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This Day in History

On this date in 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind.

January 2020
January 1

In 1959, Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory over Fulgencio Batista.

January 2 In 1905, Japanese Gen. Nogi received from Russian Gen. Stoessel at 9 o’clock P.M. a letter formally offering to surrender, ending the Russo-Japanese War.
January 3 In 1959, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union as the 49th state.
January 4 In 1965, President Johnson outlined the goals of his “Great Society” in his State of the Union address.
January 5 In 1914, Henry Ford, head of the Ford Motor Company, introduced a minimum wage scale of $5 per day.
January 6

In 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, N.Y., at age 60.

January 7 In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
January 8 In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his 14 points for peace after World War I.
January 9 In 2007, Steven P. Jobs introduced Apple’s long-awaited entry into the cellphone world, the iPhone.
January 10 In 1946, the first General Assembly of the United Nations convened in London.
January 11

In 1964, the United States surgeon general reported that cigarettes cause lung cancer.

January 12 In 2010, a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti, killing over 200,000 people and destroying much of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
January 13 In 1990, Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the nation’s first elected black governor as he took the oath of office in Richmond.
January 14 In 1943, President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill opened a wartime conference in Casablanca.
January 15 In 1967, the first Super Bowl was played as the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League, 35-10.
January 16

In 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

January 17 In 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.
January 18 In 1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there first.
January 19 In 1937, millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
January 20 In 1981, Iran released 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
January 21

In 1924, the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died at age 53.

January 22 In 1973, in its Roe vs. Wade decision, the Supreme Court legalized abortions, using a trimester approach.
January 23 In 1973, President Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War.
January 24 In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.
January 25 In 1915, the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service.
January 26

In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.

January 27 In 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo spacecraft at Cape Kennedy, Fla.
January 28 In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members: flight commander Francis R. “Dick” Scobee; pilot Michael J. Smith; Ronald E. McNair; Ellison S. Onizuka; Judith A. Resnik; Gregory B. Jarvis; and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
January 29 In 1963, poet Robert Frost died in Boston.
January 30 In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist.
January 31

In 1865, the House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.

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