Highlight in History
On Jan. 7, 1789, America held its first presidential election as voters chose electors who, a month later, selected George Washington to be the nation’s first chief executive.
On this date
In 1610, astronomer Galileo Galilei began observing three of Jupiter’s moons (he spotted a fourth moon almost a week later).
In 1894, one of the earliest motion picture experiments took place at the Thomas Edison studio in West Orange, N.J., as Fred Ott was filmed taking a pinch of snuff and sneezing.
In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.
In 1942, the Japanese siege of Bataan began during World War II. (The fall of Bataan three months later was followed by the notorious Death March.)
In 1953, President Harry S. Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.
In 1973, sniper Mark Essex laid siege at a Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge in downtown New Orleans for about 10 hours, killing seven people before being slain by police sharpshooters.
In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
In 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate. President Bill Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice; he was acquitted.
Ten years ago
President George W. Bush proposed legal status, at least temporarily, for millions of immigrants improperly working in the U.S. Swedish actress Ingrid Thulin died in Stockholm at age 77.
Five years ago
President-elect Barack Obama met at the White House with America’s four living presidents: George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Russia shut off all its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine in a price and payment dispute; the cutoff lasted nearly two weeks.
One year ago
President Barack Obama announced he would nominate former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary, calling him “the leader our troops deserve.”