Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2019. There are 335 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 30, 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.)
On this date:
In 1649, England’s King Charles I was executed for high treason.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. The first episode of the “Lone Ranger” radio program was broadcast on station WXYZ in Detroit.
In 1945, during World War II, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the German ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea with the loss of more than 9,000 lives, most of them war refugees; roughly 1,000 people survived. Adolf Hitler marked the 12th anniversary of his appointment as Germany’s chancellor with his last public speech in which he called on Germans to keep resisting until victory.
In 1948, aviation pioneer Orville Wright, 76, died in Dayton, Ohio.
In 1962, two members of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit.
In 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese towns and cities; although the Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major setback for the U.S. and its allies.
In 1969, The Beatles staged an impromptu concert atop Apple headquarters in London; it was the group’s last public performance.
In 1972, 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
In 1973, the rock group KISS performed its first show at a club in Queens, N.Y.
In 1981, an estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the American hostages freed from Iran.
In 1993, Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.
In 2006, Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, at age 78.
Ten years ago: Michael Steele was elected the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee. President Barack Obama signed a series of executive orders that he said should “level the playing field” for labor unions in their struggles with management. Ingemar Johansson, who stunned the boxing world by knocking out Floyd Patterson to win the heavyweight title in 1959, died in Kungsbacka, Sweden. Former Alabama Gov. Guy Hunt died in Birmingham at age 75.
Five years ago: An appeals court in Florence, Italy, reinstated the guilty verdict against U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (Knox was exonerated by the Italian Supreme Court in 2015.) Federal prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) in the Boston Marathon bombing. (Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death; his attorneys have appealed.)
One year ago: In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump called on Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and issued ominous warnings about deadly gangs, the scourge of drugs and violent immigrants living in the country illegally; the speech also included calls for optimism amid a growing economy. In the Democratic response, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III said soaring stock prices had boosted investor portfolios and corporate profits but had not eased the anxieties of middle-class families. The body of 35-year-old actor Mark Salling, a former cast member on the TV show “Glee,” was found in a riverbed area of Los Angeles in what a coroner determined was suicide by hanging; Salling’s death came a few weeks after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.
Today’s Birthdays: Producer-director Harold Prince is 91. Actor Gene Hackman is 89. Actress Vanessa Redgrave is 82. Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 82. Chess grandmaster Boris Spassky is 82. Country singer Norma Jean is 81. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is 78. Rhythm-and-blues musician William King (The Commodores) is 70. Singer Phil Collins is 68. Actor Charles S. Dutton is 68. World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange is 64. Actress Ann Dowd is 63. Actress-comedian Brett Butler is 61. Singer Jody Watley is 60. Actor-filmmaker Dexter Scott King is 58. The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, is 57. Actor Wayne Wilderson (TV: “Veep”) is 53. Actor Norbert Leo Butz is 52. The King of Spain, Felipe VI, is 51. Country singer Tammy Cochran is 47. Actor Christian Bale is 45. Rock musician Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is 45. Actress Olivia Colman is 45. Actress-singer Lena Hall is 39. Pop-country singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is 39. Actor Wilmer Valderrama is 39. Actress Mary Hollis Imboden is 33. Actress Kylie Bunbury is 30. Actor Jake Thomas is 29. Actress Danielle Campbell is 24.
Thought for Today: “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” — Dorothy Thompson, American author, journalist and radio commentator (born 1893, died this date in 1961).