Hoosier History: On This Day, January 7

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Today is Monday, Jan. 7, the seventh day of 2019 with 358 days to follow.

Today’s Hoosier Highlights in History:

On Jan. 7, 2014, the governor makes driving in the state of Indiana illegal and a network newscast describes Indianapolis as a “ghost town” after a brutal blast of arctic air settles over eastern North America, bringing dangerously low temperatures not seen in decades. About half of the U.S. population was placed under a wind chill warning or cold weather advisory. (Watch coverage below on this day from our sister-station FOX59 here in Indy.)

Folks struggle during the Blizzard of 1996. (File photo/WPIX)
On Jan. 7, 1996, Indiana was in the midst of the Blizzard of 1996. Snowfalls of 5 to 10 inches occur in central Indiana, with snow drifts reported up to 10 feet closing many roads. The Blizzard of 1996 would be one of the most devastating storms to affect the eastern United States, killing 150 people in all – with Indiana experiencing three of those blizzard deaths. (Watch coverage below of the Blizzard of 1996 from our sister-Tribune television station WPIX-TV in New York City.)
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On this date elsewhere:

In 1789, America held its first presidential election as voters chose electors who, a month later, selected George Washington to be the nation’s first chief executive.

In 1904, the Marconi International Marine Communication Company of London announced that the telegraphed letters “CQD” would serve as a maritime distress call (it was later replaced with “SOS”).

In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.

In 1942, Japanese forces began besieging American and Filipino troops in Bataan during World War II. (The fall of Bataan three months later was followed by the notorious Death March.)

In 1953, President Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.

In 1959, the United States recognized the new government of Cuba, six days after Fidel Castro led the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.

In 1963, the U.S. Post Office raised the cost of a first-class stamp from 4 to 5 cents.

In 1972, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and William H. Rehnquist were sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.

In 1989, Emperor Hirohito of Japan died in Tokyo at age 87; he was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.

In 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate. President Bill Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice; he was acquitted.

In 2004, President George W. Bush proposed legal status, at least temporarily, for millions of imigrants improperly working in the U.S.

In 2015, masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper that had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, methodically killing 12 people before escaping. (Two suspects were killed two days later.) Actor Rod Taylor 82, died in Los Angeles.

Ten years ago: President-elect Barack Obama met at the White House with America’s four living presidents: George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Russia shut off all its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine in a price and payment dispute; the cutoff lasted nearly two weeks.

Five years ago: Brutal polar air that made the Midwest shiver over the past few days spread to the East and the Deep South, shattering records that in some cases had stood for more than a century. A U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in a coastal area of eastern England during a training mission, killing all four crew members aboard.

One year ago: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” was the top film at the Golden Globe Awards, winning as best drama and taking home awards for stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell and for writer-director Martin McDonagh. The Golden Globes ceremony became an expression of female empowerment in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, capped by a speech in which Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Oprah Winfrey said of men who use their power to abuse women, “Their time is up!” The arctic air that engulfed parts of the East Coast broke cold temperature records from Maine to West Virginia.

Today’s Birthdays: Magazine publisher Jann Wenner is 73. Singer Kenny Loggins is 71. Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman is 70. Actress Erin Gray is 69. Actor Sammo Hung is 67. Actress Jodi Long is 65. Actor David Caruso is 63. Talk show host Katie Couric is 62. Country singer David Lee Murphy is 60. Rock musician Kathy Valentine is 60. Actor David Marciano is 59. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is 58. Actress Hallie Tdd is 57. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is 56. Actor Nicolas Cage is 55. Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik (on-DRAH’-sik) (Five for Fighting) is 54. Actor Rex Lee is 50. Actor Doug E. Doug is 49. Actor Kevin Rahm is 48. Actor Jeremy Renner is 48. Country singer-musician John Rich is 45. Actor Dustin Diamond is 42. Actor Reggie Austin is 40. Singer-rapper Aloe Blacc is 40. Actress Lauren Cohan is 37. Actor Brett Dalton is 36. Actor Robert Ri’chard is 36. Actress Lyndsy Fonseca is 32. Actor Liam Aiken is 29. Actress Camryn Grimes is 29. Actor Max Morrow is 28. Actor Marcus Scribner is 19.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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