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Today in History: In 1845 election day became the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November

Today in History: In 1845 election day became the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November

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Today is Saturday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2021. There are 342 days left in the year.

Highlight in History:

On Jan. 23, 2020, Chinese state media said the city of Wuhan would be shutting down outbound flights and trains, trying to halt the spread of a new virus that had sickened hundreds of people and killed at least 17. The World Health Organization said the viral illness in China was not yet a global health emergency, though the head of the U.N. health agency added that “it may yet become one.”

On this date:

In 1812, the second New Madrid Earthquake struck, with an estimated magnitude of 7.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

In 1937, 17 people went on trial in Moscow during Josef Stalin’s “Great Purge.” (All were convicted of conspiracy; all but four were executed.)

In 1950, the Israeli Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In 1962, Jackie Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Tony Bennett recorded “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in New York for Columbia Records.

In 1964, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified as South Dakota became the 38th state to endorse it.

In 1968, North Korea seized the U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, commanded by Lloyd “Pete” Bucher, charging its crew with being on a spying mission; one sailor was killed and 82 were taken prisoner. (Cmdr. Bucher and his crew were released the following December after enduring 11 months of brutal captivity at the hands of the North Koreans.)

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War, and would be formally signed four days later in Paris.

In 1977, the TV mini-series “Roots,” based on the Alex Haley novel, began airing on ABC.

In 1998, a judge in Fairfax, Virginia, sentenced Aimal Khan Kasi (eye-MAHL’ kahn KAH’-see) to death for an assault rifle attack outside CIA headquarters in 1993 that killed two men and wounded three other people. (Kasi was executed in November 2002.)

In 2009, President Barack Obama quietly ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that performed abortions or provided information on the option. 

Ten years ago: Fitness guru Jack LaLanne died in Morro Bay at age 96.

Five years ago: A blizzard with hurricane-force winds brought much of the East Coast to a standstill, dumping as much as 3 feet of snow, stranding tens of thousands of travelers and shutting down Washington D.C. and New York City. 

One year ago: “Sopranos” actor Annabella Sciorra confronted Harvey Weinstein from the witness stand at his New York trial, testifying that Weinstein had overpowered and raped her; she was the first of Weinstein’s accusers to testify at his sexual assault trial. 

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Chita Rivera is 88. Actor-director Lou Antonio is 87. CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell is 47. Actor Tiffani Thiessen is 47. Rock musician Nick Harmer (Death Cab for Cutie) is 46. Actor Lindsey Kraft is 41. Singer-actor Rachel Crow is 23.

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