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Today in History for Jan. 30, 2023

Alan Golacinski

Former hostage Alan Golacinski of Silver Spring, Md., salutes crowd during tickertape parade along Broadway in Lower Manhattan on Friday, Jan. 30, 1981. The parade honored the Americans returned from captivity in Iran. 

On this date

In 1649: England’s King Charles I was executed for high treason.

In 1911: James White, an intellectually disabled Black young man who’d been convicted of rape for having sex with a 14-year-old white girl when he was 16, was publicly hanged in Bell County, Ky.

In 1945: During World War II, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the German ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea with the loss of more than 9,000 lives, most of them war refugees; roughly 1,000 people survived.

In 1948: Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse (neh-too-RAHM’ gahd-SAY’), a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.)

In 1968: The Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese towns and cities; although the Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major setback for the U.S. and its allies.

In 1969: The Beatles staged an impromptu concert atop Apple headquarters in London; it was the group’s last public performance.

In 1972: 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

In 1981: An estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker tape parade honoring the American hostages freed from Iran.

In 1993: Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.

In 2005: Iraqis voted in their country’s first free election in a half-century; President George W. Bush called the balloting a resounding success.

In 2006: Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, at age 78.

In 2020: Health officials reported the first known case in which the new coronavirus was spread from one person to another in the United States. The World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak, which had reached more than a dozen countries, to be a global emergency. Russia ordered the closure of its 2,600-mile-long land border with China in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. President Donald Trump described the handful of U.S. cases of the virus as a “very little problem” and said those people were “recuperating successfully.” The State Department advised U.S. citizens against traveling to China.

Ten years ago: In a dramatic appeal before the Senate Judiciary Committee, wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged Congress to enact tougher curbs on guns, saying, “too many children are dying” without them. Israel conducted a rare airstrike on a military target inside Syria amid fears President Bashar Assad’s regime could provide powerful weapons to the Islamic militant group Hezbollah. Patty Andrews, 94, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio, died in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge.

Five years ago: In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump called on Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and issued ominous warnings about deadly gangs, the scourge of drugs and violent immigrants living in the country illegally; the speech also included calls for optimism amid a growing economy. In the Democratic response, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III said soaring stock prices had boosted investor portfolios and corporate profits but had not eased the anxieties of middle-class families. The body of 35-year-old actor Mark Salling, a former cast member on the TV show “Glee,” was found in a riverbed area of Los Angeles in what a coroner determined was suicide by hanging; Salling’s death came a few weeks after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

One year ago: Matching the biggest comeback in an AFC championship game, the Cincinnati Bengals rallied from an 18-point hole to stun the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime. The Los Angeles Rams rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to secure a spot in the Super Bowl at their home stadium with a 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game. (The Rams would beat the Bengals 23-20 in the Super Bowl two weeks later.) Spotify said it would add content advisories before podcasts discussing the coronavirus; the move followed protests of the music streaming service that were kicked off by singer Neil Young over the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

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