Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 24, 1961, a U.S. Air Force B-52 broke up and crashed near Goldsboro, N.C., dropping its payload of two nuclear bombs, neither of which went off; three of the eight crew members were killed.
On this date:
In 1742, Charles VII was elected Holy Roman Emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession.
In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of ‘49.
In 1908, the Boy Scouts movement began in England under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell.
In 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader. (However, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg.)
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.
In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.
In 1986, the Voyager 2 space probe swept past Uranus, coming within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet of the solar system.
In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida's electric chair.
Ten years ago: The last two of seven escaped convicts from Texas were captured in Colorado after 42 days on the run; four others had been captured earlier, and one had committed suicide. Lucent Technologies said it would eliminate up to 16,000 jobs.
Five years ago: Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito won a 10-8 party-line approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Armed men seized two German engineers from a car in northern Iraq (both were later released). Tap dancer Fayard Nicholas died at age 91; actor Chris Penn died at age 40.
One year ago: In an audio message, Osama bin Laden endorsed the failed attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day and threatened new attacks against the United States. Afghanistan postponed parliamentary elections. The Indianapolis Colts beat the New York Jets 30-17 in the AFC championship game. The New Orleans Saints of the NFC made it to their first Super Bowl after battering the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in overtime. Kelly Kulick became the first woman to win a PBA Tour title, beating Chris Barnes in the final of the 45th Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Ernest Borgnine is 94. Actor Jerry Maren (“The Wizard of Oz”) is 92. Actor Marvin Kaplan (“Top Cat”) is 84. Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 75. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 72. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 70. Singer Aaron Neville is 70. Actor Michael Ontkean is 65. Actor Daniel Auteuil is 61. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 61. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 60. Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 53. Actress Nastassja Kinski is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Theo Peoples is 50. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 48. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is 45. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 44. Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 41. Actor Matthew Lillard is 41. Actress Merrilee McCommas is 40. Actor Ed Helms is 37. Actress Tatyana Ali is 32. Rock musician Mitchell Marlow (Filter) is 32. Actress Mischa Barton is 25.
Thought for Today: “The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.” — Brooks Atkinson, American drama critic (1894-1984).
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.