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This Day in History - January 18

Friday, January 18, 2013    

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Today's Highlight

2008: Maasai fighters in Kenya battle rival tribesman loyal to President Mwai Kibaki on the third, final and bloodiest day of protests over Kenya's disputed election.

Other Events

1535: The city of Lima, capital of present-day Peru, is founded by Spanish conquistadors on the central Pacific coast of South America.

1778: English navigator Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubs the "Sandwich Islands."

1788: The first English settlers arrive in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.

1918: The first democratically elected national legislature in Russia opens in Petrograd. The Bolsheviks soon shut it down, marking the start of Communist dictatorship.

1919: The World War I Peace Congress opens in Versailles, France.

1989: Thousands of Czechoslovaks converge on Prague's central Wenceslas Square chanting "freedom," "truth," and "human rights" on fourth consecutive day of public dissent.

1991: Jordan's Parliament denounces allied attacks on Iraq and urges Arab and Islamic nations to strike back at US and coalition partners.

1992: More than 100,000 people attend Kenya's first legal anti-government rally in 22 years.

1995: A US jury awards more than 9,000 victims of torture under the regime of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with $766 million from the Marcos estate.

1997: Norway's Boerge Ousland emerges on the Pacific edge of Antarctica to become the first person to cross the continent alone and unaided.

2000: Helmut Kohl resigns as honorary chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, brought down by a campaign financing scandal that marks the stunning denouement of one of Europe's most respected statesmen and the man who reunited Germany.

2002: The Sierra Leone government declares the country's 11-year-old civil war, which killed about 50,000 people — mostly civilians — over. In the war, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group, known for its extreme brutality, fought against the government for control of the country.

2006: President Laurent Gbagbo calls on his supporters to end days of violent street protests that have roiled Ivory Coast's government-held south, telling protesters to go home and asking fearful workers to return to their jobs.

2009: Israeli troops begin to withdraw from Gaza after their government and Hamas militants declare an end to a three-week war.

2011: The UN tribunal investigating the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister warns against speculating about the sealed indictment as a quiet show of force by Hezbollah rattles nerves amid fears the militant group will react violently if accused.

2012: Italians tally 11 dead, 21 missing from cruise ship disaster in which the $450-million Costa Concordia, carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, slammed into a reef and flopped on its side off the tiny Italian island of Giglio after the captain made an unauthorised detour on his route.

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