Today's Highlight in History:
On this date:
In 1606, Guy Fawkes, convicted of treason for his part in the “Gunpowder Plot” against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.
In 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of all the Confederate armies.
In 1917, during World War I, Germany served notice it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
In 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began a successful invasion of Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
In 1945, Pvt. Eddie Slovik, 24, became the first U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion as he was shot by an American firing squad in France.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman announced he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.
In 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.
In 1971, astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
Ten years ago: A Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan, acquitted a second, in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. (Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi was given a life sentence, but was released after eight years on compassionate grounds by Scotland's government.) Without any fanfare, the state of Georgia hoisted its new flag above its statehouse, one featuring a smaller Confederate battle emblem. Michel Navratil, one of the last known survivors of the sinking of the Titanic, died in Montpellier, France, at age 92.
Five years ago: In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush declared that America had to break its long dependence on Mideast oil and rebuked critics of his stay-the-course strategy for the unpopular war in Iraq. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was sworn in after winning Senate confirmation. The Senate approved Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. British ballerina and actress Moira Shearer died in Oxford, England, at age 80.
One year ago: The annual World Economic Forum concluded a five-day meeting in Davos, Switzerland, with widespread agreement that a fragile recovery was under way but no consensus on what was going to spur job growth. Roger Federer easily beat Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11) for a fourth Australian Open championship. The AFC beat the NFC 41-34 in the Pro Bowl, played ahead of the Super Bowl for the first time. Beyonce collected six trophies to become the most decorated female artist at a Grammy ceremony; Taylor Swift won four Grammys, including album of the year.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Carol Channing is 90. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks is 80. Composer Philip Glass is 74. Former Interior Secretary James Watt is 73. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is 73. Actor Stuart Margolin is 71. Actress Jessica Walter is 70. Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is 70. Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 67. Actor Glynn Turman is 65. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan is 64. Singer-musician Harry Wayne Casey (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 60. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 55. Actress Kelly Lynch is 52. Actor Anthony LaPaglia is 52. Singer-musician Lloyd Cole is 50. Rock musician Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) is 47. Rock musician Al Jaworski (Jesus Jones) is 45. Actress Minnie Driver is 41. Actress Portia de Rossi is 38. Actor-comedian Bobby Moynihan is 34. Actress Kerry Washington is 34. Singer Justin Timberlake is 30.
Thought for Today: “We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.” — R.D. Laing, Scottish psychiatrist (1927-1989).
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.