On Jan. 18, 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 1778: English navigator Captain James Cook reached the present-day Hawaiian Islands, which he named the “Sandwich Islands.”
In 1782: Lawyer and statesman Daniel Webster was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire.
In 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). A U.S. ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread — aimed at reducing bakeries’ demand for metal replacement parts — went into effect.
In 1952: Jerome “Curly” Howard of Three Stooges fame died in San Gabriel, Calif., at age 48.
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 of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973.)
In 1990: A jury in Los Angeles acquitted former preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges.
In 1991: Financially strapped Eastern Airlines shut down after more than six decades in business.
In 1993: The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
In 1998: The motion picture “Titanic” won four Golden Globes, including best drama and best director for James Cameron; “Ally McBeal” beat out “Seinfeld” as the best TV comedy.
In 2005: The world’s largest commercial jet, the Airbus A380 “superjumbo” capable of flying up to 800 passengers, was unveiled in Toulouse, France.
In 2019: Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer who gunned down Black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014, was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison.
Ten years ago: Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington for a four-day state visit; President Barack Obama welcomed him with a private dinner in the White House residence. The first director of the Peace Corps, R. Sargent Shriver, died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 95.
Five years ago: For the first time in 17 years, civil rights leaders gathered at the South Carolina Statehouse to pay homage to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. without the Confederate flag present; it was one of many rallies throughout the country. Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, 67, died in New York.