Five years ago
A defiant Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich named former state Attorney General Roland Burris to Barack Obama’s Senate seat, a surprise move that put the governor’s opponents in the uncomfortable position of trying to block his choice from becoming the Senate’s only black member. (Burris was sworn in as a U.S. senator the following month.) Israeli aircraft kept up a relentless string of attacks on Hamas-ruled Gaza, smashing a government complex, security installations and the home of a top militant commander. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a law extending presidential terms from four years to six.
One year ago
Recalling the shooting rampage that killed 20 first graders in Connecticut as the worst day of his presidency, President Barack Obama, in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” pledged to put his “full weight” behind legislation aimed at preventing gun violence. A bus crashed on an icy Oregon highway, killing nine passengers and injuring almost 40 on Interstate 84 east of Pendleton.