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This Day in History

► Today is Sunday, Jan. 15, the 15th day of 2012. There are 351 days left in the year.

► Today’s birthdays: Actress Margaret O’Brien is 75. Actress Andrea Martin is 65. Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is 55. Actor James Nesbitt is 47. Singer Lisa Lisa (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam) is 45. Actor Chad Lowe is 44. Actress Regina King is 41. Actor Eddie Cahill is 34. Rapper/reggaeton artist Pitbull is 31. Electronic dance musician Skrillex is 24.

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► In 1559, England’s Queen Elizabeth I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

► In 1777, the people of New Connecticut declared their independence. (The republic later became the state of Vermont.)

► In 1862, the US Senate confirmed President Abraham Lincoln’s choice of Edwin M. Stanton to be secretary of war, replacing Simon Cameron.

► In 1929, civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta.

► In 1943, work was completed on the Pentagon, headquarters of the US Department of War (now Defense).

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► In 1947, the mutilated remains of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, who came to be known as the “Black Dahlia,’’ were found in a vacant Los Angeles lot; her slaying remains unsolved.

► In 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio got married at San Francisco City Hall. (The marriage lasted only about nine months.)

► In 1961, an Air Force radar tower off the New Jersey coast collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean during a severe storm, killing all 28 men aboard.

► In 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League, 35-10, in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, retroactively known as Super Bowl I.

► In 1971, the recently completed Aswan High Dam in Egypt was dedicated during a ceremony attended by President Anwar Sadat and Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny.

► In 1987, entertainer Ray Bolger, perhaps best known for playing the Scarecrow in the 1939 MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz,’’ died in Los Angeles at 83.

► In 1992, the Yugoslav federation, founded in 1918, effectively collapsed as the European Community recognized the republics of Croatia and Slovenia.

► In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft said that John Walker Lindh, the 20-year-old Californian who had fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, would be charged with conspiracy to kill US citizens, with the possibility of life in prison if convicted. (Lindh received a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty to supplying services to the Taliban and carrying explosives in commission of a felony.) Arthur Andersen LLP said it was firing senior auditor David B. Duncan, who had organized a “rushed disposal’’ of Enron documents after federal regulators requested information about the failing energy company. Former Chicago mayor and Illinois Supreme Court chief justice Michael Bilandic died at 78.

► In 2007, the Iraqi government hanged two of Saddam Hussein’s henchmen, including a half-brother, Barzan Ibrahim, who was accidentally decapitated by the noose. “Babel’’ won best movie drama and “Dreamgirls’’ was named best musical or comedy at the Golden Globes; “Grey’s Anatomy’’ was named best TV drama series and “Ugly Betty’’ best TV comedy.

► In 2009, US Airways Captain Chesley “Sully’’ Sullenberger ditched his Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after a flock of birds disabled both the plane’s engines; all 155 people aboard survived.

► In 2011, several international envoys, but crucially none from the world powers, got a look inside an Iranian nuclear site at the invitation of the Tehran government before a new round of talks on Iran’s disputed atomic activities. Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan won the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas. Actress Susannah York, 72, died in London.

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