported between Chinese Red Guards and workers in Nanking.
1968 - Government of Lebanon resigns after Israeli commando raid at Beirut airport; the Surveyor 7 space probe makes a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the U.S. series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.
1972 - India resists U.S. pressure and grants full diplomatic recognition to China.
1973 - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos suspends scheduled plebiscite on new constitution, saying his country is slipping back into subversion and corruption.
1979 - Vietnamese forces capture the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
1987 - Lebanon’s former President Camille Chamoun suffers minor wounds when remote-controlled car bomb explodes near his bulletproof car.
1990 - Thousands of Romanians demonstrate nationwide to protest the number of ex-Communists in the interim government.
1991 - Coup attempt in Haiti by former leader of paramilitary organization Tontons Macoute, Roger Lafontant, fails.
1992 - Yugoslav military shoots down European Union helicopter, killing five truce observers.
1993 - U.S. forces in Mogadishu, Somalia, unleash a barrage of tank, helicopter and rocket fire on two bases where snipers were firing.
1994 - About 750,000 gallons (2.8 million liters) of heating oil blacken beaches on Puerto Rico when a barge runs aground.
1996 - A bomb rips through a city bus in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, killing at least eight people and injuring 35.
1997 - In Algiers, Algeria, a car bomb explodes in a bustling shopping district, killing at least 13 people and wounding 100 others.
1998 - The Canadian government formally apologizes to the country’s indigenous people for 150 years of oppression and establishes a “healing” fund.
1999 - The U.S. Senate opens the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, the first such trial in 130 years.
2000 - An exhausted 14-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader reaches India after trekking across the snowy Himalayas after defecting from Chinese-ruled Tibet.
2001 - A general practitioner in Manchester, England, may have killed more than 200 patients over almost 24 years, a clinical study of Dr. Harold Shipman’s medical practice shows. He is sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of 15 patients.
2003 - A Congo military court sentences 26 defendants to death for the January 2001 assassination of President Laurent Kabila, who was shot by a bodyguard in the presidential palace.
2006 - The Brazilian commander of U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti is found dead after shooting himself in the head — a blow to the 9,000-strong force and efforts to restore democracy in Haiti.
2007 - Warsaw Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus abruptly resigns over revelations that he cooperated with Poland’s hated communist-era secret police, shaking a widely held belief that the church acted as a courageous opponent of communism.
2008 - Australia battles fires and flooding after days of summer heat and storms. The flooding is some of the worst the country has seen in decades.
2009 - Russia shuts off all its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine.
2010 - Yemen provides the most comprehensive account yet of contacts between al-Qaida and the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner, saying he may have met with a radical U.S.-born cleric who previously had contact with the alleged shooter at a U.S. Army base in Texas.
2011 - President Barack Obama forcefully declares his support for U.S. civilian trials of Guantanamo detainees, pledging to overturn language in a sweeping defense bill that would effectively block such trials from happening anytime soon.
2012 - Afghan investigators accuse the American military of abusing detainees at its main prison in the country, bolstering calls by President Hamid Karzai for the U.S. to turn over control of the facility and complicating talks about America’s future role in Afghanistan.
2013 - President Barack Obama chooses former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the U.S. Defense Department and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA.
2014 — The first batch of the most dangerous chemical weapons is loaded onto a Danish ship and taken out of Syria, a key step in ridding the regime of its banned arsenal.
Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Buoncompagno) (1502-1585); James Harrington, English political author (1611-1677); Robert Anderson, Scottish author (1750-1830); Zora Neale Hurston, American writer (1903-1960); Jean-Pierre Rampal, French flutist (1922-2000); David Caruso, U.S. actor (1956--); Nicolas Cage, U.S. actor (1964--); Katie Couric, U.S. talk show host (1957--).
Thought for Today:
Whether women are better than men I cannot say — but I can say they are certainly no worse — Golda Meir, Israeli prime minister (1898-1978).