On this date: Popeye debuts, Betty White turns 97

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

Today is Thursday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2019. There are 348 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

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On this date:

In 1806, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, Martha, gave birth to James Madison Randolph, the first child born in the White House.

In 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Lili’uokalani (lee-LEE’-oo-oh-kah-LAH’-nee) to abdicate. The 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70.

In 1917, Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the United States for $25 million.

In 1929, the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor made his debut in the “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.

In 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II; Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.

In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.

In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., ruled 5-4 that the use of home video cassette recorders to tape television programs for private viewing did not violate federal copyright laws.

In 1994, the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan.

In 1996, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine followers were handed long prison sentences for plotting to blow up New York-area landmarks.

In 1998, the Drudge Report said Newsweek magazine had killed a story about an affair between President Bill Clinton and an unidentified White House intern, the same day Clinton gave a deposition in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against him in which he denied having had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

In 2001, faced with an electricity crisis, California used rolling blackouts to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people; Gov. Gray Davis signed an emergency order authorizing the state to buy power.

Ten years ago: Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire in its 22-day Gaza offensive. President-elect Barack Obama arrived in the nation’s capital after a daylong rail trip that began in Philadelphia, retracing the path Abraham Lincoln took in 1861. Salvage crews hoisted a downed US Airways jetliner from the Hudson River, two days after a dramatic water landing, survived by everyone on board.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama ordered new limits on the way intelligence officials accessed phone records from hundreds of millions of Americans; the president also signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of September 2014. Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak marked the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health by saying one in 13 children could see their lives shortened by smoking unless the nation took more aggressive action to end the tobacco epidemic. A Vatican document obtained by The Associated Press showed that in his last two years as pope, Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for raping and molesting children.

One year ago: Snow, ice and record-breaking cold closed runways, highways, schools and government offices across the South; at least 15 people died. A broad rally propelled the Dow Jones industrial average to close above 26,000 points for the first time. The rival Koreas agreed to form their first unified Olympic team and have their athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years during the opening ceremony of the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Betty White is 97. Former FCC chairman Newton N. Minow is 93. Actor James Earl Jones is 88. Talk show host Maury Povich is 80. Pop singer Chris Montez is 77. Rhythm-and-blues singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 74. Actress Joanna David is 72. Actress Jane Elliot is 72. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 66. Singer Steve Earle is 64. Singer Paul Young is 63. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 62. Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 60. Movie director-screenwriter Brian Helgeland is 58. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 57. Actor Denis O’Hare is 57. Former first lady Michelle Obama is 55. Actor Joshua Malina is 53. Singer Shabba Ranks is 53. Rock musician Jon Wysocki is 51. Actor Naveen Andrews is 50. Electronic music DJ Tiesto is 50. Rapper Kid Rock is 48. Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 44. Actor-writer Leigh Whannel is 42. Actress-singer Zooey Deschanel is 39. Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 39. Singer Ray J is 38. Actor Diogo Morgado is 38. Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 37. NBA player Dwyane Wade is 37. Actor Ryan Gage is 36. DJ-singer Calvin Harris is 35. Folk-rock musician Jeremiah Fraites is 33. Actor Jonathan Keltz is 31. Actress Kelly Marie Tran (Film: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) is 30. Actress Kathrine (cq) Herzer is 22.

Thought for Today: “If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military.” — President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972).