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January 22, 2013

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2013. There are 343 days left in the year.

Today’s highlights 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.

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.

In 1912, the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad, which connected the Keys with the mainland, went into service.

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

In 1922, Pope Benedict XV died; he was succeeded by Pius XI.

In 1938, Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town” was performed publicly for the first time in Princeton, N.J.

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

In 1953, the Arthur Miller drama “The Crucible” opened on Broadway.

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

In 1973, a Boeing 707 chartered by Nigeria Airways crashed while attempting to land at Kano International Airport; 176 of the 202 people aboard were killed. George Foreman upset reigning heavyweight champion Joe Frazier with a second round TKO in their match in Kingston, Jamaica.

In 1984, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 to win Super Bowl XVIII (18), played at Tampa Stadium in Florida. (The game broadcast on CBS-TV featured Apple Computer’s famous “1984” ad introducing the Macintosh computer.)

In 1998, Theodore Kaczynski pleaded guilty in Sacramento, Calif., to being the Unabomber in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Ten years ago: Countering blunt talk of war by the Bush administration, France and Germany defiantly stated they were committed to a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis. Opponents and supporters of abortion rights rallied on the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling.

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