This Day in History - January 21
Today is the 21st day of 2012. There are 345 days left in the year.
2007: Venzuelan President Hugo Chavez told US officials to "Go to hell, gringos!" and called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "missy" on his weekly radio and TV show, lashing out at Washington for what he called unacceptable meddling in his country's affairs.
1908: New York City's Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance prohibiting women from smoking in public. (Although the measure was vetoed two weeks later by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr., at least one woman, Katie Mulcahey, was arrested and spent a night in jail after being unable to pay a $5 fine.)
1793: During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, was executed on the guillotine.
1861: Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and four other Southerners whose states had seceded from the Union resigned from the US Senate.
1910: The Great Paris Flood began as the rain-swollen Seine River burst its banks, sending water into the French capital.
1924: Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin died at age 53.
1937: Count Basie and his band recorded One O'Clock Jump for Decca Records (on this date in 1942, they re-recorded the song for Okeh Records).
1950: Former State Department official Alger Hiss, accused of being part of a Communist spy ring, was found guilty in New York of lying to a grand jury. (Hiss, who proclaimed his innocence, served less than four years in prison.) George Orwell (Eric Blair), author of "Nineteen Eighty-Four," died in London at age 46.
1954: The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Connecticut. (However, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later.)
1968: The Battle of Khe Sanh began during the Vietnam War as North Vietnamese forces attacked a US Marine base; the Americans were able to hold their position until the siege was lifted. An American B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed in Greenland, killing one crew member and scattering radioactive material.
1977: President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.
1982: Convict-turned-author Jack Henry Abbott was found guilty in New York of first-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of waiter Richard Adan in 1981. (Abbott was later sentenced to 15 years to life in prison; he committed suicide in 2002.)
1997: Speaker Newt Gingrich was reprimanded and fined as the House voted for the first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.
2002: Sultry singer Peggy Lee died in Bel Air, California, at age 81.
2007: Lovie Smith became the first black head coach to make it to the Super Bowl when his Chicago Bears won the NFC championship, beating the New Orleans Saints 39-14; Tony Dungy became the second when his Indianapolis Colts took the AFC title over the New England Patriots, 38-34.
2011: Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman seriously wounded in a shooting rampage, was transferred from the University Medical Center trauma center in Tucson to Texas Medical Center in Houston to undergo months of therapy.
World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus is 72. Opera singer Placido Domingo is 71. Singer Richie Havens is 71. Singer Mac Davis is 70. Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 62. Actor-director Robby Benson is 56. Actress Geena Davis is 56. Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon is 49. Actress Charlotte Ross is 44. Actor John Ducey is 43. Actress Karina Lombard is 43. Actor Vincent Laresca is 38. Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 36. Country singer Phil Stacey is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nokio (Dru Hill) is 33. Actress Izabella Miko is 31.