TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Friday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2022. There are 344 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 21, 2010, a bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, vastly increased the power of big business and labor unions to influence government decisions by freeing them to spend their millions directly to sway elections for president and Congress.

On this date:

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

In 1915, the first Kiwanis Club, dedicated to community service, was founded in Detroit.

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

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.)

In 1954, the first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Connecticut (however, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later).

In 1976, British Airways and Air France inaugurated scheduled passenger service on the supersonic Concorde jet.

In 1977, on his first full day in office, President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

In 2003, the Census Bureau announced that Hispanics had surpassed blacks as America’s largest minority group.

In 2020, the U.S. reported its first known case of the new virus circulating in China, saying a Washington state resident who had returned the previous week from the outbreak’s epicenter was hospitalized near Seattle; U.S. officials stressed that they believed the overall risk of the virus to the American public remained low.

Today’s Birthdays: World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus is 82. Opera singer-conductor Placido Domingo is 81. Actor Jill Eikenberry is 75. Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 72. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is 71. Actor-director Robby Benson is 66. Actor Geena Davis is 66. Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon is 59. Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 46.