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Today in History: January 4, Nancy Pelosi becomes first female speaker of the House

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2024. There are 362 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female speaker of the House as Democrats took control of Congress.

On this date:

In 1821, the first native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, called for legislation to provide assistance for the jobless, elderly, impoverished children and the disabled.

In 1948, Burma (now called Myanmar) became independent of British rule.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI began a visit to the Holy Land, the first papal pilgrimage of its kind.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address in which he outlined the goals of his "Great Society."

In 1974, President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

In 1987, 16 people were killed when an Amtrak train bound from Washington, D.C., to Boston collided with Conrail locomotives that had crossed into its path from a side track in Chase, Maryland.

In 1990, Charles Stuart, who'd claimed that he'd been wounded and his pregnant wife fatally shot by a robber, leapt to his death off a Boston bridge after he himself became a suspect.

In 1999, Europe's new currency, the euro, got off to a strong start on its first trading day, rising against the dollar on world currency markets.

In 2002, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, was killed by small-arms fire during an ambush in eastern Afghanistan; he was the first American military death from enemy fire in the war against terrorism.

In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a significant stroke; his official powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert (EH'-hood OHL'-murt). (Sharon remained in a coma until his death in January 2014.)

In 2015, Pope Francis named 156 new cardinals, selecting them from 14 countries, including far-flung corners of the world, to reflect the diversity of the Roman Catholic church and its growth in places like Asia and Africa.

In 2018, the Trump administration moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a five-year plan that would open up federal waters off of California for the first time in decades and possibly open new areas of oil and gas exploration along the East Coast.

In 2023, Rick Singer, the mastermind of a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal, was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison and ordered to pay $19 million after helping authorities secure the convictions of a slew of wealthy parents involved in his scheme to rig the selection process at top-tier schools.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Barbara Rush is 97. Actor Dyan Cannon is 85. Author-historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is 81. Country singer Kathy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 70. Actor Ann Magnuson is 69. Rock musician Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division) is 69. Country singer Patty Loveless is 67. Rock singer Michael Stipe is 64. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 62. Actor Dave Foley is 61. Actor Dot Jones is 60. Actor Rick Hearst is 59. Singer-musician Cait O'Riordan is 59. Actor Julia Ormond is 59. Former tennis player Guy Forget (ghee fohr-ZHAY') is 59. Country singer Deana Carter is 58. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 57. Actor Josh Stamberg is 54. Actor Damon Gupton is 51. Actor-singer Jill Marie Jones is 49. Actor D'Arcy Carden is 44. Christian rock singer Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) is 41. Actor Lenora Crichlow is 39. Comedian-actor Charlyne Yi is 38. MLB All-Star Kris Bryant is 31. Actor-singer Coco Jones is 26.