Today in History
49 BC Julius Caesar leads his army across the Rubicon River, plunging Rome into civil war.
1843 Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” dies in Baltimore.
1861 Alabama secedes from the Union.
1862 Lincoln accepts Simon Cameron’s resignation as Secretary of War.
1887 At Fort Smith, Arkansas, hangman George Maledon dispatches four victims in a multiple hanging.
1904 British troops massacre 1,000 dervishes in Somaliland.
1916 Russian General Yudenich launches a WWI winter offensive and advances west.
1923 The French enter the town of Essen in the Ruhr valley, to extract Germany’s resources as war payment.
1934 The German police raid the homes of dissident clergy in Berlin.
1940 Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., becomes the U.S. Army’s first black general. His son would later become a general as well.
1941 Adolf Hitler orders forces to be prepared to enter North Africa to assist the Italian effort, marking the establishment of the Afrika Korps.
1942 Japan invades the Dutch East Indies at Borneo.
1943 The Soviet Red Army encircles Stalingrad.
1948 President Harry S. Truman proposes free, twoyear community colleges for all who want an education.
1949 Negotiations in China between the Nationalists and Communists open as Tientsin is virtually lost to the Communists.
1964 A collection of previously unexhibited paintings by Pablo Picasso are displayed for the first time in Toronto.
1980 Honda announces it will build the first Japaneseowned passenger-car assembly plant in the United States–in Ohio.
1994 The Irish Government announces an end to a
15-year ban on broadcasting by the IRA and its political branch, Sinn Fein.
2003 Illinois Gov. George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on the state’s death row in the wake of allegations that Chicago police detective and commander Jon Burge tortured confessions from some 200 suspects over a 19 year period.
1757 Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; he was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.
1864 H. George Selfridge, founder of Selfridge and Co. Ltd; coined the phrase “the customer is always right”.
1903 Alan Patton, South African novelist (Cry, the Beloved Country).
1931 Rod Taylor, actor (The Birds).
1943 Jim Hightower, radio host, author, social activist; created the concept of the “Doug Jones Average”—how is “Doug Jones” (i.e., your neighbor) doing financially— as a better measure of the economy than the Dow Jones Average.
1952 Ben Crenshaw, pro golfer; nicknamed “Gentle Ben,” he won the Masters Tournament in 1984 and