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January 10, 2014

Today in History for Friday, Jan. 10, 2014

-- — Highlight in History

On Jan. 10, 1914, Utah grocer John G. Morrison, 47, and his son Arling, 17, were shot to death in their Salt Lake City store; police arrested labor activist Joe Hill, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. Despite evidence suggesting another man was responsible, Hill was convicted and executed, becoming a martyr to America’s organized labor movement.

On this date

In 1776, Thomas Paine anonymously published his influential pamphlet, “Common Sense,” which argued for American independence from British rule.

In 1861, Florida became the third state to secede from the Union.

In 1863, the London Underground had its beginnings as the Metropolitan, the world’s first underground passenger railway, opened to the public with service between Paddington and Farringdon Street.

In 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil.

In 1901, the Spindletop oil field in Beaumont, Texas, produced the Lucas Gusher, heralding the start of the Texas oil boom.

In 1920, the League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect.

In 1946, the first General Assembly of the United Nations convened in London.

In 1957, Harold Macmillan became prime minister of Britain, following the resignation of Anthony Eden.

In 1964, Vee-Jay Records released “Introducing... The Beatles,” an album which ran into immediate legal opposition from Capitol Records, which was about to come out with its own album, “Meet the Beatles!” (After a court battle, the two companies reached a settlement.)

In 1971, “Masterpiece Theatre” premiered on PBS with host Alistair Cooke introducing the drama series “The First Churchills.” French fashion designer Coco Chanel died in Paris at age 87.

In 1984, the United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in more than a century.

Ten years ago

North Korea said it had shown its “nuclear deterrent” to an unofficial U.S. delegation that visited the disputed Yongbyon nuclear complex. Michelle Kwan won her seventh straight title and eighth overall at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Atlanta; Johnny Weir skated to his first men’s title. Actor-writer Spalding Gray, 62, vanished from his New York apartment (his body was found two months later in the East River).

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