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Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2021. There are 357 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 98. Former CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 88. Singer Shirley Bassey is 84. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 83. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 81. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 80. Actor Yvette Mimieux is 79. Singer Juanita Cowart Motley (The Marvelettes) is 77. Actor Kathleen Noone is 76. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 75. Movie director John McTiernan is 70. Actor Harriet Sansom Harris is 66. Actor Ron Cephas Jones is 64. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is 63. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 57. Actor Michelle Forbes is 56. Actor Maria Pitillo is 55. Rock musician Jeff Abercrombie (Fuel) is 52. Actor Ami Dolenz is 52. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 48. Actor-rock singer Jenny Lewis is 45. Rock musician Disashi Lumumbo-Kasongo (Gym Class Heroes) is 38. Actor Cynthia Erivo is 34.

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In 1815, the last major engagement of the War of 1812 came to an end as US forces defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, not having gotten word of the signing of a peace treaty.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

In 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

In 1968, the Otis Redding single ”(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released on the Volt label almost a month after the singer’s death in a plane crash.

In 1973, the Paris peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed.

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In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 1994, Tonya Harding won the ladies’ US Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, a day after Nancy Kerrigan dropped out because of the clubbing attack that had injured her right knee. (The US Figure Skating Association later stripped Harding of the title.)

In 1997, the state of Arkansas put three men to death in the second triple execution since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. (The first also occurred in Arkansas, in 1994.)

In 1998, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sentenced in New York to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2004, a US Black Hawk medevac helicopter crashed near Fallujah, Iraq, killing all nine soldiers aboard.

In 2006, the first funerals were held in West Virginia for the 12 miners who’d died in the Sago Mine disaster six days earlier.

In 2008, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire’s 2008 Democratic primary in a startling upset, defeating Senator Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House; Senator John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination.

In 2011, US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced in November 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.)

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In 2016, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the world’s most-wanted drug lord, was captured for a third time in a daring raid by Mexican marines, six months after walking through a tunnel to freedom from a maximum security prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States.

In 2020, Iran struck back at the United States for killing Iran’s top military commander, firing missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing American troops; more than 100 US service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the attack. As Iran braced for a counterattack, the country’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a Ukrainian jetliner after apparently mistaking it for a missile; all 176 people on board were killed, including 82 Iranians and more than 50 Canadians. South Korea said it had put a Chinese woman under isolated treatment amid concerns that she had brought back the virus that had sickened dozens in mainland China and Hong Kong. Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, said they planned to “step back” as senior members of the royal family while balancing their time between the UK and North America. Screenwriter and actor Buck Henry, who cowrote and appeared in “The Graduate,” died in Los Angeles at the age of 89.