Today In History – January 23
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Today’s highlight in history:
On Jan. 23, 1964, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified as South Dakota became the 38th state to endorse it.
On this date:
In 1368, China’s Ming dynasty, which lasted nearly three centuries, began as Zhu Yuanzhang was formally acclaimed emperor following the collapse of the Yuan dynasty.
In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 1950, the Israeli Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
In 1962, Jackie Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Tony Bennett recorded “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in New York for Columbia Records.
In 1968, North Korea seized the U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, commanded by Lloyd “Pete” Bucher, charging its crew with being on a spying mission; one sailor was killed and 82 were taken prisoner. (Cmdr. Bucher and his crew were released the following December after enduring 11 months of brutal captivity at the hands of the North Koreans.)
In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War, and would be formally signed four days later in Paris.
In 1977, the TV mini-series “Roots,” based on the Alex Haley novel, began airing on ABC.
In 1989, surrealist artist Salvador Dali died in his native Figueres, Spain, at age 84.
In 1998, a judge in Fairfax, Virginia, sentenced Aimal Khan Kasi to death for an assault rifle attack outside CIA headquarters in 1993 that killed two men and wounded three other people. (Kasi was executed in November 2002.)
In 2002, John Walker Lindh, a U.S.-born Taliban fighter, was returned to the United States to face criminal charges that he’d conspired to kill fellow Americans. (Lindh was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing support for the Taliban; he was released in May, 2019, after serving more than 17 years.)
In 2009, President Barack Obama quietly ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that performed abortions or provided information on the option. New York Gov. David Paterson chose Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Ten years ago: Abby Sunderland, 16, left Marina del Rey, California, on her first attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. (The voyage ended a week and a-half later because the boat experienced power problems; Sunderland then made a second attempt, but that, too, fell short.) Rachael Flatt won her first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Washington, finishing more than 10 points ahead of Mirai Nagasu.
Five years ago: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, 90, the powerful U.S. ally who’d fought against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom, died in Riyadh. Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, 83, died. Roger Federer was ousted from the Australian Open in the third round, beaten by Andreas Seppi 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5).
One year ago: After a week-long showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump said he was postponing his State of the Union address until the partial government shutdown was over. Venezuela’s political crisis escalated as an opposition leader backed by the Trump administration, Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president; President Nicolas Maduro responded by breaking off relations with the United States. (The opposition failed to oust Maduro, who retained the backing of the country’s military). Democrat Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said he was forming an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid. Police in Phoenix announced the arrest of a licensed practical nurse accused of sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman who had given birth in December at a long-term health care facility. (Nathan Sutherland is awaiting trial.)