Today's Highlights in History:
On Jan. 18, 1943, during World War II, Jewish insurgents in the Warsaw Ghetto launched their initial armed resistance against Nazi troops, who eventually succeeded in crushing the rebellion. The Soviets announced they'd broken through the long Nazi siege of Leningrad (it was another year before the siege was fully lifted). In the U.S., a ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread -- aimed at reducing bakeries' demand for metal replacement parts -- went into effect.
On this date:
In 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook reached the present-day Hawaiian Islands, which he named the "Sandwich Islands."
In 1862, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Va., at age 71, shortly before he could take his seat as an elected member of the Confederate Congress.
In 1871, William I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles, France.
In 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his Curtiss biplane in for a safe landing on the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Harbor.
In 1913, entertainer Danny Kaye was born David Daniel Kaminsky in New York City.
In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending World War I, opened in Versailles (vehr-SY'), France.
In 1949, Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular mass swindles in history, died destitute at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 66.
In 1957, a trio of B-52's completed the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.
In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973.)
In 1970, David Oman McKay, the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at the age of 96.
In 1988, a China Southwest Airlines Ilyushin 18 crashed while on approach to Chongqing Airport, killing all 108 people on board.
In 1993, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
Ten years ago: Top U.N. officials warned Iraq it was running out of time to cooperate and avoid war. Protesters nationwide and overseas demonstrated in opposition to possible war in Iraq. Michelle Kwan won her sixth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships title and seventh overall; Michael Weiss won his third U.S. men's title at the competition in Dallas.
Five years ago: With recession fears rising and the stock market tumbling, President George W. Bush called for up to $150 billion in tax relief for consumers and business, saying there was no time to waste. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated George Clooney a U.N. "messenger of peace" to promote the world body's activities. Actress Lois Nettleton died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 80.
One year ago: President Barack Obama rejected a Canadian company's plan to build a U.S.-spanning, 1,700-mile pipeline to carry oil across six U.S. states to Texas refineries. Wikipedia and other websites went dark in protest of two congressional proposals intended to thwart the online piracy of copyrighted movies and TV programs.
Today's Birthdays: Movie director John Boorman is 80. Former Sen. Paul Kirk, D-Mass., is 75. Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 72. Comedian-singer-musician Brett Hudson is 60. Actor-director Kevin Costner is 58. Country singer Mark Collie is 57. Actress Jane Horrocks is 49. Comedian Dave Attell is 48. Actor Jesse L. Martin is 44. Rapper DJ Quik is 43. Rock singer Jonathan Davis (Korn) is 42. Singer Christian Burns (BBMak) is 40. NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous is 40. Actor Derek Richardson is 37. Actor Jason Segel is 33. Actress Samantha Mumba is 30. Country singer Kristy Lee Cook (TV: "American Idol") is 29.
Thought for Today: "Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it." -- Danny Kaye (1913-1986).