Valdosta Daily Times

January 17, 2013

Today in History for Thursday, January , 17, 2013


The Associated Press

VALDOSTA — Today is Thursday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2013. There are 348 days left in the year.



Highlight in History

On Jan. 17, 1963, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, appearing as amicus curiae (friend of the court) before the U.S. Supreme Court, told the justices in Gray v. Sanders that Georgia’s county unit voting system in Democratic primaries discriminated against urban voters. (The court later struck down the county unit system, citing the concept of “one person, one vote.”)



On this date

In 1562, French Protestants were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.

In 1863, British politician and statesman David Lloyd George was born in Manchester, England.

In 1893, the 19th     president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70.  Hawaii’s monarchy    was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Lili’uokalani (lee-LEE’-oo-oh-kah-LAH’-nee) to abdicate.

In 1917, the United States paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

In 1929, the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor made his debut in the “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.

In 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II; Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.

In 1950, the Great Brink’s Robbery took place as seven masked men held up a Brink’s garage in Boston, stealing $1.2 million in cash and $1.5 million in checks and money orders. (Although the entire gang was caught, only part of the loot was recovered.)

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.

In 1989, five children were shot to death at the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif., by a drifter, Patrick Purdy, who then killed himself.

In 1994, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 72 people.

In 1995, more than 6,000 people were       killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan.



Ten years ago

On the 12th anniversary of the Gulf War, a defiant Saddam Hussein called on his people to rise up and defend the nation against a new U.S.-led attack. Tom Ridge sailed through Senate confirmation hearings on his way to becoming the nation’s first Homeland Security Department chief. Actor Richard Crenna died in Los Angeles at age 76. Gertrude Janeway, the last known widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War, died in Blaine, Tenn., at age 93 (she had married John Janeway in 1927 when he was 81 and she was barely 18).

Five years ago: Bobby Fischer, the chess grandmaster who became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, died in Reykjavik, Iceland, at age 64. Character actor Allan Melvin died in Los Angeles at age 84.

One year ago: Italian officials released a recording of a furious Coast Guard officer, Capt. Gregorio De Falco, demanding that Capt. Francesco Schettino (frahn-CHEHS’-koh skeh-TEE’-noh), commander of the grounded Costa Concordia, re-board the ship to direct its evacuation after the vessel rammed into a reef on Jan. 13. (Schettino resists the order, making excuses that it’s dark and that the ship is listing.) Johnny Otis, the “godfather of rhythm and blues” who wrote and recorded the R&B classic “Willie and the Hand Jive,” died in Los Angeles at age 90.