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Thursday, January 16
By the Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-01-09 09:42 AM

Today is Thursday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2014. There are 349 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1547 - Ivan the Terrible is crowned Russia's first czar.

1666 - France, allied with Holland, declares war on England.

1761 - British take Pondicherry after siege, marking end of French dominion in India.

1778 - France recognizes U.S. independence.

1816 - Portugal's South American colony, Brazil, becomes a kingdom.

1883 - The U.S. Civil Service Commission is established.

1917 - Germans propose in a telegram that Mexico become Germany's ally with a view to recovering Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The telegram is intercepted, hastening the U.S. entry into World War I.

1920 - Prohibition, the legal prevention of the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic drinks, begins as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution takes effect. It is later repealed.

1925 - Leon Trotsky is dismissed from chairmanship of Russia's Revolutionary Council.

1964 - Thirteen Arab nations, meeting in Cairo, agree to set up military command to strengthen Arab position on problems related to Israel; the musical "Hello, Dolly!," starring Carol Channing, opens on Broadway in New York, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.

1966 - Major General Aguiyi Ironsi takes over power in Nigeria after announcing that an attempted coup has been smashed.

1969 - Soviet cosmonauts achieve first linkup of two manned spaceships while in orbit around earth.

1971 - Swiss ambassador to Brazil, Giovanni Enrico Bucher, is freed in Rio de Janeiro after being held by kidnappers for 40 days.

1973 - United States and South Vietnam declare cease-fire in Vietnam War in hopes of full peace pact.

1979 - In the face of growing unrest, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi flees Iran, never to return.

1987 - Hu Yaobang resigns as head of China's Communist Party, accepting blame for policy mistakes stemming from student turmoil.

1988 - Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder is fired as a CBS television sports commentator one day after telling a TV station in Washington, D.C., that, during the era of slavery, blacks had been bred to produce stronger offspring.

1989 - Three days of rioting erupt in Miami when a police officer fatally shoots a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of a passenger.

1990 - Bulgarian government grants opposition right to publish newspapers, but continues to deny their access to radio and television.

1991 - U.S. and allied fighters and heavy bombers start pounding targets in Iraq and Kuwait after Iraq fails to meet a deadline on withdrawal from Kuwait.

1992 - A special high court in Greece acquits former Socialist Premier Andreas Papandreou of involvement in a $210-million bank embezzlement scheme; officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders sign a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war that left at least 75,000 people dead.

1993 - Somali civilians lead U.S. troops to bunkers overflowing with more than 1,000 tons of arms and ammunition. A marine spokesman calls the find "the mother lode of arms caches."

1995 - Five-hundred motorists are stranded in the Jawahar tunnel in northern India by a snow slide that killed at least 183 people.

1996 - Sierra Leone's military ruler, Capt. Valentine Strasser, is ousted in a coup.

1997 - In West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinians dance and sing outside Israeli army headquarters as troops begin departing after 30 years of military rule.

1998 - Turkey's high court outlaws the Islamic-oriented Welfare Party.

2000 - Ricardo Lagos is elected Chile's first socialist president since Salvador Allende, whose government was toppled in a bloody 1973 military coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

2001 - Laurent Kabila, president of Congo, is killed in a shooting at his home.

2004 - Spain's Constitutional Court, acting on a suit filed by the government under a law outlawing parties that incite terrorism, upholds the banning of Batasuna, a party long considered to be the political wing of the armed Basque independence group ETA.

2005 - Massive protests against social benefit cuts paralyze traffic in cities across Russia in the most serious outburst of public discontent since President Vladimir Putin took office.

2006 - Ernest Johnson Jr., 55, who deserted the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War is arrested in Texas after more than 36 years on the run.

2007 - Pakistani helicopter gunships attack a suspected al-Qaida hide-out in forest near the Afghan border, killing up to 10 people and sparking anger among tribesmen who say the dead are woodcutters, not terrorists.

2008 - Sri Lanka's cease-fire deal ends in a spasm of violence, as suspected Tamil Tiger rebels bomb a bus, shoot the fleeing passengers and attack farmers as they retreat into the bush, killing 27 people.

2009 - A wealthy U.S. businessman with a passion for books about the Middle East is sentenced to two years in jail for stealing pages from rare texts at two of Britain's most venerable libraries.

2110 - Egypt's largest opposition movement, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, announces it has chosen a new leader, Mohammed Badie, a conservative academic who looks unlikely to challenge the government's relentless crackdown on the group.

2011 - An Egyptian court convicts and sentences to death a Muslim man for killing six Christians and a Muslim guard last year -- the latest in a series of moves by authorities seeking to calm religious tensions after a massive suicide bombing outside a church two weeks ago.

2012 - The political crisis engulfing Pakistan deepens when the nation's top court clashes with a beleaguered government already under attack from the powerful army -- a combined assault that could bring down the U.S.-bac2ked administration.

2013 - French soldiers press into northern Mali territory occupied by radical Islamists, launching a land assault that was to put them in direct contact with al-Qaida-linked fighters.

Today's Birthdays:

Richard Savage, English author (1697-1743); Niccolo Piccinni, Italian musician (1728-1800); John Carpenter, U.S. film director (1948--); Debbie Allen, U.S. actress/dancer/choreographer (1950--); Sade, U.S. singer (1959--); Maxine Jones, U.S. R & B singer (1966--); Kate Moss, English model (1974--).

Thought For Today:

I am a believer in punctuality, though it makes me very lonely -- E.V. Lucas, English writer and publisher (1868-1938).

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