On this date: Roe v. Wade decision; LBJ dies

Published 6:31 am Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2019. There are 343 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, legalized abortions using a trimester approach. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at his Texas ranch at age 64.

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On this date:

In 1498, during his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrived at the present-day Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

In 1901, Britain’s Queen Victoria died at age 81 after a reign of 63 years; she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII.

In 1907, the Richard Strauss opera “Salome” made its American debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; its racy content sparked outrage and forced cancellation of additional performances.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson, in an address to Congress, pleaded for an end to the war in Europe, calling for “peace without victory.” (By April, however, America also was at war.)

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces began landing at Anzio, Italy.

In 1953, the Arthur Miller drama “The Crucible,” set during the Salem witch trials, opened on Broadway.

In 1968, the fast-paced sketch comedy program “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” premiered as a weekly series on NBC-TV.

In 1987, Pennsylvania treasurer R. Budd Dwyer, convicted of defrauding the state, proclaimed his innocence at a news conference before pulling out a gun, placing the barrel in his mouth and shooting himself to death in front of horrified onlookers.

In 1995, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy died at the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 104.

In 1997, the Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the nation’s first female secretary of state.

In 1998, Theodore Kaczynski (kah-ZIHN’-skee) pleaded guilty in Sacramento, California, to being the Unabomber responsible for three deaths and 29 injuries in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

In 2008, actor Heath Ledger, 28, was found dead of an accidental prescription overdose in a New York City apartment. Jose Padilla (hoh-ZAY’ puh-DEE’-uh), once accused of plotting with al-Qaida to blow up a radioactive “dirty bomb,” was sentenced by a U.S. federal judge in Miami to 17 years and four months (later increased to 21 years) on other terrorism conspiracy charges.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp within a year. (The facility remained in operation as lawmakers blocked efforts to transfer terror suspects to the United States; President Donald Trump later issued an order to keep the jail open and allow the Pentagon to bring new prisoners there.) The Senate Finance Committee cleared the nomination of Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary, 18-5, despite unhappiness over his mistakes in paying his taxes. A Chinese court sentenced two men to death and a dairy boss to life in prison for their roles in producing and selling infant formula tainted with melamine that was blamed for the deaths of at least six babies and sickening thousands more.

Five years ago: The White House Council on Women and Girls released a report on rape at college campuses, saying 1 in 5 female students were assaulted while only 1 in 8 student victims reported it. Edgar Tamayo, a Mexican national, was put to death in Texas for killing Houston police officer Guy Gaddis despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from Mexico and the U.S. State Department to halt the execution. Israel said it had foiled an “advanced” al-Qaida plan to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and bomb other targets.

One year ago: President Donald Trump signed a bill reopening the government after a 69-hour shutdown. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s widely criticized congressional map, a victory for Democrats who alleged the 18 districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Republicans. Former soccer star George Weah was sworn in as Liberia’s new president, taking over the impoverished West African nation from Africa’s first female leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Gov. Phil Scott signed legislation making Vermont the first state in the country to approve the recreational use of marijuana through the state legislature, rather than through a vote of residents. Singer Neil Diamond announced that he would be retiring from touring because he’d recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., is 91. Actress Piper Laurie is 87. Celebrity chef Graham Kerr (TV: “The Galloping Gourmet”) is 85. Actor Seymour Cassel is 84. Author Joseph Wambaugh is 82. Singer Steve Perry is 70. Country singer-musician Teddy Gentry (Alabama) is 67. Movie director Jim Jarmusch is 66. Actor John Wesley Shipp is 64. Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Bossy is 62. Actress Linda Blair is 60. Actress Diane Lane is 54. Actor-rap DJ Jazzy Jeff is 54. Country singer Regina Nicks (Regina Regina) is 54. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is 51. Actress Olivia d’Abo is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gay (Shai) is 50. Actress Katie Finneran is 48. Actor Gabriel Macht is 47. Actor Balthazar Getty is 44. Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson is 39. Jazz singer Lizz Wright is 39. Pop singer Willa Ford is 38. Actress Beverley (cq) Mitchell is 38. Rock singer-musician Ben Moody is 38. Actor Kevin Sheridan is 37. Actress-singer Phoebe Strole is 36. Rapper Logic is 29. Tennis player Alize Cornet (uh-LEEZ’ kohr-NAY’) is 29. Actress Sami Gayle is 23.

Thought for Today: “Children need models rather than critics.” — Joseph Joubert (zhoo-BAYR’), French moralist (1754-1824).