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This day in history

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2013. There are 335 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Gene Hackman is 83. Actress Vanessa Redgrave is 76. Chess grandmaster Boris Spassky is 76. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is 72. Singer Phil Collins is 62. World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange is 58. Actor Christian Bale is 39.

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In 1649, England’s King Charles I was
beheaded.

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

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 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse, 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.

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In 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.

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 1973, the rock group KISS performed its first show at a club in Queens, N.Y.

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.

In 2003, President George W. Bush put allies on notice that diplomacy would give way to a decision on war with Iraq in ‘‘weeks, not months.’’ Wary world leaders and congressional critics urged patience and demanded proof of Iraq’s transgressions. Richard Reid, the British citizen and al-Qaida follower who’d tried to blow up a trans-Atlantic jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes, was sentenced to life in prison by a federal judge in Boston.

In 2008, John Edwards bowed out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the Republican presidential contest and endorsed front-runner and longtime friend John McCain.

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