This Day in History — January 22

This Day in History — January 22

Friday, January 22, 2021

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Today is the 22nd day of 2021. There are 343 days left in the year.


1973: In its Roe vs Wade decision, the US Supreme Court legalises abortions.


1498: During his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrives at the present-day Caribbean island of St Vincent.

1517: Ottoman troops take Cairo, Egypt.

1528: England and France declare war on Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

1655: Oliver Cromwell dissolves Britain's Parliament.

1760: French are defeated by British under Eyre Coote, at Wandiwash, near Pondicherry, ending French presence in India.

1771: Spain agrees to cede Falkland Islands to Britain.

1808: King Joao VI and the Portuguese royal family flee from Napoleon's troops and move the court from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1811: France's Napoleon Bonaparte annexes Oldenburg, now in northern Germany, and alienates Russia's Czar Alexander.

1879: King Cetewayo and 20,000 heavily armed Zulu warriors assault British troops and win the battle of Isandlwana in South Africa, where 139 soldiers repel attacks for almost 12 hours.

1901: Britain's Queen Victoria dies at age 81 after a reign of 63 years; she is succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII.

1905: In what is called the “Bloody Sunday” incident, the Russian Czar's troops massacre more than 100 peaceful protesters in front of the St Petersburg palace.

1917: US President Woodrow Wilson pleads for an end to war in Europe, calling for “peace without victory”.

1922: Pope Benedict XV dies; he is succeeded by Pius XI.

1944: Allied forces begin landings at Anzio in Italy, but fail to exploit the surprise gained to take Rome, just 53 kilometres (33 miles) away.

1953: The Arthur Miller drama The Crucible about the Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials opens on Broadway in New York.

1957: Israeli forces complete withdrawal from Sinai Peninsula, but remain in Gaza Strip.

1970: The first regularly scheduled commercial flight of the Boeing 747 begins in New York City and ends in London some 6 1/2 hours later.

1986: Three Sikhs convicted of 1984 assassination of India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi are sentenced to death.

1992: The acting leader of the Islamic Salvation Front, Abdelkadar Hachani, is arrested in Algeria and detained without trial until 1997.

1995: A suicide mission by Islamic militants kills 19 Israelis and wounds about 60 at Beit Lid Junction, Israel.

1996: The Galileo probe plunges into Jupiter's atmosphere and finds it windier and drier than expected, with less helium and less lightning.

1997: The US Senate confirms Madeleine Albright as America's first female secretary of state.

1998: Theodore Kaczynski pleads guilty in Sacramento, California, to being the “Unabomber” responsible for three deaths and 29 injuries in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

2000: An International Atomic Energy Agency team begins searching Iraqi nuclear sites in the first inspection by a world body in more than a year. Their job is to make sure Iraq's nuclear stocks are not used for military purposes.

2002: China moves 17,000 mostly Chinese and Muslim settlers to a traditionally Tibetan region in its remote west, reviving a plan abandoned after protests by critics of China's Tibetan policies.

2003: The French and German governments issue a joint statement expressing their opposition to immediate military action against Iraq.

2005: Iran's hard-line leadership rules out allowing women to run for president in June elections, denying reports in the state-run media that it had decided to allow female candidates for the first time.

2008: Actor Heath Ledger, 28, is found dead of an accidental prescription overdose in a New York City apartment. Jose Padilla, once accused of plotting with al-Qaeda to blow up a radioactive “dirty bomb”, is sentenced by a US federal judge in Miami to 17 years and four months (later increased to 21 years) on other terrorism conspiracy charges. Republican Fred Thompson quits the race for the White House after a string of poor finishes in early primary and caucus states.

2012: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh leaves his battered nation on his way to the US for medical treatment after passing power to his deputy and asking for forgiveness for any “shortcomings” during his 33-year reign.

2013: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party emerges as the largest faction in a hotly contested parliamentary election, positioning the hardliner to serve a new term as prime minister. An Indonesian court sentences Lindsay June Sandiford, a British grandmother, to death for smuggling cocaine into Bali (Sandiford is appealing her sentence). Linda Pugach, who was blinded in 1959 when her lover, Burton Pugach, hired hit men to throw lye in her face — and became a media sensation after later marrying him — dies in Queens, New York at age 75.

2014: Syrian peace talks begin in Switzerland with a bitter clash over President Bashar Assad's future.

2015: The US-led coalition claims it has killed thousands of Islamic State fighters and half of its leadership, even as the Iraqi prime minister asks for more help.

2017: After a combative start to his presidency, Donald Trump delivers a more unifying message and sought to reassure Americans he was ready to begin governing a divided nation. A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ends with shots fired, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead (two suspects are charged with capital murder).


Francis Bacon, English statesman-essayist (1561-1626); Andre Ampere, French physicist (1775-1836); George Lord Byron, English poet (1788-1824); August Strindberg, Swedish author (1849-1912); Piper Laurie, US actress (1932- ); John Hurt, English actor (1940-2017); Jazzy Jeff, US rap DJ/actor/producer (1965- ); Diane Lane, US actress (1965- ); Gabriel Macht, US actor (1972- ); Joseph “Culture” Hill, Jamaican roots-reggae artiste (1949-2006)

— AP

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