Valdosta Daily Times

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January 8, 2014

Today in History for Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014

-- — Today is Wednesday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2014. There are 357 days left in the year.

Highlight in History

On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

On this date

In 1790, President George Washington delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress in New York.

In 1815, U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans — the closing engagement of the War of 1812.

In 1912, the African National Congress was founded in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

In 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss.

In 1959, Charles de Gaulle was inaugurated as president of France’s Fifth Republic.

In 1973, the Paris peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed.

In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 1989, 47 people were killed when a British Midland Boeing 737-400 carrying 126 people crashed in central England.

In 1994, Tonya Harding won the ladies’ U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, a day after Nancy Kerrigan dropped out because of the clubbing attack that had injured her right knee. (The U.S. Figure Skating Association later stripped Harding of the title.)

In 2003, a commuter plane crashed after takeoff from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing all 21 people on board. A Turkish Airlines jet crashed in Turkey, killing 75 people (five passengers survived).

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six other people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF’-nur) was sentenced in Nov. 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after pleading guilty to 19 federal charges in the case.)

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