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This day in history

Wednesday, Jan. 16, is the 16th day of 2013. There are 349 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Author William Kennedy is 85. Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 83. Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 79. Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 78. Singer Barbara Lynn is 71. Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 70. Country singer Jim Stafford is 69. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 66. Movie director John Carpenter is 65. Actress Debbie Allen is 63. Singer Sade is 54. Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 51. Singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 47. Actor David Chokachi is 45. Actor Richard T. Jones is 41. Actress Josie Davis is 40. Model Kate Moss is 39. Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 32. Actress Yvonne Zima is 24.

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

In 1883, the US Civil Service Commission was established.

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 US 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 (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)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 shoot­-out 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 while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.

In 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in London.

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 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 under tight security 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.)

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