TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2021. There are 349 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 16, 2020, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump opened in the Senate, with senators standing and swearing an oath of “impartial justice.”

On this date:

In 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, “Forty acres and a mule.”)

In 1912, a day before reaching the South Pole, British explorer Robert Scott and his expedition found evidence that Roald Amundsen of Norway and his team had gotten there ahead of them.

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 (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)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 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. (Allied forces prevailed on Feb. 28.)

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. (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)

In 2007, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois launched his successful bid for the White House.

Today’s Birthdays: Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 87. Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 86. Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 78. Country singer Jim Stafford is 77. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 74. Movie director John Carpenter is 73. Actor-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 71. Actor-comedian Jonathan Mangum is 50. Model Kate Moss is 47. Actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda is 41. NFL quarterback Joe Flacco is 36.