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Today in History: The Professional Golfers’ Association of America began with a luncheon

Today in History: The Professional Golfers’ Association of America began with a luncheon

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Today is Sunday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2021. There are 348 days left in the year.

Highlight in History:

On Jan. 17, 1996, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine followers were handed long prison sentences for plotting to blow up New York-area landmarks.

On this date:

In 1806, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, Martha, gave birth to James Madison Randolph, the first child born in the White House.

In 1916, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America had its beginnings as department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker hosted a luncheon of pro and amateur golfers in New York City. (The PGA of America was formally established on April 10, 1916.)

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces launched the first of four battles for Monte Cassino in Italy; the Allies were ultimately successful.

In 1953, a prototype of the Chevrolet Corvette was unveiled during the General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

In 1955, the submarine USS Nautilus made its first nuclear-powered test run from its berth in Groton (GRAH’-tuhn), Connecticut.

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.

In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., ruled 5-4 that the use of home video cassette recorders to tape television programs for private viewing did not violate federal copyright laws.

In 1994, the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan.

In 1997, a court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country’s history.

In 2008, Bobby Fischer, the chess grandmaster who became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, died in Reykjavik, Iceland, at age 64.

Ten years ago: Apple Inc. announced that its CEO, Steve Jobs, was taking his second medical leave of absence in two years. (Jobs died nine months later.) Rock promoter Don Kirshner, 76, died in Boca Raton, Florida.

Five years ago: Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders engaged in their most contentious debate to date, tangling repeatedly in Charleston, South Carolina, over who was tougher on gun control and Wall Street and how to shape the future of health care in America. 

One year ago: U.S. health officials announced that they would begin screening airline passengers from central China for the new coronavirus; people traveling from Wuhan, China, would have their temperature checked and be asked about symptoms. 

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Betty White is 99. Actor James Earl Jones is 90. Talk show host Maury Povich is 82. Pop singer Chris Montez is 79. R&B singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 76. Actor Joanna David is 74. Actor Jane Elliot is 74. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 73. 

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