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    This day in history

    Today is Wednesday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2013. There are 356 days left in the year.

    Today’s birthdays: Author Judith Krantz is 85. Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr is 79. Sportscaster Dick Enberg is 78. Actress K. Callan is 77. Folk singer Joan Baez is 72. Rockabilly singer Roy Head is 72. Rock musician Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) is 69. Singer David Johansen (a.k.a. Buster Poindexter) is 63. Singer Crystal Gayle is 62. Actor J.K. Simmons is 58. Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberto Menchu is 54. Rock musician Eric Erlandson is 50. Actress Joely Richardson is 48. Rock musician Carl Bell (Fuel) is 46. Rock singer Steve Harwell (Smash Mouth) is 46. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 46. Actress-director Joey Lauren Adams is 45. Roots singer-songwriter Hayes Carll is 37. Singer A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) is 35. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is 31. Pop-rock musician Drew Brown (OneRepublic) is 29. Rock-soul singer Paolo Nutini is 26. Actress Nina Dobrev is 24. Actor Tyree Brown (TV: ‘‘Parenthood”) is 9.

    In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the US Constitution.

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    In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J.

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    In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreated because of artillery fire.

    In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, Calif.

    In 1931, Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper broke an endurance record for female aviators as they returned to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.

    In 1945, during World War II, US forces began landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.

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    In 1951, the United Nations headquarters in New York officially opened.

    In 1960, on his 47th birthday, Vice President Richard Nixon became a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

    In 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

    In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.

    In 1987, the White House released a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President
    Reagan by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North showing a link between US arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

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    In 1993, the two owners of a fast food restaurant in Palatine, Ill., and five employees were found shot and stabbed to death. (Two suspects were arrested in May 2002; both were convicted in separate trials and sentenced to life in prison.)

    In 1997, a Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.

    In 2003, UN weapons inspectors said there was no ‘‘smoking gun’’ to prove Iraq had nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons but they demanded that Baghdad provide private access to scientists and fresh evidence to back its claim that it had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.