Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Today in History: January 16, Caesar Augustus declared Roman emperor

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2024. There are 350 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 16, 27 B.C., Caesar Augustus was declared the first Emperor of the Roman Empire by the Senate.

On this date:

In 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, "Forty acres and a mule.")

In 1912, a day before reaching the South Pole, British explorer Robert Scott and his expedition found evidence that Roald Amundsen of Norway and his team had gotten there ahead of them.

In 1919, pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski (pah-dehr-EHF'-skee) became the first premier of the newly created Republic of Poland.

In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)

In 1942, actor Carole Lombard, 33, her mother, Elizabeth, and 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nevada, while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.

In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a Black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd's passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)

In 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. (Allied forces prevailed on Feb. 28, 1991.)

In 2002, Richard Reid was indicted in Boston on federal charges alleging he'd tried to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes. (Reid later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.)

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN' rah-MOHN'). (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)

In 2017, former NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan, to date the last man to walk on the moon, died in Houston at age 82.

In 2020, the first impeachment trial of President Donald Trump opened in the Senate, with senators standing and swearing an oath of "impartial justice." Trump, who denounced the proceedings as a "hoax," would later be acquitted on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In 2013, Pauline Friedman Phillips, better known as advice columnist Dear Abby, died in Minneapolis at age 94.

In 2018, authorities in Denmark charged inventor Peter Madsen with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall during a trip on his private submarine. (Madsen was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.)

In 2023, Italy's No. 1 fugitive, convicted Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, was arrested at a private clinic in Palermo, Sicily, after three decades on the run.

Today's birthdays: Author William Kennedy is 96. Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 94. Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 90. Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 89. Singer Barbara Lynn is 82. Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 81. Country singer Jim Stafford is 80. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 77. Movie director John Carpenter is 76. Actor-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 74. R&B singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 65. Singer Sade (shah-DAY') is 65. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is 65. Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 62. Actor David Chokachi (CHOH'-kuh-chee) is 56. Former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is 55. Actor-writer-director Josh Evans is 53. Actor-comedian Jonathan Mangum is 53. Actor Richard T. Jones is 52. Actor Josie Davis is 51. Model Kate Moss is 50. Actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda is 44. Country musician James Young (The Eli Young Band) is 44. Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 43. Actor Renee Felice Smith is 39. NFL quarterback Joe Flacco is 39. Actor Yvonne Zima ("The Young and the Restless") is 35.