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January 9, 2013

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2013. There are 356 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Jan. 9, 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, Calif.

On this date:

In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J.

In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreated because of artillery fire.

In 1931, Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper broke an endurance record for female aviators as they returned to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.

In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.

In 1951, the United Nations headquarters in New York officially opened.

In 1960, on his 47th birthday, Vice President Richard Nixon became a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.

In 1987, the White House released a Jan. 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 1993, the two owners of a fast food restaurant in Palatine, Ill., and five employees were found shot and stabbed to death. (Two suspects were arrested in May 2002; both were convicted in separate trials and sentenced to life in prison.)

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