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History | WayBackWhen™

History, WayBackWhen™

Flashback: What Happened on January 30, ....

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•  1867 The West Virginia Legislature took over the Monongalia Academy and Woodburn Female Seminary for use of the land grant college, later named West Virginia University.

•  1905 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution appointing a special joint committee to investigate the background of a letter from Charles D. Elliott, a secret agent for the Standard Oil Company, to another company official John Worthington of Pittsburgh, PA. The letter implicates several members of both houses of the West Virginia Legislature as part of a Standard Oil Company conspiracy to defeat certain legislation.

•  1948 Mark McCauley was executed by hanging at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville (Marshall County) for a murder committed in Mineral County.

•  1952 Attorney General William Marland resigned to run for governor.

•  1959 Members of the Charleston Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality began sit-ins at the lunch counter of the Diamond Department Store in Charleston. Store manager William M. McKim refused to change the counter policy and the sit-ins ended in March. The policy was finally changed in April 1960.

•  1992 One Valley Bancorp, which had taken over Atlantic Financial, announced it would close eight Atlantic Financial branch offices, putting more than 50 people out of work.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 30

Today is Thursday, January 30, the 30th day of 2014. There are 335 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“History repeats itself in the large because human nature changes with geological leisureliness.“ — Will (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant (1898-1981), American historians.


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 30, 1964, the United States launched Ranger 6, an unmanned spacecraft carrying television cameras that crash-landed on the moon, but failed to send back images.


On this date:

In 1649, England’s King Charles I was executed for treason.

In 1862, the ironclad USS Monitor was launched from the Continental Iron Works in Greenpoint, N.Y., during the Civil War.

In 1882, the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was born in Hyde Park, N.Y.

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 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Tennessee Electric Power Co. v. Tennessee Valley Authority, upheld the right of the federally-owned TVA to compete with private utilities.

In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse (neh-too-RAHM’ gahd-SAY’), a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.)

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 provincial capitals.

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 1974, President Richard Nixon delivered what would be his last State of the Union address; Nixon pledged to rein in rising prices without the “harsh medicine of recession” and establish a national health care plan that every American could afford.

In 1981, an estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the freed American hostages from Iran.

In 1993, Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.


Ten years ago:

Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe (al-AN’ zhoo-PAY’) was found guilty in connection with a party financing scandal and declared ineligible for public office for 10 years (later reduced to one year on appeal).

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity spied hints of a mineral that typically forms in water — a finding that could mean the dry and dusty Red Planet was once wetter and more hospitable to life.


Five 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.


One year ago:

In a dramatic appeal before the Senate Judiciary Committee, wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged Congress to enact tougher curbs on guns, saying, “too many children are dying” without them.

Israel conducted a rare airstrike on a military target inside Syria amid fears President Bashar Assad’s regime could provide powerful weapons to the Islamic militant group Hezbollah.

Patty Andrews, 94, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio, died in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Dorothy Malone is 89

Producer-director Harold Prince is 86

Actor Gene Hackman is 84

Actress Tammy Grimes is 80

Actress Vanessa Redgrave is 77

Chess grandmaster Boris Spassky is 77

Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 77

Country singer Norma Jean is 76

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is 73

Rock singer Marty Balin is 72

Rhythm-and-blues musician William King (The Commodores) is 65

Singer Phil Collins is 63

Actor Charles S. Dutton is 63

World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange is 59

Actress-comedian Brett Butler is 56

Singer Jody Watley is 55

Actor-filmmaker Dexter Scott King is 53

The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, is 52

Actor Norbert Leo Butz is 47

Country singer Tammy Cochran is 42

Actor Christian Bale is 40

Rock musician Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is 40

Pop-country singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is 34

Actor Wilmer Valderrama is 34

Actor Jake Thomas is 24

Flashback: What Happened on January 29, ....

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•  1869 The Charleston city council offered the state government $50,000 for development of public buildings if it would locate the capital in Charleston. The leading promoter and investor was John P. Hale.

•  1879 The Weston and West Fork Railroad Company transferred all of its holdings to the new Clarksburg, Weston and Glenville Railroad and Transportation Company, headed by Johnson N. Camden.

•  1885 The West Virginia Central Telephone Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Jacob Koblegard, T. G. Edmiston, James B. Finster, C. C. Hersman, and Andrew Edmiston, all of Weston, Lewis County. The company’s purpose was to install telephone lines in Harrison County, Lewis County, Upshur County, Braxton County, and Gilmer County, with its main office at Weston.

•  1890 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution providing for the adoption of a method of disposing sewage from the State Hospital for the Insane at Weston, Lewis County, and to prevent pollution of the West Fork River.

•  1926 Robert Ford was executed by hanging at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville (Marshall County) for a murder committed in Harrison County.

•  1934 Fire partially destroyed the Oak Hill Hospital building, Fayette County.

•  1953 Consolidation Coal Company president George Higginbotham proclaimed in a speech to the Fairmont Kiwanis Club that the proposed coal severance tax would effectively kill the coal industry in West Virginia, because it was already declining from the importation of South American oil and the Texas pipeline.

•  1992 Governor Gaston Caperton announced that he would run for re-election.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 29

Today is Wednesday, January 29, the 29th day of 2014. There are 336 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“Any idiot can face a crisis — it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.“ — Anton Chekhov, Russian author and playwright (born this date in 1860, died in 1904).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 29, 1964, Stanley Kubrick’s nuclear war satire “Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,“ starring Peter Sellers (in three roles) and George C. Scott, premiered in New York, Toronto and London.


On this date:

In 1820, Britain’s King George III died at Windsor Castle.

In 1843, the 25th president of the United States, William McKinley, was born in Niles, Ohio.

In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror.

In 1861, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.

In 1919, the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which launched Prohibition, was certified by Acting Secretary of State Frank L. Polk.

In 1929, The Seeing Eye, a New Jersey-based school which trains guide dogs to assist the blind, was incorporated by Dorothy Harrison Eustis and Morris Frank.

In 1936, the first inductees of baseball’s Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, were named in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In 1958, actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married in Las Vegas.

In 1963, the first charter members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were named in Canton, Ohio (they were enshrined when the Hall opened in Sept. 1963). Poet Robert Frost died in Boston at age 88.

In 1964, the Winter Olympic Games opened in Innsbruck, Austria. Actor Alan Ladd died in Palm Springs, Calif., at age 50.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House, following the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In 1998, a bomb rocked an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., killing security guard Robert Sanderson and critically injuring nurse Emily Lyons. (The bomber, Eric Rudolph, was captured in May 2003 and is serving a life sentence.)


Ten years ago:

An accidental explosion at a weapons cache near the Afghan village of Dehe Hendu killed eight U.S. soldiers.

A suicide bomber struck a bus in Jerusalem, killing ten Israelis.

In a prisoner exchange, Israel freed 400 Palestinians and about 30 other Arabs while Hezbollah released a kidnapped Israeli businessman and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers.

British author M.M. Kaye died in Lavenham, England, at age 95.


Five years ago:

Declaring that ending pay disparity is not just a women’s issue, President Barack Obama signed The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, giving workers more time to take their pay discrimination cases to court.

The Illinois Senate voted, 59-0, to convict Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich) of abuse of power and throw him out of office nearly two months after the second-term Democrat’s arrest on charges of trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.


One year ago:

BP PLC closed the book on the Justice Department’s criminal probe of its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with a U.S. judge agreeing to let the London-based oil giant plead guilty to manslaughter charges for the deaths of 11 rig workers and pay a record $4 billion in penalties.

The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed President Barack Obama’s choice of five-term Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state, 94-3. (Kerry voted present.)

A hostage crisis began in Midland City, Ala., as retired truck driver Jimmy Lee Dykes kidnapped 5-year-old Ethan Gilman off a school bus after killing the driver, Charles Poland; Dykes held the boy inside an underground bunker for six days until authorities moved in, killing Dykes and rescuing the child.


Today’s Birthdays:

Feminist author Germaine Greer is 75

Actress Katharine Ross is 74

Feminist author Robin Morgan is 73

Actor Tom Selleck is 69

Rhythm-and-blues singer Bettye LaVette is 68

Actor Marc Singer is 66

Actress Ann Jillian is 64

Rock musician Tommy Ramone (Ramones) is 62

Rock musician Louie Perez (Los Lobos) is 61

Rhythm-and-blues/funk singer Charlie Wilson is 61

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 60

Country singer Irlene Mandrell is 58

Actress Diane Delano is 57

Actress Judy Norton Taylor (TV: “The Waltons”) is 56

Rock musician Johnny Spampinato is 55

Olympic gold-medal diver Greg Louganis is 54

Rock musician David Baynton-Power (James) is 53

Rock musician Eddie Jackson (Queensryche) is 53

Actor Nicholas Turturro is 52

Rock singer-musician Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) is 50

Actor-director Edward Burns is 46

Actress Heather Graham is 44

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is 44

Actor Sharif Atkins is 39

Actress Sara Gilbert is 39

Actor Justin Hartley is 37

Actor Sam Jaeger is 37

Actor Andrew Keegan is 35

Actor Jason James Richter is 34

Blues musician Jonny Lang is 33

Pop-rock singer Adam Lambert (TV: “American Idol”) is 32

Flashback: What Happened on January 28, ....

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•  1887 Without mentioning him by name, a letter submitted to newspapers by Democratic anti- Camdenites denounced Democrat Johnson N. Camden, who was trying to retain his seat in the United States Senate.

•  1891 The Unity Rod and Gun Club was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: S. E. Killingswartt, William Buehler, Michael McDonough, Frank M. Manes, and John McGuinness, all of Parkersburg. The club’s main office was in Parkersburg.

•  1896 In Mercer County, white residents lynched African-American Alexander Jones, who had been accused of murder.

•  1897 The West Virginia Legislature passed an act amending the charter of the town of Bluefield, Mercer County. It became law without the approval of the governor.

•  1903 The West Virginia Legislature passed an act repealing the section of a 1901 law which had abolished the preparatory department of West Virginia University in Morgantown, Monongalia County. It became law without the approval of the governor.

•  1921 The trial of Sid Hatfield and the other defendants of the Matewan Massacre began in Williamson, McDowell County.

•  1958 Former Democratic Congressman and current assistant to the President of Capitol Airlines Jennings Randolph of Randolph County announced as a candidate in the 1958 primary election for the United States Senate seat left vacant by the death of Matthew M. Neely.

•  1960 Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy in the West Virginia presidential primary.

•  1968 Forty thousand UMW coal miners in various states including West Virginia went on strike, lasting 12 days, in protest of the arrest of pickets at a Pennsylvania mine.

•  1977 Governor Rockefeller enacted the state emergency broadcasting system announcing a blizzard which failed to materialize.

•  1992 It was announced that West Virginia’s toxic emissions dropped 18.7% from 1987 to 1990.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 28

Today is Tuesday, January 28, the 28th day of 2014. There are 337 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“In dreams begin responsibilities.“ — William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.


On this date:

In A.D. 814, Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne died in Aachen in present-day Germany.

In 1547, England’s King Henry VIII died; he was succeeded by his 9-year-old son, Edward VI.

In 1813, the novel “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen was first published anonymously in London.

In 1853, Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti was born in Havana.

In 1909, the United States withdrew its forces from Cuba as Jose Miguel Gomez became president.

In 1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.

In 1939, Irish poet-dramatist William Butler Yeats died in Menton, France.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first national TV appearance on “Stage Show,“ a CBS program hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.

In 1973, a cease-fire officially went into effect in the Vietnam War.

In 1980, six U.S. diplomats who had avoided being taken hostage at their embassy in Tehran flew out of Iran with the help of Canadian diplomats.

In 1982, Italian anti-terrorism forces rescued U.S. Brig. Gen. James L. Dozier, 42 days after he had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades.


Ten years ago:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair won a legal victory when a judge said the BBC was wrong to report the government had “sexed up” intelligence to justify war in Iraq.

Former U.S. Navy commander Lloyd “Pete” Bucher, who’d helped his USS Pueblo crew survive brutal captivity in North Korea, then faced criticism back home, died in Poway, Calif., at age 76.


Five years ago:

In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved, 244-188, a huge $819 billion stimulus bill with Republicans unanimous in opposition despite Obama’s pleas for bipartisan support.

Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboard player Billy Powell, who survived the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members, died in Orange Park, Fla., at age 56.


One year ago:

Side by side, leading Democratic and Republican senators pledged to propel far-reaching immigration legislation through the Senate by summer, providing a possible path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people in the U.S. illegally. (Although the Senate did pass such a measure, it has encountered opposition from House Republicans who insist on a more limited approach.)

Backed by French helicopters and paratroopers, Malian soldiers entered the fabled city of Timbuktu after al-Qaida-linked militants who’d ruled the outpost by fear for nearly 10 months fled into the desert.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actor-dancer John Ronald Dennis is 89

Musician-composer Acker Bilk is 85

Actor Nicholas Pryor is 79

Actor Alan Alda is 78

Actress Susan Howard is 72

Actress Marthe (cq) Keller is 69

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is 67

Actress-singer Barbi Benton is 64

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren is 60

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE’) is 59

Actress Harley Jane Kozak is 57

Movie director Frank Darabont is 55

Rock musician Dave Sharp is 55

Rock singer Sam Phillips is 52

Rock musician Dan Spitz is 51

Country musician Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 49

Gospel singer Marvin Sapp is 47

Singer Sarah McLachlan is 46

Rapper Rakim is 46

DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) is 46

Actress Kathryn Morris is 45

Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Hamilton is 43

Rock musician Brandon Bush is 41

Retired MLB All-Star Jermaine Dye is 40

Singer Joey Fatone Jr. (‘N Sync) is 37

Rapper Rick Ross is 37

Actress Rosamund Pike is 35

Singer Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) is 34

Actor Elijah Wood is 33

Rapper J. Cole is 29

Actress Alexandra Krosney is 26

Actress Ariel Winter (TV: “Modern Family”) is 16

WV History Bowl Finals to Be Held April 29, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is inviting eighth graders to participate in this year’s state History Bowl.

The tournament tests students’ knowledge of West Virginia, including culture, geography, government, history, literature and sports.

Eight regional tournaments will be held across the state from January 31 to March 01.

Teams of four students participate in double-elimination play.

The winner and runner-up teams are invited to the state tournament at the Culture Center in Charleston.

This year’s state tournament will be held on April 29, 2014.

Division of Culture and History: http://www.wvculture.org/history

Flashback: What Happened on January 27, ....

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•  1864 West Virginia Third Cavalry troops fought a skirmish with Confederate troops near Wayne Court House, Wayne County.

•  1891 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution denouncing the Congressional passage of the Force Bill and endorsing United States Senators John E. Kenna and Charles J. Faulkner, and United States House of Representatives members William L. Wilson and John D. Alderson, all of West Virginia, for their opposition to the bill.

•  1913 The Harpers Ferry High School opened to serve students in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar, Jefferson County.

•  1953 State Senate president Ralph Bean formally introduced Senate Bill 32, which included the coal severance tax proposal of Governor Marland.

•  1978 Due to the extremely cold weather, the Appalachian Power Company announced it had only a 59-day supply of coal remaining and asked customers to conserve energy. The West Virginia Public Service Commission issued an order requiring cut backs if the supply reached 40 days.

•  1992 The Putnam County School Board reversed its decision to close Buffalo High School, and gave the school at least one more year after outraged supporters protested.

•  1992 Trustees for the funds that pay health-care benefits to 120,000 retired coal miners sent notifications to coal companies that they were seeking a federal court order to double the employers’ contributions. Without the increase, the trustees said beneficiaries would lose benefits by May 01.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™:  January 27

Today is Monday, January 27, the 27th day of 2014. There are 338 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is — it is her shadow.“ — Gamaliel Bailey, American abolitionist (1807-1859).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 27, 1944, during World War II, the Soviet Union announced the complete end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years.


On this date:

In 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.

In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

In 1888, the National Geographic Society was incorporated in Washington, D.C.

In 1901, opera composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan, Italy, at age 87.

In 1913, the musical play “The Isle O’ Dreams” opened in New York; it featured the song “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” by Ernest R. Ball, Chauncey Olcott and George Graff Jr.

In 1943, some 50 bombers struck Wilhelmshaven in the first all-American air raid against Germany during World War II.

In 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.

In 1951, an era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flat.

In 1964, E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co. introduced its artificial leather substitute, Corfam. (The product ultimately failed in large part because of consumer complaints that shoes made of Corfam could not be “broken in” like leather shoes.)

In 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo spacecraft. More than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.

In 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.

In 1984, singer Michael Jackson suffered serious burns to his scalp when pyrotechnics set his hair on fire during the filming of a Pepsi-Cola TV commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


Ten years ago:

John Kerry won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary.

A jury in New York heard opening arguments in the trial of Martha Stewart, who was accused of lying about a stock sale (she was convicted in March 2004 and sentenced to five months in prison).

Former “Tonight Show” host Jack Paar died in Greenwich, Conn., at age 85.


Five years ago:

Saying, “The American people expect action,“ President Barack Obama held closed-door meetings with House and Senate Republicans on the eve of a key vote on an economic stimulus package.

Ervin Lupoe of Wilmington, Calif., fatally shot himself a day after killing his wife Ana, their 8-year-old daughter and two sets of twins, 2-year-old boys and 5-year-old girls, after faxing a note to a TV station saying the couple had just been fired from their hospital jobs.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Updike died in Danvers, Mass. at age 76.


One year ago:

Flames raced through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil, killing 242 people.

The NFC blew past the AFC 62-35 in the Pro Bowl.

Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 to become the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles.

Little-known Max Aaron won his first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb.

The CIA thriller “Argo” won top honor for overall cast performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards; Jennifer Lawrence won leading actress for “Silver Linings Playbook” while Daniel Day-Lewis won leading actor for “Lincoln.“


Today’s Birthdays:

Actor James Cromwell is 74

Actor John Witherspoon is 72

Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 69

Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 68

Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 66

Political commentator Ed Schultz is 60. Chief U.S. Justice John Roberts is 59

Country singer Cheryl White is 59

Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 59

Actress Mimi Rogers is 58

Rock musician Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) is 57

Political commentator Keith Olbermann is 55

Rock singer Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 53

Rock musician Gillian Gilbert is 53

Actress Bridget Fonda is 50

Actor Alan Cumming is 49

Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 46

Rock singer Mike Patton is 46

Rapper Tricky is 46

Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 45

Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt is 45

Actor Josh Randall is 42

Country singer Kevin Denney is 38

Tennis player Marat Safin is 34

Flashback: What Happened on January 26, ....

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•  1891 The Close Static Pump Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Henry M. Close, Joseph E. Close, Clarence C. Close, Henry Hice, and Richard R. Hice, all of Beaver Falls, PA. The company’s main office was in Beaver Falls.

•  1903 The West Virginia Legislature passed an act authorizing the city council of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, to acquire a supply of and convey water, and to construct water works. It was approved by the governor on January 30.

•  1907 Coal mine explosion in the Penco Mine at Lorenz, Upshur County killed 12. Mine owned by the Pennsylvania Coal Company.

•  1931 The Bank of Fayette at Fayetteville, Fayette County, closed.

•  1958 Congressman Robert Byrd confirmed that the death of Senator Neely had not changed his plans and that he would still be running in the 1958 primary election for the full six-year term United States Senate seat held by Republican Chapman Revercomb.

•  1992 The West Virginia Business and Industry Council, representing trade associations, chambers of commerce and companies, announced it opposed collective bargaining for state employees.

•  1995 Opposition stalls rehabilitation unit at War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 26

Today is Sunday, January 26, the 26th day of 2014. There are 339 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.“ — J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist (1904-1967).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 26, 1784, in a letter to his daughter Sarah (also called “Sally”), Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the choice of the bald eagle as the symbol of America, and stated his own preference: the turkey, calling it “a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America.“


On this date:

In 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.

In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.

In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.

In 1934, the 125th Street Apollo Theater opened in New York City’s Harlem district.

In 1939, during the Spanish Civil War, rebel forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco captured Barcelona. Principal photography began for David O. Selznick’s movie version of “Gone with the Wind.“

In 1942, the first American Expeditionary Force to go to Europe during World War II arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.

In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon — but the probe ended up missing its target by more than 22,000 miles.

In 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.

In 1988, Australians celebrated the 200th anniversary of their country as a grand parade of tall ships re-enacted the voyage of the first European settlers. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Phantom of the Opera” opened at Broadway’s Majestic Theater.

In 1993, Vaclav Havel was elected president of the newly formed Czech Republic.

In 1994, a scare occurred during a visit to Sydney, Australia, by Britain’s Prince Charles as college student David Kang lunged at the prince, firing two blank shots from a starter’s pistol. (Kang was later sentenced to 500 hours of community service.)


Ten years ago:

The Bush administration retreated from its once-confident claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; Democrats swiftly sought to turn the about-face into an election-year issue.

Lionel Tate, the Florida teen who’d killed a six-year-old playmate and became the youngest defendant in the nation to be locked away for life, was released after three years behind bars. (Tate is currently serving 30 years in prison for robbing a pizza delivery man in 2005, a crime which violated his probation in the murder case.)

At least 16 people were killed in the collapse of a building in Nasr City, Egypt.


Five years ago:

Timothy Geithner (GYT’-nur) was sworn in as the nation’s 75th treasury secretary, less than an hour after winning Senate confirmation.

The impeachment trial of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich) opened in Springfield, with Blagojevich refusing to take part, saying the rules were biased against him.

Nadya Suleman gave birth at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California to six boys and two girls, the world’s longest-surviving set of octuplets.


One year ago:

Thousands of people, many holding signs with names of gun violence victims, joined a rally in Washington, D.C. for gun control, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.

Victoria Azarenka won her second consecutive Australian Open title, beating Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Ashley Wagner became the first woman since Michelle Kwan in 2005 to win back-to-back titles in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, holding off up-and-comer Gracie Gold in Omaha, Neb.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Anne Jeffreys is 91

Actress Joan Leslie is 89

Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 85

Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker is 79

Actor Scott Glenn is 75

Singer Jean Knight is 71

Activist Angela Davis is 70

Rock musician Corky Laing (Mountain) is 66

Actor David Strathairn (streh-THEHRN’) is 65

Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is 61

Rock singer-musician Eddie Van Halen is 59

Reggae musician Norman Hassan (UB40) is 56

Actress-comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 56

Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky is 53

Musician Andrew Ridgeley is 51

Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazzie B. (Soul II Soul) is 51

Actor Paul Johansson is 50

Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is 44

Actress Jennifer Crystal is 41

Rock musician Chris Hesse (Hoobastank) is 40

Actor Gilles Marini (ZHEEL ma-REE’-nee) is 38

Gospel singer Tye Tribbett is 38

NBA player Vince Carter is 37

Actress Sarah Rue is 36

Actor Colin O’Donoghue (TV: “Once Upon a Time”) is 33

Country musician Michael Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 31

Flashback: What Happened on January 25, ....

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•  1873 fire destroyed the Seminary Building at West Virginia University in Morgantown, Monongalia County. It had been used as a dormitory.

•  1958 Governor Cecil Underwood appointed Republican Jack D. Hoblitzell, Jr., of Jackson County to fill the unexpired United States Senate seat of the late Matthew M. Neely.

•  1959 Grand opening ceremonies were held for the newly constructed Charleston Civic Center.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 25

Today is Saturday, January 25, the 25th day of 2014. There are 340 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but wants only to be provoked.“ — Katherine Anne Porter, American author (1894-1980).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 25, 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix (SHAH’-moh-nee), France.


On this date:

In 1533, England’s King Henry VIII secretly married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who later gave birth to Elizabeth I.

In 1787, Shays’s Rebellion suffered a setback when debt-ridden farmers led by Capt. Daniel Shays failed to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Mass.

In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln accepted Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s resignation as commander of the Army of the Potomac, and replaced him with Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

In 1890, reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) of the New York World completed a round-the-world journey in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes. The United Mine Workers of America was founded in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1915, Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service between New York and San Francisco.

In 1936, former Gov. Al Smith, D-N.Y., delivered a radio address in Washington, titled “Betrayal of the Democratic Party,“ in which he fiercely criticized the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1947, American gangster Al Capone died in Miami Beach, Fla., at age 48.

In 1956, Hank Greenberg and Joe Cronin were elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy held the first presidential news conference to be carried live on radio and television.

In 1971, Charles Manson and three women followers were convicted in Los Angeles of murder and conspiracy in the 1969 slayings of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate. Idi Amin seized power in Uganda by ousting President Milton Obote (oh-BOH’-tay) in a military coup.

In 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States.

In 1994, maintaining his innocence, singer Michael Jackson settled a child molestation lawsuit against him; terms were confidential, although the monetary figure was reportedly $22 million. The United States launched Clementine, an unmanned spacecraft that was to study the moon before it was “lost and gone forever.“


Ten years ago:

NASA’s Opportunity rover zipped its first pictures of Mars to Earth, showing a surface smooth and dark red in some places, and strewn with fragmented slabs of light bedrock in others.

Outgoing U.S. weapons inspector David Kay told National Public Radio his inability to find illicit arms in Iraq raised serious questions about U.S. intelligence-gathering.

Mikhail Saakashvili (sah-kahsh-VIH’-leh) was inaugurated as Georgia’s president.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” snared best dramatic film at the Golden Globes; HBO’s six-hour adaptation of “Angels in America” won best miniseries or TV movie.


Five years ago:

The White House used the Sunday talk shows to warn the country could face a long and painful financial recovery, even with major government intervention.

The Eastern Conference won the NHL All-Star game 12-11.

Jeremy Abbott won his first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Cleveland.

“Slumdog Millionaire” won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best cast of a motion picture; “30 Rock” and “Mad Men” won best for TV comedy and drama casts.


One year ago:

The U.S. Department of Education declared that students with disabilities had to be given a fair shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues.

Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators marched through Washington to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to protest the landmark decision that legalized abortion.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Gregg Palmer is 87

The former president of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, is 86

Actor Dean Jones is 83

Country singer Claude Gray is 82

Movie director Tobe Hooper is 71

Actress Leigh Taylor-Young is 69

Actress Jenifer (cq) Lewis is 57

Actress Dinah Manoff is 56

Country musician Mike Burch (River Road) is 48

Rhythm-and-blues singer Kina is 45

Actress China Kantner is 43

Actress Ana Ortiz is 43

Musician Matt Odmark (OHD’-mark) (Jars of Clay) is 40

Actress Mia Kirshner is 39

Actress Christine Lakin is 35

Rhythm-and-blues singer Alicia (ah-LEE’-shuh) Keys is 33

Actor Michael Trevino (TV: “The Vampire Diaries”) is 29

Flashback: What Happened on January 24, ....

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•  1849 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act establishing a separate polling place in Braxton County.

•  1862 The Savings Bank of Weston, Lewis County, was incorporated by the Reorganized Government of Virginia General Assembly by the following: Henry Flesher, Allen Simpson, J. G. Vandervort, A. C. Hale, and P. M. Hale.

•  1863 The Reorganized Government of Virginia General Assembly issued a merchants license to Smith and Williams to sell goods in Jackson County, forfeiting their license in Roane County.

•  1865 The Wirt County, Burning Springs and Standing Stone Oil Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Henry G. Fisher, Walter Bell, John E. McCaullay, William H. Richards, and William H. Harding, all of Philadelphia. The company’s main office was at Burning Springs.

•  1872 The Spencer Masonic Building Association in was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: J. B. Wolf of Roane County; William Woodyard, J. G. Schelling, John E. Goodwin, A. G. Bailey, S. G. McColloch, and John B. Thompson, all of Spencer, Roane County.

•  1980 500 employees at the Volkswagen factory in South Charleston (Kanawha County) ended a three-week strike. This was one of numerous strikes in the Kanawha Valley during 1980.

•  1992 Rose City Cafeteria announced that it would close its downtown restaurant. Also, financially troubled Best Products Company Inc. announced it would close its Charleston Town Center store in March.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 24

Today is Friday, January 24, the 24th day of 2014. There are 341 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“God gives us relatives; thank God, we can choose our friends.“ — Addison Mizner, American architect (1872-1933).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 24, 1942, the Roberts Commission placed much of the blame for America’s lack of preparedness for Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, the Navy and Army commanders.


On this date:

In 1742, Charles VII was elected Holy Roman Emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession.

In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of ‘49.

In 1908, the Boy Scouts movement began in England under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell.

In 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader. (However, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg.)

In 1939, at least 28,000 people were killed by an earthquake that devastated the city of Chillan in Chile.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

In 1961, a U.S. Air Force B-52 crashed near Goldsboro, N.C., dropping its payload of two nuclear bombs, neither of which went off; three crew members were killed.

In 1963, a U.S. Air Force B-52 on a training mission crashed into Elephant Mountain in Maine after encountering turbulence and losing its vertical stabilizer; seven of the nine crew members were killed.

In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.

In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.

In 1984, Apple Computer began selling its first Macintosh model, which boasted a built-in 9-inch monochrome display, a clock rate of 8 megahertz and 128k of RAM.

In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair.


Ten years ago:

Howard Dean sharply questioned John Kerry’s judgment on Iraq as Democratic presidential rivals raced through a final weekend of campaigning before the New Hampshire primary.

NASA’s Opportunity rover landed on Mars, arriving at the Red Planet exactly three weeks after its identical twin, Spirit.


Five years ago:

Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who’d safely landed a crippled US Airways jetliner in the Hudson River, received a hero’s homecoming in Danville, Calif.

President Barack Obama met with his economic advisers after asking Americans to support his economic package as a way to better schools, lower electricity bills and health coverage for millions who lose insurance.

Brazilian model Mariana Bridi, 20, died after contracting an infection that had forced doctors to amputate her hands and feet.

Alissa Czisny won the women’s title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland.

Katie Stam of Indiana was crowned Miss America, the first winner from the Hoosier State.


One year ago:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the lifting of a ban on women serving in combat.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened a hearing into President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state.

President Obama appointed Mary Jo White, a former prosecutor, to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In Chicago, David Coleman Headley, an American drug dealer who had faced life in prison, was sentenced instead to 35 years for helping plan the deadly 2008 attacks on Mumbai, India — a punishment prosecutors said reflected his broad cooperation with U.S. investigators.

New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson announced he was changing his team’s nickname to the Pelicans for the start of next season.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Jerry Maren (“The Wizard of Oz”) is 95

Actor Marvin Kaplan (“Top Cat”) is 87

Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 78

Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 75

Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 73

Singer Aaron Neville is 73

Actor Michael Ontkean is 68

Actor Daniel Auteuil is 64

Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 64

Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 63

Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 56

Actress Nastassja Kinski is 55

Rhythm-and-blues singer Theo Peoples is 53

Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 51

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is 48

Comedian Phil LaMarr is 47

Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 46

Rhythm-and-blues singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 44

Actor Matthew Lillard is 44

Actress Merrilee McCommas is 43

Blues/rock singer Beth Hart is 42

Actor Ed Helms is 40

Actress Tatyana Ali is 35

Rock musician Mitchell Marlow (Filter) is 35

Actress Mischa Barton is 28

Flashback: What Happened on January 23, ....

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•  1860 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act appropriating up to $150,000 to settle debts owed by the state for the capture of John Brown and his raiders in Harpers Ferry and their prosecution and execution in Charles Town, Jefferson County.

•  1865 Chronicles of Border Warfare author Alexander Scott Withers died in Parkersburg. He was buried near Weston, Lewis County.

•  1884 The Weston, Spencer and Ravenswood Railroad Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: William Woodyard, C. C. Cleavenger, A. B. Wells, G. P. Stone, P. C. Adams, D. W. Chapman, A. G. Bailey, William R. Goff, David Simmons, A. A. Smith, L. D. Simmons, Marshal Depue, J. G. Schilling, M. W. Kidd, John Green, J. M. Cleavenger, S. A. Greathouse, C. C. Smith, all of Spencer, Roane County; P. Hays, C. B. Conrad, R. F. Kidd of Glenville, Gilmer County; Haymaker and Hays, John E. Laughlin of Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County; I. M. Adams, Benjamin D. Williams, John A. McIntosh, E. C. Smith, Robert S. Brown of Ravenswood, Jackson County; Edward H. Rader, Henry C. Flesher, Warren Miller, George J. Walker of Jackson Court House, Jackson County; and Charles E. Hogg of Point Pleasant, Mason County. The company’s purpose was to construct a railroad from at or near Weston in Lewis County, to Glenville in Gilmer County, through Calhoun County, to Spencer in Roane County, through Ripley to Ravenswood in Jackson County. The company’s main office was in Spencer.

•  1903 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution declaring the rhododendron, also known as the big laurel, to be the state flower.

•  1958 Construction began on the Sheanndoah Downs race track in Charles Town, Jefferson County.

•  1992 The president of a Charleston car dealersip and three employees were indicted on drug or drug-related money-laundering charges by a federal grand jury. Two Oak Hill, Fayette County, car dealership employees were also indicted.

•  1995 West Virginia stream cleanup goes federal.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™:  January 23

The Gilmer Free Press

Today is Thursday, January 23, the 23rd day of 2014. There are 342 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.“ — Salvador Dali (1904-1989).


Today’s Highlight in History:

On January 23, 1964, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified as South Dakota became the 38th state to endorse it.


On this date:

In 1789, Georgetown University was established in present-day Washington, D.C.

In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the so-called “Lame Duck Amendment,“ was ratified as Missouri approved it.

In 1937, 17 people went on trial in Moscow during Josef Stalin’s “Great Purge.“ (All were convicted of conspiracy; all but four were executed.)

In 1944, Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (“The Scream”) died near Oslo at age 80.

In 1950, the Israeli Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In 1960, the U.S. Navy-operated bathyscaphe (BATH’-ih-skahf) Trieste carried two men to the deepest known point in the Pacific Ocean, reaching a depth of more than 35,000 feet.

In 1964, Arthur Miller’s play “After the Fall,“ widely regarded as a thinly-disguised account of Miller’s failed marriage to Marilyn Monroe, opened in New York.

In 1968, North Korea seized the Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, charging its crew with being on a spying mission. (The crew was released 11 months later.)

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War, and would be formally signed four days later in Paris.

In 1989, surrealist artist Salvador Dali died in his native Figueres, Spain, at age 84.


Ten years ago:

The Illinois Supreme Court upheld former Gov. George Ryan’s powers to commute sentences, keeping 32 spared inmates off death row.

The enduring situation comedy “Friends” filmed its final episode in front of an invitation-only audience.

Bob Keeshan, TV’s “Captain Kangaroo,“ died in Windsor, Vt., at age 76.


Five years ago:

President Barack Obama quietly ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that performed abortions or provided information on the option.

New York Gov. David Paterson chose Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEHR’-sten JIL’-uh-brand) to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.


One year ago:

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered fiery rejoinders to Republican critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the deadly attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Cardinal Jozef Glemp, 83, the longtime head of Poland’s influential Roman Catholic church at a time when it played a key role in the fight against communism, died in Warsaw.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Jeanne Moreau is 86

Actress Chita Rivera is 81

Actor-director Lou Antonio is 80

Actor Gil Gerard is 71

Actor Rutger Hauer is 70

Rhythm-and-blues singer Jerry Lawson (The Persuasions) is 70

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., is 67

Singer Anita Pointer is 66

Actor Richard Dean Anderson is 64

Rock musician Bill Cunningham is 64

Rock singer Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) is 61

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (vee-yah-ry-GOH’-sah) is 61

Princess Caroline of Monaco is 57

Singer Anita Baker is 56

Reggae musician Earl Falconer (UB40) is 55

Actress Gail O’Grady is 51

Actress Mariska Hargitay is 50

Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Nelson is 43

Actress Tiffani Thiessen is 40

Rock musician Nick Harmer (Death Cab for Cutie) is 39

Christian rock musician Nick DePartee (Kutless) is 29

Singer-actress Rachel Crow is 16

Flashback: What Happened on January 22, ....

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•  1867 The West Virginia Legislature established the Calhoun County seat at the farm of Simon P. Stump at Arnoldsburg.

•  1953 Governor Marland proposed a tax on natural resource industries, including coal, which would generate $18 million annually. Due to political pressure from the coal industry, the legislature overwhelmingly rejected the proposal.

•  1964 WSGB - AM radio went on the air, the first radio station in Sutton, Braxton County.

•  1992 Pro-choice and anti-abortion rights advocates marched at the Statehouse on the 19th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. Each group drew more than 150 participants.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 22

Today is Wednesday, January 22, the 22nd day of 2014. There are 343 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“I know there’s a proverb which that says ‘To err is human,‘ but a human error is nothing to what a computer can do if it tries.“ — Dame Agatha Christie, English mystery writer (1890-1976).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 22, 1984, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 to win Super Bowl XVIII (18), played at Tampa Stadium in Florida; the CBS-TV broadcast featured Apple Computer’s famous “1984” commercial introducing the Macintosh computer.


On this date:

In 1498, during his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrived at the present-day Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

In 1901, Britain’s Queen Victoria died at age 81.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson pleaded for an end to war in Europe, calling for “peace without victory.“ (By April, however, America also was at war.)

In 1922, Pope Benedict XV died; he was succeeded by Pius XI.

In 1938, Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town” was performed publicly for the first time in Princeton, N.J.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces began landing at Anzio, Italy.

In 1953, the Arthur Miller drama “The Crucible” opened on Broadway.

In 1968, the fast-paced sketch comedy series “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” premiered on NBC-TV.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, legalized abortions using a trimester approach. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at his Texas ranch at age 64.

In 1987, Pennsylvania treasurer R. Budd Dwyer, convicted of defrauding the state, proclaimed his innocence at a news conference before pulling out a gun and shooting himself to death in front of horrified spectators.

In 1994, actor Telly Savalas died in Universal City, Calif., a day after turning 72.

In 1998, Theodore Kaczynski (kah-ZIHN’-skee) pleaded guilty in Sacramento, Calif., to being the Unabomber in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole.


Ten years ago:

South Dakota politician Bill Janklow was sentenced to 100 days in jail for an auto accident that killed a motorcyclist, Randy Scott. (The 64-year-old Republican was released on May 17, 2004.)

Enron Corp.‘s former top accountant, Richard Causey, surrendered to federal authorities; he pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges. (Causey later pleaded guilty to securities fraud and was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison; he served 4 3/4 years.)

Actress-dancer Ann Miller died in Los Angeles at age 80.


Five years ago:

President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp within a year (however, the facility remains in operation, with Republican and some Democratic lawmakers repeatedly blocking efforts to transfer terror suspects to the United States).

The Senate Finance Committee cleared the nomination of Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary, 18-5, despite unhappiness over his mistakes in paying his taxes.

A Chinese court sentenced two men to death and a dairy boss to life in prison for their roles in producing and selling infant formula tainted with melamine that was blamed for the deaths of at least six babies and sickening thousands more.


One year ago:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line bloc fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election, forcing Netanyahu to negotiate a broad coalition deal.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning North Korea’s rocket launch in December 2012 and imposing new sanctions.

An Indonesian court sentenced 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 — died in New York at age 75.


Today’s Birthdays:

Former Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., is 86

Actress Piper Laurie is 82

Actor Seymour Cassel is 79

Author Joseph Wambaugh is 77

Actor John Hurt is 74

Singer Steve Perry is 65

Country singer-musician Teddy Gentry (Alabama) is 62

Movie director Jim Jarmusch is 61

Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy is 57

Actress Linda Blair is 55

Actress Diane Lane is 49

Actor-rap DJ Jazzy Jeff is 49

Country singer Regina Nicks (Regina Regina) is 49

Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gay (Shai) is 45

Actress Katie Finneran (TV: “The Michael J. Fox Show”) is 43

Actor Gabriel Macht is 42

Actor Balthazar Getty is 39

Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson is 34

Pop singer Willa Ford is 33

Actress Beverley (cq) Mitchell is 33

Rock singer-musician Ben Moody is 33

Actress-singer Phoebe Strole (TV: “Glee”) is 31

Actress Sami Gayle (TV: “Blue Bloods”) is 18

Flashback: What Happened on January 21, ....

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•  1901 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution appointing a joint committee to study the advisability of purchasing the American Indian mound in Moundsville, Marshall County.

•  1903 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution denying the state’s responsibility to pay the Virginia Debt.

•  1903 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution urging its United States Senators and Representatives to secure funding to improve navigation on the Little Kanawha River through Gilmer County, Braxton County, Calhoun County, Wirt County, and Wood County.

•  1927 Confederate General John McCausland died.

•  1971 Democrats Robert H. Mollohan, Harley O. Staggers, John M. Slack, Jr., Ken Hechler, and James Kee retained their seats as United States House of Representatives members from West Virginia.

•  1992 Latimer’s, a downtown specialty clothing store in Charleston, announced it would close on February 1. The store had been open on Quarrier Street since the 1970s.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 21

Today is Tuesday, January 21, the 21st day of 2014. There are 344 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:
“Would to God that we might spend a single day really well.“ — Thomas a Kempis, German monk and author (c. 1380-1471).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 21, 1954, the first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton (GRAH’-tuhn), Conn., as first lady Mamie Eisenhower christened the vessel with the traditional bottle of champagne broken against the bow. (However, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later.)


On this date:

In 1648, Margaret Brent went before the Maryland colonial assembly to seek two votes in that body, one for herself as a landowner, the other as the legal representative of the absent Lord Baltimore; the assembly turned her down.

In 1793, during the French Revolution, King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, was executed on the guillotine.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and four other Southerners whose states had seceded from the Union resigned from the U.S. Senate.

In 1908, New York City’s Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance prohibiting women from smoking in public (the measure was vetoed two weeks later by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr.).

In 1910, the Great Paris Flood began as the rain-swollen Seine River burst its banks, sending water into the French capital.

In 1924, Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin died at age 53.

In 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).

In 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.

In 1968, the Battle of Khe Sanh began during the Vietnam War. An American B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed in Greenland, killing one crew member and scattering radioactive material.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

In 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.)

In 1994, a jury in Manassas, Va., found Lorena Bobbitt not guilty by reason of temporary insanity of maliciously wounding her husband John, whom she’d accused of sexually assaulting her.


Ten years ago:

President George W. Bush visited community colleges in Ohio and Arizona, where he highlighted the economy and several new job-training initiatives he’d proposed a day earlier in his State of the Union speech.

The recording industry sued 532 computer users it said were illegally distributing songs over the Internet.


Five years ago:

In a whirlwind first full day in office, President Barack Obama showcased efforts to revive the economy, summoned top military officials to chart a new course in Iraq and eased into the daunting thicket of Middle East diplomacy.

The Senate confirmed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.


One year ago:

A day after being inaugurated for a second term in a private Sunday ceremony, President Barack Obama took a public oath, summoning a divided nation to act with “passion and dedication” to broaden equality and prosperity at home, nurture democracy around the world and combat global warming.

British movie director Michael Winner, 77, who’d made 30 films, including three in the “Death Wish” series, died in London.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Ann Wedgeworth is 80

World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus is 74

Opera singer Placido Domingo is 73

Singer Mac Davis is 72

Actress Jill Eikenberry is 67

Country musician Jim Ibbotson (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 67

Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 64

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke is 64

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is 63

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is 61

Actor-director Robby Benson is 58

Actress Geena Davis is 58

Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon is 51

Actress Charlotte Ross is 46

Actor John Ducey is 45

Actress Karina Lombard is 45

Rapper Levirt (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 44

Rock musician Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel) is 44

Rock singer-songwriter Cat Power is 42

Rock DJ Chris Kilmore (Incubus) is 41

Actor Vincent Laresca is 40

Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 38

Actor Jerry Trainor is 37

Country singer Phil Stacey is 36

Rhythm-and-blues singer Nokio (Dru Hill) is 35

Actress Izabella Miko (MEE’-koh) is 33

Flashback: What Happened on January 20, ....

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•  1800 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act declaring the Monongalia River to be a public highway from the Pennsylvania state line, to the confluence of the Tyger Valley River and the West Branch River, to John Nusum’s mill, to Edward Jackson’s mill, up Simpson’s Creek, to Benjamin Wilson’s mill, up Elk Creek, to George Jackson’s mill.

•  1871 The Lewis County Agricultural and Mechanical Society was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Abram Smith, Jr., J. M. Bennett, E. Ralston, F. M. Chalfant, Thomas A. Edwards, John C. Jackson, Jacob Smith, Jr., E. G. Minnich, W. H. Aspinall, and A. W. Woodford, all of Lewis County.

•  1873 The Clarksburg Mutual Insurance Company changed its name to the Bank of West Virginia at Clarksburg.

•  1978 The heaviest snowfall on record covered West Virginia.

•  1992 Heiner’s Bakery employees in Huntington returned to work after approving a new three-year contract.

•  1995 Governor Caperton sets deadline for college officials to propose reforms.

2014 > WayBackWhen™: January 20

Today is Monday, January 20, the 20th day of 2014. There are 345 days left in the year. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.


Thought for Today:

“Know yourself, and your neighbor will not mistake you.“ — Scottish proverb.


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 20, 1981, Iran released 52 Americans it had held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.


On this date:

In 1265, England’s first representative Parliament met for the first time.

In 1649, King Charles I of England went on trial, accused of high treason (he was found guilty and executed by month’s end).

In 1887, the U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.

In 1936, Britain’s King George V died; he was succeeded by Edward VIII.

In 1942, Nazi officials held the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their “final solution” that called for exterminating Jews.

In 1954, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,“ a play by Herman Wouk based on part of his novel “The Caine Mutiny,“ opened on Broadway. The National Negro Network, America’s first black-owned radio network, began broadcasting over 20 stations (however, it folded the following year).

In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States.

In 1964, Capitol Records released the album “Meet the Beatles!“

In 1986, the United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1989, George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st president of the United States; Dan Quayle was sworn in as vice president.

In 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. (Faulkner joined the cadet corps in Aug. 1995 under court order but soon dropped out, citing isolation and stress from the legal battle.)

In 2001, George Walker Bush became America’s 43rd president after one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history.


Ten years ago:

President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, asserted that America was strengthening its economy and successfully combatting terrorism.

Dick Gephardt quit the Democratic presidential race.

Martha Stewart’s stock-trading trial formally began in New York (Stewart ended up serving a five-month prison sentence for lying about a stock sale).

The Salvation Army announced a donation likely to exceed $1.5 billion from the estate of Joan Kroc, the late widow of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc.


Five years ago:

Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation’s 44th, as well as first African-American, president.

Russian natural gas began flowing into Ukraine after a nearly two-week cutoff that had left large parts of Europe cold and dark.


One year ago:

President Barack Obama was sworn in for four more years in a simple Sunday ceremony at the White House.

The San Francisco 49ers rebounded from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in the NFC championship game.

The Baltimore Ravens earned their first Super Bowl appearance in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots for the AFC championship.


Today’s Birthdays:

Comedian Arte Johnson is 85

Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 84

Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 74

Singer Eric Stewart is 69

Movie director David Lynch is 68

Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 67

Actor Daniel Benzali is 64

Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 62

Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 62

Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 58

Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 56

Actor James Denton is 51

Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 49

Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 49

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 49

Actor Rainn Wilson is 48

Actress Stacey Dash is 47

TV personality Melissa Rivers is 46

Singer Xavier is 46

Actor Reno Wilson is 45

Singer Edwin McCain is 44

Actor Skeet Ulrich is 44

Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 43

Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 35

Singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee is 30

Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 29

Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 28

Actor Evan Peters is 27

Flashback: What Happened on January 19, ....

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•  1836 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act providing for the construction of a road from Weston in Lewis County to Charleston.

•  1848 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act creating Wirt county from parts of Wood County and Jackson County, with the county seat at Elizabethtown, present-day Elizabeth.

•  1888 A pitched battle occurred between gangs of the Hatfield and the McCoy families on Grapevine Creek, a tributary to the Tug Fork River, Logan County. The battle followed one McCoy foray into West Virginia during which they murdered Jim Vance who had led the attack on the McCoy cabin on January 1, and a second in which 6 Hatfield clan members were captured and taken to the Pike County jail. In the battle, Bill Dempsey, another Hatfield, was killed.

•  1973 Kanawha County Board of Education member Alice Moore began her attempts to get creationism taught along with evolution in schools. The following year, Moore played a key role in the textbook controversy.

•  1981 John D. Rockefeller IV was inaugurated in Charleston for his second term as West Virginia governor.

•  1992 More than 200 Heiner’s Bakery employees in Huntington went on strike.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: January 19

Today is Sunday, January 19, the 19th day of 2014. There are 346 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“America is woven of many strands. I would recognise them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.“ — Ralph Ellison, American author (1913-1994).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 19, 1807, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Va.


On this date:

In 1764, John Wilkes was expelled from the British Parliament for seditious libel and obscenity (the former charge was for criticizing a speech delivered by King George III; the latter, for penning a pornographic parody of Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Man”).

In 1853, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Il Trovatore” premiered in Rome.

In 1861, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the Union.

In 1937, millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.

In 1942, during World War II, Japan invaded Burma (Myanmar).

In 1944, the federal government relinquished control of the nation’s railroads to their owners following settlement of a wage dispute.

In 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television for the first time, with the permission of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1966, Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India.

In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon nominated G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court; however, the nomination was defeated because of controversy over Carswell’s past racial views.

In 1977, in one of his last acts of office, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American convicted of treason for making wartime broadcasts for Japan.

In 1981, the United States and Iran signed an accord paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.

In 1992, German government and Jewish officials dedicated a Holocaust memorial at the villa on the outskirts of Berlin where the notorious Wannsee Conference had taken place.


Ten years ago:

John Kerry won Iowa’s Democratic caucuses, while John Edwards placed second; Howard Dean, who finished third, delivered a fist-pumping, bellowing concession speech that was viewed as politically damaging.

A freighter capsized near the western Norwegian port of Bergen, killing 18.


Five years ago:

Russia and Ukraine signed a deal restoring natural gas shipments to Ukraine and paving the way for an end to the nearly two-week cutoff of most Russian gas to a freezing Europe.


One year ago:

President Barack Obama said the U.S. stood ready to provide whatever assistance Algerian officials needed in the aftermath of a deadly terrorist attack at a natural gas complex in the Sahara, a siege which finally came to an end with a second assault by special forces.

Thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully at state capitals around the U.S. to rally against stricter limits on firearms.

Minister Greg Griego, his wife, Sara, and three of their children were shot to death in their home near Albuquerque, N.M.; the couple’s teenage son, Nehemiah, is charged with murder.

Death claimed baseball Hall-of-Famers Stan Musial at age 92 and Earl Weaver at age 82.


Today’s Birthdays:

Former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar is 94

Actor Fritz Weaver is 88

Actress Tippi Hedren is 84

Former PBS newsman Robert MacNeil is 83

Movie director Richard Lester is 82

Actor-singer Michael Crawford is 72

Actress Shelley Fabares is 70

Country singer Dolly Parton is 68

ABC newswoman Ann Compton is 67

TV chef Paula Deen is 67

Rock singer Martha Davis is 63

Singer Dewey Bunnell (America) is 62

Actor Desi Arnaz Jr. is 61

Actress Katey Sagal is 60

Comedian Paul Rodriguez is 59

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle is 59

Reggae musician Mickey Virtue (UB40) is 57

Rock musician Jeff Pilson (Foreigner) is 56

Actor Paul McCrane is 53

Actor William Ragsdale is 53

International Tennis Hall of Famer Stefan Edberg is 48

Rock singer Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) is 46

Singer Trey Lorenz is 45

Actor Shawn Wayans is 43

Rock singer-musician John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) is 43

Actress Drea (DRAY-uh’) de Matteo is 42

Comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo is 40

Actress Marsha Thomason is 38

Actress Bitsie Tulloch is 33

Actress Jodie Sweetin is 32

Actor Logan Lerman is 22

Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson is 22

Rapper Mac Miller is 22

Flashback: What Happened on January 18, ....

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•  1862 Wheeling convention completed the first West Virginia Constitution.

•  1887 The Ritchie County Agricultural Fair Association was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Creed Collins, James Kelley, J. B. Crumrine, G. P. Sigler, J. T. Maxwell, H. N. Sharp, M. C. Duty, E. L. Merifield, H. J. Scott, G. W. Thomas, John H. Gray, E. E. Wills, W. W. Murdoch, William Timmons, J. R. Cunningham, S. V. Wilson, James Boyle, J. C. Merrifield, P. A. Perrell, Madison Lambert, Peter Thomas of Pennsboro, Ritchie County; and M. S. Hall of Harrisville, Ritchie County. The association’s main office was at Pennsboro.

•  1937 West Virginia Governor John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV was born in New York City, three weeks after the death of his great-grandfather, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller.

•  1937 Homer Adams Holt was inaugurated in Charleston as the twentieth West Virginia governor, serving until 1941.

•  1937 West Virginia governor John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV was born in New York City, three weeks after the death of his great-grandfather oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller.

•  1958 Matthew Mansfield Neely, the twenty-first West Virginia governor, died in Washington, D. C, while serving as a United States Senator. He was buried in Fairmont, Marion County.

•  1961 Governor Wally Barron delivered his first address to the West Virginia Legislature, which approved his proposed personal income tax.

•  1965 Hullett Carlson Smith was inaugurated in Charleston as the twenty-seventh West Virginia governor, serving until 1969. Upon leaving office, Governor Wally Barron became a lawyer for the United Fuel Gas Company (which later became Columbia Gas Company).

2014 > WayBackWhen™: January 18

Today is Saturday, January 18, the 18th day of 2014. There are 347 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“The compensation of growing old was simply this: that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained — at last! — the power which adds the supreme flavor to existence, the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it round, slowly, in the light.“ — Virginia Woolf, English author (1882-1941).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 18, 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his Curtiss biplane in for a safe landing on the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Harbor.


On this date:

In 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook reached the present-day Hawaiian Islands, which he named the “Sandwich Islands.“

In 1862, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Va., at age 71, shortly before he could take his seat as an elected member of the Confederate Congress.

In 1871, William I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles (vehr-SY’), France.

In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending the (First) World War, opened in Versailles (vehr-SY’), France.

In 1943, during World War II, Jewish insurgents in the Warsaw Ghetto launched their initial armed resistance against Nazi troops, who eventually succeeded in crushing the rebellion. A U.S. ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread — aimed at reducing bakeries’ demand for metal replacement parts — went into effect.

In 1949, Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular mass swindles in history, died destitute at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 66.

In 1957, a trio of B-52’s completed the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.

In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler,“ was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973.)

In 1970, David Oman McKay, the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at the age of 96.

In 1988, a China Southwest Airlines Ilyushin 18 crashed while on approach to Chongqing Airport, killing all 108 people on board.

In 1993, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.

In 1994, Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh released his final report in which he said former President Ronald Reagan had acquiesced in a cover-up of the scandal, an accusation Reagan called “baseless.“


Ten years ago:

A suicide truck bombing outside the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad killed at least 31 people.

A 15-day hostage drama began at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis near Buckeye, where two inmates attempting to escape took two correctional officers hostage. (One guard was released midway through the ordeal; the other, a woman, was held the entire time, during which she was raped and beaten.)

The New England Patriots earned their second trip to the Super Bowl in three seasons by defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 in the AFC championship game; the Carolina Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3, in the NFC championship game.


Five years ago:

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

A star-studded pre-inaugural concert took place on the National Mall, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Bono and Beyonce, with President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, in attendance.

The Arizona Cardinals of the NFC advanced to their first Super Bowl with a 32-25 win over the Philadelphia Eagles; the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-14 to win the AFC Championship and reach their seventh Super Bowl.


One year ago:

Former Democratic New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted on charges that he’d used his office for personal gain, accepting payoffs, free trips and gratuities from contractors while the city was struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (Nagin, who later pleaded not guilty, faces trial in late January 2014.)


Today’s Birthdays:

Movie director John Boorman is 81

Former Sen. Paul Kirk, D-Mass., is 76

Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 73

Comedian-singer-musician Brett Hudson is 61

Actor-director Kevin Costner is 59

Country singer Mark Collie is 58

Actress Jane Horrocks is 50

Comedian Dave Attell is 49

Actor Jesse L. Martin is 45

Rapper DJ Quik is 44

Rock singer Jonathan Davis (Korn) is 43

Singer Christian Burns (BBMak) is 41

Former NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous is 41

Actor Derek Richardson is 38

Actor Jason Segel is 34

Actress Samantha Mumba is 31

Country singer Kristy Lee Cook (TV: “American Idol”) is 30

Flashback: What Happened on January 17, ....

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•  1866 The Goose Creek and Rock Camp Oil Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Isaac Shanneman, Joseph G. Huyett of Reading, PA; Richard Lechner, Simon J. Stine of Lebanon, PA; and John W. Simonton of Harrisburg, PA. The company’s purpose was to mine oil, coal, and other minerals, with their main office at Ellenboro, Ritchie County.

•  1874 Pearl Dorsey, the first woman instructor in West Virginia farmers’ institutes, was born in Marshall County.

•  1949 Okey Leonidas Patteson was inaugurated in Charleston as the twenty-third West Virginia governor, serving until 1953.

•  1962 Former West Virginia University standout Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers scored 63 points, setting a record for National Basketball Association guards, in a game against the New York Knicks.

•  1977 John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV was inaugurated in Charleston as the twenty-ninth West Virginia governor, serving two terms until 1985.

•  1983 Union Carbide announced over 150 layoffs at its Tech Center in South Charleston.

•  1984 Dale Nitzschke was named the new president of Marshall University.

•  1992 The House of Delegates approved legislation to oust any elected official found guilty in court of firing employees for political reasons. Political firings had been outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court, but some West Virginia officials continued the practice.

2014 > WayBackWhen™: January 17

Today is Friday, January 17, the 17th day of 2014. There are 348 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.“ — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 17, 1994, the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


On this date:

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

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 1944, during World War II, Allied forces launched the first of four battles for Monte Cassino in Italy; the Allies were ultimately successful.

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 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., ruled 5-4 that the use of home video cassette recorders to tape television programs for private viewing did not violate federal copyright laws.

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 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:

Three U.S. soldiers were killed north of Baghdad, pushing the U.S. death toll in the Iraq conflict to 500.

Hollywood producer Ray Stark died at age 88.


Five years ago:

Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire in its 22-day Gaza offensive.

President-elect Barack Obama arrived in the nation’s capital after a daylong rail trip that began in Philadelphia, retracing the path Abraham Lincoln took in 1861.

Salvage crews hoisted a downed US Airways jetliner from the Hudson River, two days after a dramatic water landing survived by everyone on board.


One year ago:

Algerian helicopters and special forces stormed a gas plant in the stony plains of the Sahara to wipe out Islamist militants and free hostages from at least 10 countries.

Nearly all the militants were killed; at least 40 hostages died in the standoff.

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network broadcast the first of a two-part interview with Lance Armstrong, in which the disgraced cyclist told Winfrey he had started doping in the mid-1990s.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Betty White is 92

Former FCC chairman Newton N. Minow is 88

Actor James Earl Jones is 83

Talk show host Maury Povich is 75

International Boxing Hall of Famer Muhammad Ali is 72

Pop singer Chris Montez is 72

Rhythm-and-blues singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 69

Actress Joanna David is 67

Rock musician Mick Taylor is 66

Rhythm-and-blues singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 61

Singer Steve Earle is 59

Singer Paul Young is 58

Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 57

Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 55

Movie director/screenwriter Brian Helgeland is 53

Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 52

Actor Denis O’Hare is 52

First lady Michelle Obama is 50

Actor Joshua Malina is 48

Singer Shabba Ranks is 48

Rock musician Jon Wysocki is 46

Actor Naveen Andrews is 45

Electronic music DJ Tiesto is 45

Rapper Kid Rock is 43

Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 39

Actor-writer Leigh Whannel is 37

Actress-singer Zooey Deschanel is 34

Singer Ray J is 33

Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 32

DJ/singer Calvin Harris is 30

Folk-rock musician Jeremiah Fraites is 28

Flashback: What Happened on January 16, ....

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•  1867 West Virginia Legislature ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

•  1884 The Kanawha Valley Railroad Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Charles S. Despard, W. N. Chancellor, Isaac Scott, D. H. Leonard, Charles B. Tavenner of Parkersburg; N. Hoffman, V. B. Archer, Thomas Foster, J. H. Bumgardner of Wirt Court House (Elizabeth), Wirt County; Marshall Depue, Jeff. Simmons of Roane County; and A. Knotts of Calhoun County. The company’s purpose was to construct a railroad from at or near Parkersburg through Wood County, through Wirt Court House (Elizabeth) in Wirt County, through Spencer in Roane County, through Calhoun County, through Glenville in Gilmer County, to a point at or near Weston, Lewis County. The company’s main office was in Parkersburg.

•  1891 The Pennsboro, Auburn and Glenville Railroad Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: M. P. Kimball, J. M. Wilson, William T. Harris of Pennsboro, Ritchie County; James E. Tyler of Baltimore; and M. H. Tarleton of Harrisville, Ritchie County. The company’s purpose was to construct a railroad from Goose Neck in Ritchie County to Glenville in Gilmer County, with its main office in Pennsboro.

•  1901 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution declining to take action on the Virginia Debt question and denying West Virginia’s responsibility to pay it.

•  1901 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution appointing a committee to meet with the Secretary of the Navy to ascertain what responsibility, if any, the state had for the new armed cruiser West Virginia.

•  1969 Governor Arch Moore proposed a $1,000 per year raise for public schoolteachers, with the money provided from the elimination of a sales tax exemption for industries involved with manufacturing, contracting, transportation, and natural resources.

•  1979 An explosion and fire occurred at the DuPont plant in Belle (Kanawha County).

•  1989 Gaston Caperton was inaugurated in Charleston as the thirty-first West Virginia governor.

•  1995 Governor Caperton makes speech against school violence throughout West Virginia in an education briefing for lawmakers in Charleston.

2014 > WayBackWhen™: January 16

Today is Thursday, January 16, the 16th day of 2014. There are 349 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“Goodwill is the only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.“ — Marshall Field, department store founder (1834-1906).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 16, 1944, during World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower formally assumed command of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in London.


On this date:

In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as “Ivan the Terrible”) was crowned Czar.

In 1883, the U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.

In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)

In 1935, fugitive gangster Fred Barker and his mother, Kate “Ma” Barker, were killed in a shootout with the FBI at Lake Weir, Fla.

In 1942, actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother Elizabeth and 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nev., while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.

In 1957, three B-52’s took off from Castle Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, which lasted 45 hours and 19 minutes.

In 1964, the musical “Hello, Dolly!“ opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.

In 1969, two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.

In 1978, NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America’s first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America’s first black astronaut in space.

In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd’s passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)

In 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN’ rah-MOHN’). (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)


Ten years ago:

Pop star Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges during a court appearance in Santa Maria, Calif.; the judge scolded Jackson for being 21 minutes late. (Jackson was eventually acquitted.)

NASA announced that the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope would be allowed to degrade and eventually become useless.

Freddy Adu, the 14-year-old phenom, was selected by D.C. United as the first pick in the Major League Soccer draft.


Five years ago:

President-elect Barack Obama made a pitch for his massive economic stimulus plan at a factory in Bedford Heights, Ohio, saying his proposal would make smart investments in the country’s future and create solid jobs in up-and-coming industries.

Painter Andrew Wyeth died in Chadds Ford, Pa., at age 91.

John Mortimer, the British lawyer-writer who’d created the curmudgeonly criminal lawyer Rumpole of the Bailey, died in the Chiltern Hills, England, at age 85.


One year ago:

Braced for a fight, President Barack Obama unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

The federal government grounded Boeing’s newest and most technologically advanced jetliner, declaring that U.S. airlines could not fly the 787 again until the risk of battery fires was addressed.

Pauline Friedman Phillips, better known as advice columnist Dear Abby, died in Minneapolis at age 94.


Today’s Birthdays:

Author William Kennedy is 86

Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 84

Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 80

Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 79

Singer Barbara Lynn is 72

Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 71

Country singer Jim Stafford is 70

Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 67

Movie director John Carpenter is 66

Actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 64

Singer Sade (shah-DAY’) is 55

Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 52

Rhythm-and-blues singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 48

Actor David Chokachi (CHOH’-kuh-chee) is 46

Actor Richard T. Jones is 42

Actress Josie Davis is 41

Model Kate Moss is 40

Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 33

Actress Renee Felice Smith (TV: “NCIS: Los Angeles”) is 29

NFL quaterback Joe Flacco is 29

Actress Yvonne Zima is 25

Flashback: What Happened on January 15, ....

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•  1836 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act creating Braxton County from parts of Lewis County, Kanawha County, and Nicholas County. The following commissioners were appointed meet at the house of John D. Sutton to determine the site of the county seat: John M. Hamilton of Nicholas County; George H. Bell of Lewis County; William Carnefix of Fayette County; James Radcliff of Harrison County; and John Gilliland of Pocahontas County.

•  1848 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act establishing a separate polling place on Leading Creek in Lewis County.

•  1848 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act authorizing the Wetzel County Court and Doddridge County Court to borrow money to fund the construction of public buildings.

•  1890 An extra session of the West Virginia Legislature convened in Charleston to determine the winner of the disputed 1888 gubernatorial election between Democrat Aretas B. Fleming and Republican Nathan Goff.

•  1904 The West Virginia Dairy Association was founded in Morgantown.

•  1919 The West Virginia Legislature adopted a joint resolution ratifying the amendment to the United States Constitution prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquor.

•  1945 Clarence Watson Meadows was inaugurated in Charleston as the twenty-second West Virginia governor, serving until 1949.

•  1973 Arch Moore was inaugurated in Charleston for his second term as governor, becoming the first governor in the state’s history to serve two consecutive 4-year terms.

•  1979 Democrats Robert H. Mollohan, Harley O. Staggers, Nick J. Rahall, and John M. Slack, Jr., retained their seats as United States House of Representatives members from West Virginia.

•  1992 Former Governor Arch Moore made an appearance at the state Capitol to give depositions in a civil suit, in which the state Attorney General’s office alleges that he cost the state $2 million. It was Moore’s first visit to the Capitol since leaving office in 1989.

2014 > WayBackWhen™: January 15

Today is Wednesday, January 15, the 15th day of 2014. There are 350 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.“ — Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 15, 1929, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta.


On this date:

In 1559, England’s Queen Elizabeth I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

In 1777, the people of New Connecticut declared their independence. (The republic later became the state of Vermont.)

In 1862, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Abraham Lincoln’s choice of Edwin M. Stanton to be the new Secretary of War, replacing Simon Cameron.

In 1919, in Boston, a tank containing an estimated 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst, sending the dark syrup coursing through the city’s North End, killing 21 people.

In 1943, work was completed on the Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of War (now Defense).

In 1947, the mutilated remains of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, who came to be known as the “Black Dahlia,“ were found in a vacant Los Angeles lot; her slaying remains unsolved.

In 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League 35-10 in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, known retroactively as Super Bowl I.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam, citing progress in peace negotiations.

In 1974, the situation comedy “Happy Days” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1989, NATO, the Warsaw Pact and 12 other European countries adopted a human rights and security agreement in Vienna, Austria.

In 1993, in Paris, a historic disarmament ceremony ended with the last of 125 countries signing a treaty banning chemical weapons.

In 1994, singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson died in Agoura Hills, Calif., at age 52.


Ten years ago:

The NASA Spirit rover rolled onto the surface of Mars for the first time since the vehicle bounced to a landing nearly two weeks earlier.

Fourteen-year-old golfer Michelle Wie shot a 2-over 72 in the first round at the PGA Sony Open in Honolulu.

“First Wives Club” novelist Olivia Goldsmith died in New York at age 54.


Five years ago:

US Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger ditched his Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after a flock of birds disabled both engines; all 155 people aboard survived.

In a farewell address to the nation, President George W. Bush said while his policies were unpopular, there could be little debate about the results: “America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil.“

Congress cleared the release of the final $350 billion in bailout funds for the financial industry.

After a wave of controversy, Roland Burris was sworn in as a U.S. senator from Illinois.


One year ago:

New York state enacted the nation’s toughest gun restrictions and the first since the Connecticut school massacre, including an expanded assault-weapon ban and background checks for buying ammunition.

Twin blasts ripped through a university campus in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, killing more than 80 people, most of them students, in the government-controlled part of the city.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Margaret O’Brien is 77

Actress Andrea Martin is 67

Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is 57

Actor James Nesbitt is 49

Singer Lisa Lisa (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam) is 47

Actor Chad Lowe is 46

Alt-country singer Will Oldham (aka “Bonnie Prince Billy”) is 44

Actress Regina King is 43

Actor Eddie Cahill is 36

NFL quarterback Drew Brees is 35

Rapper/reggaeton artist Pitbull is 33

Electronic dance musician Skrillex is 26

Flashback: What Happened on January 14, ....

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•  1862 The Reorganized Government of Virginia General Assembly appropriated $21,684 for completion of the south wing of the Northwestern Lunatic Asylum in Weston, Lewis County.

•  1863 The West Virginia Constitutional Convention was recalled in Wheeling.

•  1873 Glenville Normal School, Gilmer County, opened with T. Marcellus Marshall as acting principal. It later became Glenville State College.

•  1889 In the disputed election for governor between A. Brooks Fleming and Nathan Goff, Jr., Secretary of State Henry Walker delivered the disputed pro- Goff Kanawha County returns to the House of Delegates. With these returns, Nathan Goff held a 110-vote lead over Fleming statewide. Rumors began Democrats would refuse to open the returns at the meeting of the Joint Assembly before Fleming could contest them. That same day, Goff issued a statement declaring that once inaugurated, he would reconvene the legislature and allow Fleming to properly contest the election.

•  1957 Cecil Harland Underwood was inaugurated in Charleston as the twenty-fifth West Virginia governor, the first Republican governor in twenty-four years, serving until 1961.

•  1970 Governor Arch Moore proposed a the Governor’s Succession Amendment in his State of the State address. The legislature passed the amendment during this session, allowing Moore to become the first governor in the state’s history to serve two consecutive 4-year terms.

•  1975 Democrats Robert H. Mollohan, Harley O. Staggers, John M. Slack, Jr., and Ken Hechler retained their seats as United States House of Representatives members from West Virginia.

•  1985 Arch Moore, Jr. was inaugurated in Charleston as the thirtieth West Virginia governor, the first to be elected to a third four-year term, serving until 1989.

2014 > WayBackWhen™: January 14

Today is Tuesday, January 14, the 14th day of 2014. There are 351 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“If you limit your actions in life to things that nobody can possibly find fault with, you will not do much.” — Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (”Lewis Carroll”), English author (1832-1898).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 14, 1964, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, in a brief televised address, thanked Americans for their condolences and messages of support following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, nearly two months earlier.


On this date:

In 1784, the United States ratified a peace treaty with England, ending the Revolutionary War.

In 1814, the Treaty of Kiel ended hostilities between Denmark and Sweden, with Denmark agreeing to cede Norway to Sweden, something Norway refused to accept.

In 1900, Puccini’s opera “Tosca” had its world premiere in Rome.

In 1914, Ford Motor Co. greatly improved its assembly-line operation by employing an endless chain to pull each chassis along at its Highland Park plant.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French General Charles de Gaulle opened a wartime conference in Casablanca.

In 1952, NBC’s “Today” show premiered, with Dave Garroway as the host, or “communicator.”

In 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married at San Francisco City Hall. (The marriage, however, lasted only about nine months.)

In 1963, George C. Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama with the pledge, “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” — a view Wallace later repudiated. Sylvia Plath’s novel “The Bell Jar” was published in London under the pen name “Victoria Lucas,” less than a month before Plath committed suicide.

In 1969, 27 people aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, off Hawaii, were killed when a rocket warhead exploded, setting off a fire and additional explosions.

In 1970, Diana Ross and the Supremes performed their last concert together, at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas.

In 1989, President Ronald Reagan delivered his 331st and final weekly White House radio address, telling listeners, “Believe me, Saturdays will never seem the same. I’ll miss you.”

In 1994, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed an accord to stop aiming missiles at any nation; the leaders joined Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk in signing an accord to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine.


Ten years ago:

Former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow (FAS’-tow) pleaded guilty to conspiracy as he accepted a ten-year prison sentence. (He was actually sentenced to six years and was released in December 2011.)

J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. struck a deal to buy Bank One Corp. for $58 billion.

A female Palestinian suicide bomber killed three Israeli soldiers and a private security guard at a Gaza crossing.

U.N. officials announced that Libya had ratified the nuclear test ban treaty.

President George W. Bush unveiled a plan to send astronauts to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Death claimed actress Uta Hagen in New York at age 84 and actor Ron O’Neal in Los Angeles at age 66.


Five years ago:

Freshly returned from a tour of war zones and global hotspots, Vice President-elect Joe Biden told President-elect Barack Obama that “things are going to get tougher” in Afghanistan.

A French court acquitted six doctors and pharmacists in the deaths of at least 114 people who’d contracted brain-destroying Creutzfeldt-Jakob (KROYTS’-felt JAY’-kuhb) disease after being treated with tainted human growth hormones.

Actor Ricardo Montalban died in Los Angeles at age 88.


One year ago:

Lance Armstrong ended a decade of denial by confessing to Oprah Winfrey that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France.

Veteran stage and film actor Conrad Bain, 89, died in Livermore, Calif.


Today’s Birthdays:

Blues singer Clarence Carter is 78

Singer Jack Jones is 76

Singer-songwriter Allen Toussaint is 76

Former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond is 74

Actress Faye Dunaway is 73

Actress Holland Taylor is 71

Actor Carl Weathers is 66

Singer-producer T-Bone Burnett is 66

Movie writer-director Lawrence Kasdan is 65

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Maureen Dowd is 62

Rock singer Geoff Tate (Queensryche) is 55

Movie writer-director Steven Soderbergh is 51

Actor Mark Addy is 50

Fox News Channel anchorman Shepard Smith is 50

Rapper Slick Rick is 49

Actor Dan Schneider is 48

Actress Emily Watson is 47

Actor-comedian Tom Rhodes is 47

Rock musician Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne Band) is 47

Rapper-actor LL Cool J is 46

Actor Jason Bateman is 45

Rock singer-musician Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) is 45

Actor Kevin Durand is 40

Actress Jordan Ladd is 39

Retro-soul singer-songwriter Marc Broussard is 32

Rock singer-musician Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon) is 32

Actor Zach Gilford is 32

Rock musician Joe Guese (The Click Five) is 31

Actor Jonathan Osser is 25

Flashback: What Happened on January 13, ....

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•  1876 African-Americans John Dawson and Rufus Estep of Malden, Kanawha County, were arrested for the Christmas Eve murder of Thomas Lee at Campbells Creek. Circumstantial evidence later led to their lynching.

•  1879 Blocks of ice and 3 steamboats collided with the Keystone Bridge, Charleston, knocking it into the Elk River.

•  1941 Matthew Mansfield Neely was inaugurated in Charleston as the twenty-first West Virginia governor, serving until 1945. He appointed Democrat Joseph Rosier of Marion County as an interim to fill his unexpired term in the United States Senate. Outgoing governor Homer Holt had appointed Clarence E. Martin Sr. of Martinsburg (Berkeley County) as the new senator, but the Senate Elections Committee eventually decided to seat Rosier. After leaving office, Governor Holt served as president of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce before accepting the position of general counsel for Union Carbide in New York, serving from 1947 to 1953.

•  1960 In an address to the legislature, Governor Cecil Underwood proposed STEP, the State Temporary Economic Program. It was approved and went into effect on July 01.

•  1969 Arch Alfred Moore, Jr., was inaugurated as the twenty-eighth West Virginia governor, serving until 1977, the first four-year two-term governor under the new constitutional amendment. He later served a third term from 1985 to 1989. Before leaving office, outgoing governor Hulett Smith brought 2,000 state employees under the civil service codes, making it illegal to dismiss them without going through civil service procedures. Moore had campaigned on a platform of “cleaning out” a large number of state employees. The new Modern Budget Amendment gave the governor’s office more control over the budget and the state’s finances than at any time in history. During his three terms, Moore was the subject of a number of allegations of illegal activities and indictments, culminating in his conviction in May 1990 for extortion, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, and tax fraud.

•  1988 Governor Arch Moore announces that he will seek a fourth term as governor.

•  1992 A federal judge in Huntington put the state’s civil lawsuit against former Governor Arch Moore on hold until there was a ruling on Moore’s request for a new federal trial. The state was asking for federal grand jury records of the 1989 investigation that led to Moore’s conviction.

•  1992 It was announced that Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill, the New York architectural firm that designed the famous Sears and Hancock towers in Chicago, had been signed to design the proposed new Charleston federal building.

•  1992 Republican Agricultural Commissioner Cleve Benedict became the first person to file to run for governor in the 1992 election.

2014 > WayBackWhen™: January 13

Today is Monday, January 13, the 13th day of 2014. There are 352 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.“ — Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, English author (1717-1797).


Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On January 13, 1864, American songwriter Stephen Foster, who’d written such classics as “Swanee River,“ “Oh! Susanna,“ “Camptown Races,“ ‘'My Old Kentucky Home” and “Beautiful Dreamer,“ died in poverty in a New York hospital at age 37.


On this date:

In 1733, James Oglethorpe and some 120 English colonists arrived at Charleston, S.C., while en route to settle in present-day Georgia.

In 1794, President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. (The number of stripes was later reduced to the original 13.)

In 1898, Emile Zola’s famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, “J’accuse,“ was published in Paris.

In 1941, a new law went into effect granting Puerto Ricans U.S. birthright citizenship. Novelist and poet James Joyce died in Zurich, Switzerland, less than a month before his 59th birthday.

In 1945, during World War II, Soviet forces began a huge, successful offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.

In 1962, comedian Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles 10 days before his 43rd birthday.

In 1964, Roman Catholic Bishop Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) was appointed Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, by Pope Paul VI.

In 1966, Robert C. Weaver was named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson; Weaver became the first black Cabinet member.

In 1978, former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey died in Waverly, Minn., at age 66.

In 1982, an Air Florida 737 crashed into Washington, D.C.‘s 14th Street Bridge and fell into the Potomac River after taking off during a snowstorm, killing a total of 78 people; four passengers and a flight attendant survived.

In 1990, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the nation’s first elected black governor as he took the oath of office in Richmond.

In 2012, the Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed.


Ten years ago:

Hostile fire brought down a U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter in Iraq, but the two crew members escaped injury.

A domestic airliner crashed in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, killing all 37 people aboard.

Harold Shipman, the British doctor blamed for killing more than 200 mostly elderly patients, was found hanged in his prison cell, an apparent suicide, a day before his 58th birthday.


Five years ago:

President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, vowed during her Senate confirmation hearing to revitalize the mission of diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy.

Obama’s choice to run the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, disclosed that he had failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004.

U.S. Marshals apprehended Marcus Schrenker, 38, in North Florida days after the businessman and amateur daredevil pilot apparently tried to fake his own death in a plane crash. (Schrenker was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud charges, on top of four years in federal prison on charges stemming from the plane crash.)

Actor-director Patrick McGoohan died in Los Angeles at age 80. Author Hortense Calisher died in New York at age 97.


One year ago:

A Cairo appeals court overturned Hosni Mubarak’s life sentence and ordered a retrial of the former Egyptian president for failing to prevent the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that toppled his regime. (Mubarak was later ordered released.)

“Argo” won best motion picture drama at the Golden Globes; “Les Miserables” won best picture musical or comedy.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Frances Sternhagen is 84

TV personality Nick Clooney is 80

Comedian Rip Taylor is 80

Actor Billy Gray is 76

Actor Richard Moll is 71

Rock musician Trevor Rabin is 60

Rhythm-and-blues musician Fred White is 59

Rock musician James Lomenzo (Megadeth) is 55

Actor Kevin Anderson is 54

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 53

Rock singer Graham “Suggs” McPherson (Madness) is 53

Country singer Trace Adkins is 52

Actress Penelope Ann Miller is 50

Actor Patrick Dempsey is 48

Actress Traci Bingham is 46

Actor Keith Coogan is 44

Actress Nicole Eggert is 42

Actor Orlando Bloom is 37

Actor Julian Morris is 31

Actor Liam Hemsworth (Film: “The Hunger Games” movies) is 24

Flashback: What Happened on January 12, ....

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•  1803 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act authorizing the construction of mills and mill dams on the Little Kanawha River in Wood County.

•  1941 Matthew M. Neely resigned from the United States Senate to become governor of West Virginia.

•  1956 The West Virginia Turnpike Commission submitted financing plans for extension of the road north of Charleston.

•  1967 Governor Hulett Smith delivered his State of the State Address to the West Virginia Legislature, emphasizing the need for a strip mine bill, stating: “We must end the reckless pillaging of our land, the spoiling of our streams and the destruction of our fish and wildlife. I believe we can do so without destroying the competitive position of our strip mine operator in the market place.“ During that session, the legislature passed the proposed legislation, considered at that time to be the most stringent coal strip mining law in the country.

•  1972 Governor Moore proposed $17.4 million in mental health expenditures, leading to establishment of 14 comprehensive community mental health centers, a central facility, and 8 mental retardation centers.

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