Today is Sunday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2020. There are 340 days left in the year.
On Jan. 26, 2005, a U.S. Marine helicopter crashed in western Iraq, killing 30 Marines and a Navy medic aboard. A man parked his SUV on railroad tracks in Glendale, Calif., setting off a crash of two commuter trains that killed 11 people. (The SUV’s driver, Juan Alvarez, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms.)
On this date
In 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.
In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.
In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.
In 1934, the 125th Street Apollo Theater opened in New York City’s Harlem district.
In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon — but the probe ended up missing its target by more than 22,000 miles.
In 1973, actor Edward G. Robinson died in Los Angeles at age 79.
In 1988, Australians celebrated the 200th anniversary of their country as a grand parade of tall ships re-enacted the voyage of the first European settlers. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Phantom of the Opera” opened at Broadway’s Majestic Theater.
In 1992, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, appearing with his wife, Hillary, on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” acknowledged “causing pain in my marriage,” but said past problems were not relevant to the campaign.
In 1993, Vaclav Havel was elected president of the newly formed Czech Republic.
In 1994, a scare occurred during a visit to Sydney, Australia, by Britain’s Prince Charles as college student David Kang lunged at the prince, firing two blank shots from a starter’s pistol. (Kang was later sentenced to 500 hours of community service.)
In 1998, President Bill Clinton forcefully denied having an affair with a former White House intern, telling reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
In 2009, the impeachment trial of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich opened in Springfield, with Blagojevich refusing to take part, saying the rules were biased against him. Nadya Suleman gave birth at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California to six boys and two girls, the world’s longest-surviving set of octuplets. Criticism came after the public learned that the unemployed, single mother had gotten pregnant with the octuplets and six elder children through in vitro fertilization.
Ten years ago: Toyota suspended U.S. sales of several popular vehicle models to fix sticking accelerator pedals; the suspension was on top of a recall of 2.3 million vehicles. Louis Auchincloss, 92, a prolific author of fiction and nonfiction, died in New York.
Five years ago: Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had surgery to remove a clot and blood from his right eye and repair broken facial bones suffered in an accident while exercising. A 2-foot-long drone flown by a hobbyist crashed on the White House grounds, raising questions about the president’s security and a growing threat from the sky.
One year ago: Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open for a second consecutive Grand Slam title, edging Petra Kvitova; the win allowed the 21-year-old to become the first tennis player from Japan to reach No. 1 in the rankings. Flight operations at major airports returned to normal, and park rangers again greeted visitors at some national parks, a day after a partial government shutdown came to an end. Oscar-winning composer and pianist Michel Legrand died at the age of 86.
Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 91. Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker is 85. Actor Scott Glenn is 81. Singer Jean Knight is 77. Activist Angela Davis is 76. Actor Richard Portnow is 73. Rock musician Corky Laing (Mountain) is 72. Actor David Strathairn is 71. Producer-director Mimi Leder is 68. Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is 67. Rock singer-musician Eddie Van Halen is 65. Reggae musician Norman Hassan (UB40) is 62. Actress-comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 62. Rock musician Charlie Gillingham (Counting Crows) is 60. Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky is 59. Musician Andrew Ridgeley is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazzie B. (Soul II Soul) is 57. Actor Paul Johansson is 56. Director Lenny Abrahamson is 54. Actor Bryan Callen is 53. Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is 50. Actor Nate Mooney is 48. Actress Jennifer Crystal is 47. Rock musician Chris Hesse (Hoobastank) is 46. Actress Matilda Szydagis is 46. Actor Gilles Marini is 44. Gospel singer Tye Tribbett is 44. NBA player Vince Carter is 43. Actress Sarah Rue is 42. Actor Colin O’Donoghue is 39. Country musician Michael Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 37.
Thought for today
“Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves.” — Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian statesman (1889-1964).