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Today in History: Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura became Minnesota’s governor

Today in History: Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura became Minnesota’s governor

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Today is Monday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2021. There are 361 days left in the year.

Highlight in History:

On Jan. 4, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address in which he outlined the goals of his “Great Society.”

On this date:

In 1821, the first native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

In 1904, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gonzalez v. Williams, ruled that Puerto Ricans were not aliens and could enter the United States freely; however, the court stopped short of declaring them citizens. (Puerto Ricans received U.S. citizenship in March 1917.)

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, called for legislation to provide assistance for the jobless, elderly, impoverished children and the handicapped.

In 1944, Ralph Bunche became the first African-American officer at the State Department as he was appointed to a post in the Near East and African Section.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI began a visit to the Holy Land, the first papal pilgrimage of its kind

In 1974, President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

In 1999, Europe’s new currency, the euro, got off to a strong start on its first trading day, rising against the dollar on world currency markets. Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura took the oath of office as Minnesota’s governor.

In 2002, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, was killed by small-arms fire during an ambush in eastern Afghanistan; he was the first American military death from enemy fire in the war against terrorism.

In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a significant stroke; his official powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert (EH’-hood OHL’-murt). (Sharon remained in a coma until his death in January 2014.)

In 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female speaker of the House as Democrats took control of Congress.

In 2010, Dubai opened the world’s tallest skyscraper, and in a surprise move renamed the 2,717-foot gleaming glass-and-metal tower Burj Khalifa in a nod to the leader of neighboring Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich sheikdom that had come to its financial rescue.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama signed a $1.4 billion overhaul of the nation’s food safety system. 

Five years ago: Workers returned to their offices at the San Bernardino campus where 14 people were killed the previous month in a terror attack carried out by a county restaurant inspector and his wife. 

One year ago: Thousands of militiamen and other supporters marched across Iraq’s capital in a funeral procession for Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike. 

Today’s Birthdays: Singer-musician Cait O’Riordan is 56. Actor Julia Ormond is 56. Former tennis player Guy Forget (ghee fohr-ZHAY’) is 56. Country singer Deana Carter is 55. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 54. Actor Josh Stamberg is 51. Actor Damon Gupton is 48. Actor-singer Jill Marie Jones is 46. Actor D’Arcy Carden is 41. Christian rock singer Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) is 38. 

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