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Today in History: January 9, Mississippi secedes from the Union

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2024. There are 357 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 9, 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, retreated because of artillery fire.

On this date:

In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew from Philadelphia to Woodbury, New Jersey.

In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, California.

In 1914, the County of Los Angeles opened the country's first public defender's office.

In 1916, the World War I Battle of Gallipoli ended after eight months with an Ottoman Empire victory as Allied forces withdrew.

In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing on the shores of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines as the Battle of Luzon got underway, resulting in an Allied victory over Imperial Japanese forces.

In 1951, the United Nations headquarters in New York officially opened.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his State of the Union address to Congress, warned of the threat of Communist imperialism.

In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him, as told to writer Clifford Irving, was a fake.

In 1987, the White House released a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 2003, U.N. weapons inspectors said there was no "smoking gun" to prove Iraq had nuclear, chemical or biological weapons but they demanded that Baghdad provide private access to scientists and fresh evidence to back its claim that it had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.

In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas, the No. 2 man in the Palestinian hierarchy during Yasser Arafat's rule, was elected president of the Palestinian Authority by a landslide.

In 2015, French security forces shot and killed two al-Qaida-linked brothers suspected of carrying out the rampage at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that had claimed 12 lives.

In 2018, downpours sent mud and boulders roaring down Southern California hillsides that had been stripped of vegetation by a gigantic wildfire; more than 20 people died and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed.

In 2020, Chinese state media said a preliminary investigation into recent cases of viral pneumonia had identified the probable cause as a new type of coronavirus.

In 2022, 17 people, including eight children, died after a fire sparked by a malfunctioning space heater filled a high-rise apartment building with smoke in the New York City borough of the Bronx; it was the city's deadliest blaze in three decades.

In 2023, Constantine, the former and final king of Greece, died in Athens at age 82.

Today's birthdays: Actor K Callan is 88. Folk singer Joan Baez is 83. Rock musician Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) is 80. Actor John Doman is 79. Singer David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) is 74. Singer Crystal Gayle is 73. Actor J.K. Simmons is 69. Actor Imelda Staunton is 68. Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberta Menchú is 65. Rock musician Eric Erlandson is 61. Actor Joely Richardson is 59. Rock musician Carl Bell (Fuel) is 57. Actor David Costabile is 57. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 57. Actor-director Joey Lauren Adams is 56. Comedian/actor Deon Cole is 53. Actor Angela Bettis is 51. Actor Omari Hardwick is 50. Roots singer-songwriter Hayes Carll is 48. Singer A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) is 46. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is 42. Pop-rock musician Drew Brown (OneRepublic) is 40. Rock-soul singer Paolo Nutini is 37. Actor Nina Dobrev is 35. Actor Basil Eidenbenz is 31. Actor Kerris Dorsey is 26. Actor Tyree Brown is 20.