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Events, deaths, births, of JAN 16
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ACF price chartOn a January 16:

Early in the morning AmeriCredit Corp. (ACF) reports, for the quarter ended on 31 Dec 2002, a loss per share of 18 cents (6 cents was expected), while in the same quarter a year earlier it had earnings of 91 per share. It is also projecting that credit losses will rise during the first half of 2003. ACF is downgraded by Wachovia from Market Perform to Underperform. On the New York Stock Exchange, 44 million of the 153 million ACF shares are traded, dropping from their previous close of $8.10 to an intraday low of $3.52 and closing at $3.70. They had traded as high as $46.13 as recently as 23 April 2002 and $63.41 on 30 July 2001. AmeriCredit Corp. is a national US consumer finance company specializing in purchasing, securitizing and servicing automobile loans.
[5~year price chart >]
marine iguanas

2001 The tanker Jessica, carrying some 885'000 liters of fuel runs aground 500 m off San Cristobal, the easternmost Galapagos island, and spills much of the fuel, endangering the unique Galapagos fauna and flora. Fortunately the winds push most of the slick out to sea. Nevertheless a study published in the 06 June 2002 Nature reveals a 60% decrease in the population of Amblyrhynchus cristatus algae-eating marine iguanas [< photo] in islands affected by the spill, by the end of 2001. This is supposed to be the result of the oil killing intestinal bacterias in the iguanas that are essential to enable them to digest seaweed.
The Htoo twins^ 2001 Twin boy guerilla leaders surrender
     Johnny and Luther Htoo, 13, [center and right on the photo, taken the next day] the twin boy leaders of a mystical rebel movement from Myanmar surrender late in the day with some of their followers. Hunted and hungry, 14 members of the God's Army group — nine of them children, including the charismatic twins — turn themselves over to Thai authorities after a year on the run along the Thai-Myanmar border.
      For more than three years, the boys fought to overthrow Myanmar's military government, and their followers believe Johnny and Luther have magical powers that make them invincible in battle. The boys once claimed to have several hundred followers. Last year, the Htoo twins became icons for youthful rebellion around the world after the widespread circulation of an Associated Press photograph showed the angelic-looking, long-haired Johnny posing next to his tougher-looking, cigarette-puffing brother, Luther. The boys claimed to be 12 when the picture was taken in December 1999.
      The reason for their surrender is a lack of supplies and food, and also because they are under pressure from both Myanmar and Thai forces. Komes Daengthongdee, the governor of Ratchaburi province, where the group surrendered said: “If they ran away from fighting, they will be considered for temporary asylum in Thailand. But if they entered illegally, they will be charged with illegal entry and pushed back.”
      Two other members of the group are being held separately, suspected of taking part in a raid last month in which a Thai border village was looted and six villagers were killed.
      About 100'000 other refugees from Myanmar, mostly members of Myanmar's ethnic minorities, live in refugee camps along the border with Thailand after fleeing fighting between rebel groups and the Myanmar army. Most, if not all, of the God's Army followers are members of Myanmar's sizable ethnic Karen minority, which has long sought autonomy from the central government. Many Karens, like the twins, are fundamentalist Christians, and most of the rebel groups support the pro-democracy efforts of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. But God's Army's unsophisticated political beliefs are mostly driven by hatred for Myanmar's army.
      Thailand's military often has ignored rebel activities along the border, but the involvement of God's Army in terrorist attacks inside Thailand has drawn the ire of Bangkok.
      Both boys looked unhealthy. Luther appeared to be very thin and Johnny seemed to have a bloated belly. Thai doctors had examine the twins and find they are not sick, but that some of their companions are. The other children include two girls, two men who appear to be in their 20s, and a middle-aged woman.
      The 14 God's Army members turn themselves in at the border with Myanmar in Ratchaburi province, 100 km west of Bangkok.
      God's Army first gained notoriety after it gave refuge to another group of Myanmar dissidents who had taken hostages at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok in October 1999. The Thais had allowed them to go free in exchange for releasing the captives. Several months later, members of the same group, the Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors, took control of a Ratchaburi hospital, demanding that the Thai government send medicine and doctors to treat ethnic Karen people injured in fighting with Myanmar troops. Thai commandos killed all hostage-takers. Although it was never certain that God's Army members participated in the hospital raid, the incident made them most-wanted persons on both sides of the border. After the raid, the Myanmar army, aided by Thai forces, ousted God's Army from its stronghold, and they have been on the run ever since, reported to be hiding out in villages on either side of the Thai-Myanmar border.
2001 El petrolero Jessica encalla frente a las costas de las islas Galápagos y provoca una marea negra de irremediables consecuencias.
2000 Ricardo Lagos is elected Chile's first Socialist president since Salvador Allende.
^ 1999 Clinton impeachment trial, 3rd day: prosecution concludes.

(1) After two days of detailing facts the House managers say support the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, today's speakers set out to convince the Senate that those crimes are indeed "high crimes" and therefore merit Clinton's removal from office. Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Indiana) leads off the rare Saturday morning session, arguing "The president's premeditated assault on the administration of justice must be interpreted as a threat to our system of government." Buyer rejects an argument of Clinton's defenders that says even if the charges were true, they are trivial — what the prosecution has dubbed the "So what?" defense. Buyer said the White House relies on this argument because it's their only defense since they can't dispute the facts. "This 'rise to the level' has somehow become the legal cliche of this case. You've all so often heard it, and some of you have even spoken it," Buyer says. Buyer warns against the "profound" consequences of an acquittal: "Should the Senate choose to acquit it must be prepared to accept a lower standard, a bad precedent, and a double standard."

Not buyin' what the White House is sellin' Prior standards used by the Senate to impeach a federal judge on the grounds of perjury should apply equally to the president, Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) argues. "You couldn't live with yourself knowing that you were going to leave a perjuring judge on the bench. Ladies and gentlemen, as hard as it may be for the same reasons, cleanse this office.," Graham says.

Another articulate Clinton detractor Rep. Charles Canady (R-Florida) urges the senators to not to look at the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" narrowly. "Perjury and obstruction of justice are akin to bribery both in their purpose and in their effect," he argues in his speech that wrapped up the constitutional law portion of the prosecution's three-day opening presentation. And the polls — which show the president with sustained high approval ratings and a majority of the public opposed to his removal from office — should not drive their decisions. "A popular president guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors should no more remain in office than an unpopular president innocent of wrongdoing should be removed ... popularity is not a sufficient guide," Canady says.

The scourge of surly liberal restaurant waitresses everywhere Rep. George Gekas (R-Pennsylvania) acknowledges that the impeachment process is as political as it is judicial. Despite their allegiances, he calls on each senator to do their duty. "Only the Senate and each individual conscience will determine how that final vote is cast. We cannot account for the friendship or enmity that might exist with and for President Clinton," Gekas says. He defends the work done by the 13 House managers — all Republicans from the House Judiciary Committee — saying they were fulfilling their constitutional duty and not out to get the president. "We revere the presidency. Any innuendo or any kind of impulse that anyone has to attribute any kind of motivation on the part of these men of honor who have prepared this case for you today on any whim on their part other than to do their constitutional duty should be rebuffed at every conversation," Gekas says.
^  Let's hope that he didn't ad lib today: President Bill Clinton has "violated the rule of law and thereby broken his covenant of trust with the American people," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde concludes, adding for the Senate to not remove him from office would damage the presidency "in an unprecedented and unacceptable way." Delivering the final word in the House prosecution's three-day opening presentation in the Senate impeachment trial of the president, Hyde tells the 100 US senators Saturday that his team is "convinced in conscience" that the president is guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice and those charges merit conviction. "These are not trivial matters. These are not partisan matters. These are matters of justice, the justice that each of you has taken a solemn oath to serve in this trial," Hyde says in a lofty, historical speech. The public trust has been betrayed, Hyde says, and removal from office is the only "remedy." To make the point, he reads a letter from Chicago third-grader William Preston Summers who wrote: "If you cannot believe the president, who can you believe? If you have no one to believe in, then how do you run your life? I do not believe the president tells the truth any more right now." "We work to make this country the kind of America they (US veterans) were willing to die for," Hyde says, echoing Gekas' words. "That's an America where the idea of sacred honor still has the power to stir men's souls. My solitary, solitary hope is that 100 years from today people will look back at what we've done and say, 'They kept the faith.'" "I'm done," Hyde says, concluding both his quietly delivered 20-minute speech to the hushed chamber and the managers' opening presentation.

(2) As House impeachment managers wrap up the opening salvo in their case against President Bill Clinton, one question is being asked in Washington and around the country — how is all of this playing with the 100 senators who will decide his fate? In their public statements today, many senators take great pains to note that they are reserving final judgment until Clinton's side of the case is heard next week. A number of senators, including some Democrats, give positive reviews to the House managers' three-day presentation. On the other hand, one moderate Republican, Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont, indicates that he was less than convinced by the House managers' argument that lying under oath in a court proceeding, even to cover up a consensual sexual affair, is impeachable. "If you say lying about a non-crime can be converted into a high crime by the way you handle it, that sets a pretty low standard for me," Jeffords says.

(3) House Speaker Dennis Hastert urges Republican and Democratic lawmakers to respectfully receive President Bill Clinton when he presents the State of the Union address Jan. 19. Hastert (R-Illinois) sends a letter to his colleagues in the House of Representatives telling them that Clinton's remarks should be received "soberly and with the dignity that befits the United States Congress." In his letter, Hastert says the State of the Union address would go ahead "out of respect for the office of the presidency and for a desire to hear about the state of our nation." He reminds the representatives that there are other issues in the nation besides impeachment. "The United States of America is prosperous and free. But storm clouds gather on our horizon. Our national security is challenged by the continued malfeasance of Saddam Hussein. Our economic security is challenged by a growing worldwide recession. Our future is bedeviled by too many schools that perform poorly and by a Social Security system in need of reform," Hastert says. "The President has the responsibility to tell us his thoughts on how to confront these growing problems." Clinton's speech will take place the same day his defense team opens its case. Some lawmakers had urged the president to delay the annual address or submit it in written form because of the trial.

(4) The president rehearses his State of the Union speech for about four hours and will spend at least that long practicing again tomorrow.

1999 Los observadores internacionales descubren 45 cadáveres de civiles kosovares de etnia albanesa en distintos lugares al sur de Kosovo.
1998 El Tribunal Constitucional turco decide disolver el Partido del Bienestar y condenar a su líder y primer ministro Necmettin Erbakan, a cinco años de inhabilitación política.
1998 El presidente estadounidense Bill Clinton, suspende el artículo III de la ley Helms-Burton contra Cuba.
1997 El gobierno argentino rechaza la petición del juez español Baltasar Garzón para abrir una investigación sobre la desaparición de 266 ciudadanos de origen español durante el régimen militar argentino.
1997 El etarra José Luis Urrusolo Sistiaga, relacionado con 18 asesinatos y dos secuestros, es detenido por gendarmes franceses cerca de Burdeos.
1996 Gunmen in Trabzon, Turkey, hijack a Black Sea ferry with more than 200 people on board, and demand that Russian troops stop fighting Chechen patriots in Pervomayskaya. (The hostages would be released three days later)
1994 El presidente italiano, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, disuelve el Parlamento y convoca elecciones generales anticipadas.
1992 Officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders sign a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war. — Se firma la paz entre la FMLN y el gobierno de El Salvador en el castillo de Chapultepec.
1991 Announcing the start of Operation Desert Storm by US and 27 allies, to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, President Bush said in a nationally broadcast address, "the battle has been joined," as fighter bombers pounded Iraqi targets. (Because of the time difference, it is early 17 January in the Persian Gulf when the attack begins.)
^ 1990 Soviets send troops into Azerbaijan
      In the wake of vicious fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Azerbaijan, the Soviet government sends in 11'000 troops to quell the conflict. The fighting — and the official Soviet reaction to it — was an indication of the increasing ineffectiveness of the central Soviet government in maintaining control in the Soviet republics, and of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's weakening political power.
      Strife in Azerbaijan was the result of centuries of tensions between the Islamic Azerbaijanis and the Christian Armenians. Since the Russian Revolution in 1917, the communist regime managed to maintain relative peace between the two groups, but with the gradual weakening of the Soviet Union during the late-1980s, ethnic rivalries began to re-emerge. In its weakened state, the Soviet Union chose to only partially involve itself in the conflict. The approach was unusual — had it occurred under the strict communist regime of the Cold War's peak, such a tense internal conflict would likely have been immediately and forcefully quelled.
      In the latest outbreak of violence, Armenians took the brunt of the attacks and nearly 60 people were killed. Armenian spokesmen condemned the lack of action on the part of the Gorbachev regime and pleaded for military intervention. Soviet officials, however, were not eager to leap into the ethnic fray and attempted to downplay the seriousness of the situation in the press. One Soviet official declared that the fighting in Azerbaijan was not a "civil war," but merely "national strife."
      Some Gorbachev supporters even voiced the suspicion that the violence in the region was being stirred up by anti-Gorbachev activists merely to discredit the regime. Gorbachev dispatched 11'000 Soviet soldiers to quiet the situation, and the United States government supported his action as a humanitarian response to the killings and terror.
      The troops Gorbachev sent did little to alleviate the situation — over the next two years, ethnic violence in Azerbaijan continued, and the weakening Soviet regime was unable to bring a lasting resolution to the situation. Less than two years later, Gorbachev resigned from power and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
1989 Police arrest writer Vaclav Havel in Prague.
1989 El Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU aprueba por unanimidad el plan para la independencia de Namibia y pide al Gobierno de Sudáfrica que reduzca su presencia militar en ese territorio.
1987 Dimite Hu Yaobang, secretario del Partido Comunista chino, y le sustituye Zao Ziyang.
1985 El Gobierno israelí decide retirar sus tropas del Líbano en tres fases.
1982 Great Britain and the Vatican resume full diplomatic relations after a break of over 400 years.
1981 In Northern Ireland, Protestant gunmen shoot and wound Irish nationalist leader Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and her husband.
^ 1979 Shah flees from Iran.
      Faced with an army mutiny and violent demonstrations against his rule, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the leader of Iran since 1941, is forced to flee the country for Egypt. Fourteen days later, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the Islamic revolution, returned after 15 years of exile and took control of Iran.
      In August 1941, British and Soviet troops occupied Iran, and the first Pahlavi shah (Reza Khan 16 Mar 1878 – 26 Jul 1944), whom they regarded with suspicion, was forced to abdicate on 16 September 1941 in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (born on 26 October 1919). The new shah promised to act as a constitutional monarch but often meddled in the elected government's affairs. After a Communist plot against him was thwarted in 1949, he took on even more powers. However, in the early 1950s, the shah was eclipsed by Mohammad Mosaddeq, a zealous Iranian nationalist who convinced the Parliament to nationalize Britain's extensive oil interests in Iran. Mohammad Reza, who maintained close relations with Britain and the United States, opposed the decision. Nevertheless, he was forced in 1951 to appoint Mosaddeq premier, and two years of tension followed.
      In August 1953, Mohammad Reza attempted to dismiss Mosaddeq, but the premier's popular support was so great that the shah himself was forced out of Iran. A few days later, British and US intelligence agents orchestrated a stunning coup d'etat against Mosaddeq, and the shah returned to take power as the sole leader of Iran. He repealed Mosaddeq's legislation and became a close Cold War ally of the United States in the Middle East.
      In 1963, the shah launched his "White Revolution," a broad government program that included land reform, infrastructure development, voting rights for women, and the reduction of illiteracy. Although these programs were applauded by many in Iran, Islamic leaders were critical of what they saw as the westernization of Iran. Ruhollah Khomeini, a Shiite cleric, was particularly vocal in his criticism and called for the overthrow of the shah and the establishment of an Islamic state. In 1964, Khomeini was exiled and settled across the border in Iraq, where he sent radio messages to incite his supporters.
      The shah saw himself foremost as a Persian king and in 1971 held an extravagant celebration of the 2500th anniversary of the pre-Islamic Persian monarchy. In 1976, he formally replaced the Islamic calendar with a Persian calendar. Religious discontent grew, and the shah became more repressive, using his brutal secret police force to suppress opposition. This alienated students and intellectuals in Iran, and support for Khomeini grew. Discontent was also rampant in the poor and middle classes, who felt that the economic developments of the White Revolution had only benefited the ruling elite. In 1978, anti-shah demonstrations broke out in Iran's major cities.
      On 08 September 1978, the shah's security force fired on a large group of demonstrators, killing hundreds and wounding thousands. Two months later, thousands took to the streets of Tehran, rioting and destroying symbols of westernization, such as banks and liquor stores. Khomeini called for the shah's immediate overthrow, and on December 11 a group of soldiers mutinied and attacked the shah's security officers. With that, his regime collapsed and the shah fled.
      The shah traveled to several countries before entering the United States in October 1979 for medical treatment of his cancer. In Tehran, Islamic militants responded on 04 November 1979 by storming the US embassy and taking the staff hostage. With the approval of Khomeini, the militants demanded the return of the shah to Iran to stand trial for his crimes. The United States refused to negotiate, and 52 US hostages were held for 444 days until the 20 January 1981 inauguration of President Reagan. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi died in in Egypt on 27 July 1980.
1975 Se firma en Lisboa el acuerdo para la independencia de Angola.
1970 Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi becomes premier of Libya.
1967 First black government installed in Bahamas, as after the general elections of 1967, the Progressive Liberal Party under the leadership of Lynden Pindling was able to form a government with a slight majority.
1969 Soviet Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform first transfer of crew in space.
^ 1969 Agreement to open Vietnam peace talks.
      An agreement is reached in Paris for the opening of expanded peace talks. It was agreed that representatives of the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the National Liberation Front would sit at a circular table without nameplates, flags or markings.
      The talks had been plagued from the beginning by procedural questions, and the participants literally jockeyed for desirable positions at the negotiating table. Prolonged discussions over the shape of the negotiating table were finally resolved by the placement of two square tables separated by a round table. Seemingly insignificant matters as the table placement and seating arrangement became fodder for many arguments between the delegations at the negotiations.
^ 1964 US President approves covert operations against North Vietnam.
      President Johnson approves Oplan 34A, operations to be conducted by South Vietnamese forces supported by the United States to gather intelligence and conduct sabotage to destabilize the North Vietnamese regime.
      Actual operations began in February and involved raids by South Vietnamese commandos operating under US orders against North Vietnamese coastal and island installations. Although American forces were not directly involved in the actual raids, US Navy ships were on station to conduct electronic surveillance and monitor North Vietnamese defense responses under another program called Operation De Soto.
      The Oplan 34A attacks played a major role in what became known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. On 02 August 1964, North Vietnamese patrol boats attacked the destroyer USS Maddox, which was conducting a De Soto mission in the area. Two days after the first attack, there was another incident that still remains unclear. The Maddox, joined by destroyer USS C. Turner Joy, engaged what were believed to be more attacking North Vietnamese patrol boats. Although it was questionable whether the second attack actually happened, the incident provided the rationale for retaliatory air attacks and the subsequent Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which became the basis for the initial escalation of the war in Vietnam and ultimately the insertion of US combat troops into the area.
1963 Khrushchev claims to have a 100-megaton nuclear bomb.
1956 El Islam se convierte en la religión de Egipto por mandato constitucional.
1956 Egyptian President Nasser pledges to reconquer Palestine
1953 Egyptian Premier General Naguib disbands all political parties
1951 Viet Minh offensive against Hanoi
1951 World's largest gas pipeline opens (Brownsville TX, to 134th St, New York City NY)
1950 Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands recognize Israel
1947 Vincent Auriol elected President of France.
1946 El niño "prodigio" español Arturo Pomar Salamanca gana el torneo de ajedrez de Londres.
1945 US first and 3rd army meet at Houffalise
1945 Scottish 52nd land division/first Commando brigade-assault at Heinsberg
^ 1945 Hitler descends into his bunker
      Adolf Hitler takes to his underground bunker, where he remains for 105 days until he commits suicide. Hitler retired to his bunker after deciding to remain in Berlin for the last great siege of the war. 17 meters under the chancellery (Hitler's headquarters as chancellor), the shelter contained 18 small rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electrical supply. He left only rarely (once to decorate a squadron of Hitler Youth) and spent most of his time micromanaging what was left of German defenses and entertaining Nazi colleagues like Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. Constantly at his side during this time were his companion, Eva Braun, and his Alsatian dog, Blondi.
      On April 29, Hitler married Eva in their bunker hideaway. Eva Braun met Hitler while working as an assistant to Hitler's official photographer. Braun spent her time with Hitler out of public view, entertaining herself by skiing and swimming. She had no discernible influence on Hitler's political career but provided a certain domesticity to the life of the dictator. Loyal to the end, she refused to leave the bunker even as the Russians closed in.
      Only hours after they were united in marriage, both Hitler and Eva committed suicide. Warned by officers that the Russians were only about a day from overtaking the chancellery and urged to escape to Berchtesgarden, a small town in the Bavarian Alps where Hitler owned a home, the dictator instead chose to take his life. Both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules (which had been tested for their efficacy on his "beloved" dog and her pups). For good measure, he shot himself with his pistol.
1944 General Dwight D. Eisenhower takes command of Allied Invasion Force in London.
1943 Red Army recaptures Pitomnik airport at Stalingrad
1943 German 2nd SS-Pantzer division evacuates Charkow
1943 first US air raid on Ambon
1943 -60ºF (-51ºC), Island Park Dam ID (state record)
1942 William Knudsen becomes first civilian appointed a General in US army.
1941 II Guerra Mundial: Se inician los ataques aéreos alemanes a Malta, con lo que comenzó la guerra en el Mediterráneo.
1941 US vice admiral Bellinger warns of an assault on Pearl Harbor.
1936 Spanish socialists/communists/anarchists form Unidad Popular.
1925 General M. Froense replaces Leon Trotsky as head of the War Commissariat of the USSR.
1920 First assembly of League of Nations (Paris)
1920 18th Amendment to the US Constitution (prohibition of the sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages), goes into effect; (repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933).
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. — Entra en vigor en EE.UU. la "Ley Seca", por la que se prohibía la venta y consumo de bebidas alcohólicas.
1919 Prohibition ratified by 3/4 of the US states; Nebraska is 36th (Wyoming and Missouri, the 37th and 38th).
1914 El poeta ruso Maksim Gorki, autorizado a regresar a su país tras ocho años de exilio.
1913 British House of Commons accepts Home-Rule for Ireland
1909 British explorer Ernest Shackleton finds magnetic south pole.
1908 Grandes disturbios obreros en Chicago (Estados Unidos).
1906 Conference of Algeciras (about Morocco) — Comienza la Conferencia de Algeciras entre España, Francia, Alemania, e Inglaterra, sobre el destino de Marruecos.
1889 128ºF (53ºC), Cloncurry, Queensland (Australian record)
1879 January record 13" of snow falls in New York City NY (broken Jan 7, 1996)
1868 Refrigerator car patented by William Davis, a fish dealer in Detroit.
^ 1861 US Senate defeats compromise between North and South.
      The Crittenden Compromise, the last chance to keep North and South together, dies in the US Senate. Proposed by Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, the compromise was a series of constitutional amendments. The amendments would continue the old Missouri Compromise provisions of 1820, which divided the west along the latitude of 36º30". North of this line, slavery was prohibited. The Missouri Compromise was negated by the Compromise of 1850, which allowed a vote by territorial residents (popular sovereignty) to decide the issue of slavery. Other amendments protected slavery in the District of Columbia, forbade federal interference with the interstate slave trade, and compensated owners whose slaves escaped to the free states.
      Essentially, the Crittenden Compromise sought to alleviate all concerns of the southern states. Four states had already left the Union when it was proposed, but Crittenden hoped the compromise would lure them back. Crittenden thought he could muster support from both South and North and avert either a split of the nation or a civil war. The major problem with the plan was that it called for a complete compromise by the Republicans with virtually no concession on the part of the South. The Republican Party formed in 1854 solely for the purpose of opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories, particularly the areas north of the Missouri Compromise line. Just six years later, the party elected a president, Abraham Lincoln, over the complete opposition of the slave states. Crittenden was asking the Republicans to abandon their most key issues.
      The vote is 25 against the compromise and 23 in favor. All 25 votes against it were cast by Republicans, and six senators from states that were in the process of seceding abstained. One Republican editorial insisted that the party “cannot be made to surrender the fruits of its recent victory.” There would be no compromise; with the secession of states continuing, the country marched inexorably towards civil war.
1856 Se firma un acuerdo entre Austria y Rusia que pone fin a la guerra de Crimea.
^ 1847 Fremont appointed Governor of California
      A leader in the successful fight to wrest California away from Mexico, the explorer and mapmaker John C. Fremont briefly becomes governor of the newly won American territory. Still only in his early mid-30s at the time, Fremont had already won national acclaim for his leadership of two important explorations of the West with the military's Corps of Topographical Engineers. Shortly after the government published Fremont's meticulously accurate maps of the Far West, they became indispensable guides for the growing numbers of overland emigrants heading for California and Oregon. In 1845, though, the lines between military exploration and military conquest began to blur when President James Polk sent Captain Fremont and his men on a third "scientific" mission to explore the Rockies and Sierra Nevada-with 60 armed men accompanying them. Polk's ambition to take California from Mexico was no secret, and Fremont's expedition was clearly designed to place a military force near the region in case of war.
      When Mexico and the US declared war in May 1846, Fremont and his men were in Oregon. Upon hearing the news, Fremont immediately headed south, calling his return "the first step in the conquest of California." When the Anglo-American population of California learned of Fremont's arrival, many of them began to rebel against their Mexican leaders. In June, a small band of American settlers seized Sonoma and raised a flag with a bear facing a five-pointed star-with this act, the revolutionaries declared the independent Republic of California.
      The Bear Flag Republic was short-lived. In August, Fremont and General Robert Stockton occupied Los Angeles. By January 1847, they had put down the small number of Californians determined to maintain a nation independent of the United States. With California now clearly in the US hands, Stockton agreed to appoint Fremont as the territorial governor. However, a dispute broke out within the army over the legitimacy of Fremont's appointment, and the young captain's detractors accused him of mutiny, disobedience, and conduct prejudicial to military discipline. Recalled to Washington for a court martial, Fremont was found guilty of all three charges, and his appointment to take the position of governor was revoked. Though President Polk pardoned him and ordered him back to active duty in the army, Fremont was deeply embittered, and he resigned from the military and returned to California a private citizen.
      Although he never regained the governorship of California, the turmoil of Fremont's early political career did not harm his future prospects. In 1851, citizens of California elected him a senator, and became the territorial governor of Arizona in 1878. Today, however, Fremont's youthful accomplishments as an explorer and mapmaker are more celebrated than his subsequent political career.
^ 1832 Charles Darwin lands at San Tiago, Cape Verde, as he wrote in Chapter I of Voyage of the Beagle:
     On the 16th of January, 1832, we anchored at Porto Praya, in St. Jago, the chief island of the Cape de Verd archipelago.
     The neighbourhood of Porto Praya, viewed from the sea, wears a desolate aspect. The volcanic fires of a past age, and the scorching heat of a tropical sun, have in most places rendered the soil unfit for vegetation. The country rises in successive steps of table-land, interspersed with some truncate conical hills, and the horizon is bounded by an irregular chain of more lofty mountains.
      The scene, as beheld through the hazy atmosphere of this climate, is one of great interest; if, indeed, a person, fresh from sea, and who has just walked, for the first time, in a grove of cocoa-nut trees, can be a judge of anything but his own happiness. The island would generally be considered as very uninteresting, but to anyone accustomed only to an English landscape, the novel aspect of an utterly sterile land possesses a grandeur which more vegetation might spoil. A single green leaf can scarcely be discovered over wide tracts of the lava plains; yet flocks of goats, together with a few cows, contrive to exist.
      It rains very seldom, but during a short portion of the year heavy torrents fall, and immediately afterwards a light vegetation springs out of every crevice. This soon withers; and upon such naturally formed hay the animals live. It had not now rained for an entire year. When the island was discovered, the immediate neighbourhood of Porto Praya was clothed with trees, the reckless destruction of which has caused here, as at St. Helena, and at some of the Canary islands, almost entire sterility.
      The broad, flat-bottomed valleys, many of which serve during a few days only in the season as water-courses, are clothed with thickets of leafless bushes. Few living creatures inhabit these valleys. The commonest bird is a kingfisher (Dacelo Iagoensis), which tamely sits on the branches of the castor- oil plant, and thence darts on grasshoppers and lizards. It is brightly coloured, but not so beautiful as the European species: in its flight, manners, and place of habitation, which is generally in the driest valley, there is also a wide difference.
1809 El ejército francés de chegru occupies Utrecht Netherlands.
1786 The Virginia Legislature adopted the Ordinance of Religious Freedom, which guaranteed that no man would be forced to attend or support any church. This mandate later became the model for the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
1777 Vermont declares independence from NY
1776 Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks
1756 England and Prussia sign Treaty of Westminster.
1716 Se promulga en Madrid el Decreto de Nueva Planta para Cataluña.
1581 English parliament passes laws against Catholicism
1556 Emperor Charles V abdicates throne of Spain in favor of his son Philip II
^ Ivan IV the Terrible, 17, crowns himself first tsar of Russia
1547 Ivan IV “le Terrible” devient tsar.
      Ivan IV a trois ans quand il devient grand-prince de Moscou, à la mort de son père. A seize ans, le 16 janvier 1547, il troque son titre contre celui de tsar. Ce mot russe est une déformation de César (qui se retrouve aussi dans l'allemand Kaiser). Le nouveau souverain veut sortir son pays, la Russie, du désespoir où l'a laissée une longue occupation par les Mongols.
      Il ambitionne de la hisser au niveau de l'Occident, alors en pleine Renaissance. Ivan IV soumet les grands seigneurs féodaux, les boyards, en s'appuyant sur les représentants du peuple et de la petite noblesse. Il vainc après d'âpres combats les Tatars établis sur la Volga, autour de Kazan et Astrakhan. Ces victoires ouvrent aux paysans russes la colonisation de l'immense Sibérie, au moment où les Occidentaux entament celle de l'Amérique. Le tsar échoue cependant dans ses efforts pour ouvrir la Russie sur la mer Baltique. Il n'arrive pas à établir des relations durables avec les commerçants anglais même s'il propose rien moins que d'épouser la reine d'Angleterre, Elizabeth 1ère. Il doit faire face à l'union des Polonais et des Lituaniens, ainsi qu'aux Suédois.
      C'est à ce moment qu'il éprouve la trahison de plusieurs boyards. Pour faire face à la montée des périls, le vieux tsar s'attribue un pouvoir sans limites sur les terres les plus riches de la Russie. Il en élimine les boyards et en confie l'administration à ses hommes de main... Mais ceux-ci commettront tant d'excès que le tsar devra plus tard les remplacer par une noblesse à son service. Pour tenir les paysans dans la soumission, Ivan IV restreint leur liberté de circulation. C'est ainsi que la paysannerie russe entre dans le servage. La fin du règne est placée sous le signe d'une horrible répression, ce qui vaut au tsar le surnom de "Terrible" ou "Redoutable" (en russe, Grozny). Les boyards sont exterminés par milliers. Les habitants de la prestigieuse cité de Novgorod, au nord de Moscou, sont noyés pour s'être révoltés. Ivan IV pousse la folie meurtrière jusqu'à tuer son fils aîné à coups de bâton.
      Plusieurs décennies de troubles et d'anarchie s'annoncent avec la mort du tsar, à 55 ans, en 1584. Ivan IV aura forgé l'Etat russe mais échoué dans sa tentative de le hisser à marches forcées au niveau de l'Occident. D'autres que lui connaîtront semblable échec: Pierre le Grand, Alexandre II et également... Staline. Le cinéaste soviétique Serguei Eisenstein a mis en images "Ivan le Terrible" en 1943, afin d'exalter le nationalisme russe dans la guerre contre l'envahisseur allemand.
1531 So-called Reformation Parliament's second sitting (it had first met in November 1529). Henry VIII had turned to the authority of the state to obtain the annulment of his marriage. The Reformation Parliament was unprecedented — it lasted seven years, enacted 137 statutes (32 of which were of vital importance), and legislated in areas that no feudal Parliament had ever dreamed of entering. "King in Parliament" became the revolutionary instrument by which the medieval church was destroyed.
1493 Columbus returns to Spain from his first trip
Kabila 98-08-08 ^ Deaths which occurred on a January 16:
2003 Five persons by a car bomb of the FARC exploding in a parking lot adjacent to a state prosecution office in Medellín, Colombia.
2003 Alfred Kantor, of Parkinson's disease, Jewish artist, born in Prague on 07 November 1923. Author of The Book of Alfred Kantor (1971) with his reminiscences and 127 watercolors and sketches of life in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, and Schwarzheide. — an image
2002 Richard Boeken, 57, of lung cancer. In June 2001 he had won against Philip Morris a $3 billion damage award, which was later reduced to $100 million. But he did not collect as Philip Morris is appealing the reduced award, which it called "grossly excessive." Boeken, a former oil and securities dealer, took up smoking at 13 and smoked at least two packs of Marlboro cigarettes a day for more than 40 years.Any damage award after the appeal would go to Boeken's estate.
^ 2001 Laurent-Désiré Kabila [photo >], 63, president of Congo, from wounds received in Kinshasa, as a young bodyguard, Rashidi Mizele, leaning in as if to whisper something into the presidential ear, shoots Kabila in the head, back, and right leg. The Congolese government would deny the fact until 18 January when it would announce that Kabila's death as having occured on the 18th at 10:00. On 17 January the Cabinet would intall his son, Joseph Kabila,29, head of the armed forces, as interim president. On 20 January Laurent Kabila's body would be flown back from Zimbabwe, where he had been taken for treatment.
     Kabila was born on 1 January 1938. He had been fighting a civil war since August 1998, when rebel forces backed by Kabila's former allies, Rwanda and Uganda, turned against him. In the war's early stages, the rebels reached the outskirts of Kinshasa before being turned back by Kabila's army, which got the suppor of Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
      Kabila came to power in May 1997 following a Uganda- and Rwanda-sponsored rebellion against former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the nation then called Zaire. The world community initially welcomed Kabila, who, many hoped, would be a vast improvement over Mobutu's decades-long rule, which left his nation desperately broke and with an infrastructure that barely functioned.
      But Kabila quickly alienated himself, inviting close friends and relatives into the government, angering investors and obstructing a United Nations investigation of reports that his army, in its rebel days, had slaughtered thousands of Hutu refugees. In 2000 Kabila's government signed a peace agreement with the new rebel movements, but fighting continued and each side has consistently accused the other of violations.
2001 Zhang Zhanguo, executed, a farmer from central Henan province, China, guilty of stabbing a neighbor to death with a kitchen knife during an argument in November 1999
2001 Pan Huanjie, executed, Beijing driver, guilty in the 1999 stabbing death of a man he and an accomplice had quarreled with over repairs to electrical equipment.
2001 Zhang, executed in China, which leads the world in judicial executions. [but my guess is that, in proportion to population, Texas has more].
2001 Mourshed Rafiq Suleiman, is found murdered. He was a Palestinian, from the Ajah village in the West Bank, suspected of collaborating with Israel. He had been seized from his home by masked men late the previous day.
2001 Sergio Moreno, 22, musician, of injuries he suffered when trapped for 31 hours under cinderblocks and dirt of his buried house, after the 13 January 17:33 UT Salvador earthquake He was the last survivor pulled from the rubble after he used his cellular phone to call for help.
a younger StormyStormy ^ 2001 Stormy, 4, bottlenose dolphin, after acting strangely for a few days and stopping eating since the previous day, at the Mystic, Connecticut, Aquarium, where he had lived with other dolphins in their 1600 cubic meter pool, since he was nursed back to health after being rescued on 16 September 1998 when he came ashore on a beach in Port Aransas, Texas, shark bitten, bleeding and in critical condition.

     Stormy was probably separated from his mother during Tropical Storm Frances. Because dolphins usually stay with their mother for two years it appears Stormy, then 18 months old, was unable to feed himself. Stormy was not released back into the wild because he was not fully weaned at the time he was separated from his mother and would not know how to find food for himself. Stormy's saga was considered remarkable because only 5 percent of all whales and dolphins that wash ashore survive.

     In December 1999, Stormy had been diagnosed with osteomyelitis in his tail vertebrae. It took several months of treatment to improve his condition.

     In March 2000, Deb Adamson, public relations director of the Mystic Aquarium, had published a children's book about Stormy: Stormy The Baby Dolphin / A Gulf Coast Rescue, and Dorothy Hernandez published Stormy the Dolphin.
2000 Dionisio Gamallo Fierros, escritor español.
1989 Two Blacks on a motorcycle, in crash when a policeman shoots the driver. Three days of rioting ensue in Miami.
1982 Ramón J. Sender, escritor español.
1980 Benjamín Palencia, pintor español.
1970 Francisco Gutiérrez Cossío “Pancho Cossío”, Spanish painter born in Cuba on 20 October 1894 (1884?), who painted mostly marine scenes, still lifes, and portraits. MORE ON COSSÍO AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
1969 Jan Palach, estudiante, se quema vivo en la plaza Wenzel, de Praga, en protesta por la ocupación soviética de Checoslovaquia y la supresión de las libertades individuales.
1967 Robert Jemison van der Graaff, 65, US physicist, inventor of the Van de Graaff generator, a type of high-voltage electrostatic generator that serves as a type of particle accelerator. This device has found widespread use not only in atomic research but also in medicine and industry.
1950 Gustav Krupp, industrial y financiero alemán.
frigid attack^ 1940 Day 48 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland.
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
Finland to receive a wagonload of food aid from Denmark

      Central Isthmus: heavy enemy shelling pounds the defences on the Mannerheim Line in Summa.
      Ladoga Karelia: in temperatures of -41° Celsius, a small Finnish detachment attacks and halts the enemy advance at the edge of Mursula village in Kitilä.
      The Finnish aid agency Suomen Huolto grants 800'000 markkaa in aid to victims of the bombing in the towns of western Finland.
      Abroad: a special Finnish day is to be held at the Holmenkollen skiing games in Oslo to raise money for Finland.
      A Danish association of factory-owners is sending a railway wagonload of food aid to Finland.
      United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt says the USA can extend a non-military loan to Finland as this would in his opinion not compromise US neutrality.
      The Swiss Medical Association announces it is to send a group of volunteers to Finland

Rautatievaunullinen tanskalaisia säilykkeitä Suomeen Talvisodan 48. päivä, 16.tammikuuta.1940
     Vihollinen pommittaa raskaalla tykistöllä Mannerheim-linjan puolustuslaitteita Summassa.
      Pieni suomalaisosasto hyökkää 41 asteen pakkasessa Kitilän Mursulan kylän laitaan, mihin vihollisen eteneminen pysähtyy.
      Suomen Huolto myöntää 800'000 markkaa Länsi-Suomen kaupunkien pommituksista kärsimään joutuneille.
      Ulkomailta: Holmenkollenin kisojen yhteydessä päätetään järjestää erityinen Suomen päivä, jonka tulot lähetetään Suomeen.
      Tanskalainen tehtailijoiden yhdistys lähettää rautatievaunullisen säilykkeitä Suomeen.
      Yhdysvaltain presidentti Franklin Delano Roosevelt in mielestä Suomelle voitaisiin myöntää siviililuottoa. Siviililuotto ei loukkaisi hänen mielestään USA:n puolueettomuutta.
      Sveitsin lääkäriliitto ilmoittaa lähettävänsä vapaaehtoisryhmän Suomeen.
Brocard points1936 Albert Fish, 73, in the Sing Sing electric chair, saying "It will be the supreme thrill, the only one I haven't tried.". The "Moon Maniac" is believed to have killed and eaten 10 children, including in 1928 Grace Budd, 12, of which he was found guilty. His other thrills included self-torture and self-debasement, and boasting about it all.
1922 Pierre René Jean Baptiste Henri Brocard, born on 12 May 1845, French army officer who studied meteorology but is best remembered as a mathematician for his work on the triangle. The Brocard points of a triangle ABC are O, O' where OAB, OBC and OCA and the angles O'BA, O'CB and O'AC are equal. [Draw a circle tangent to AC at A passing through B; another tangent to BC at C passing through A; a third tangent to BA at B passing through C. They are concurrent at O.] Angle OAB is called the Brocard angle and satisfies cot OAB = cot A + cot B + cot C. Brocard arrived at his discovery from the study of the problem of the three dogs chasing one another, all three at the same speed. Brocard generalized, the dogs running at different speeds, yet still meeting at one (Brocard) point..
1916 Ulpiano Checa y Sanz, Spanish artist born on 03 April 1860.
1906 Arnold Böcklin, Swiss Symbolist painter born on 16 October 1827. MORE ON BÖCKLIN AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
1886 Piotr Petrovitch Veretshchagin (or Weretschagin), US (!) artist born in 1836.
1834 Hachette, mathematician.
1794 Edward Gibbon, English rationalist historian and scholar born on 08 May (27 April Julian) 1737. — GIBBON ONLINE: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Volume I (17 Feb 1776), Volume II (1781), Volume III (1781), Volume IV , Volume V , Volume VI (with IV and V on 08 May 1788). This is the work for which he is known, a continuous narrative from the 2nd century to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. He finished writing it on 27 June 1787. He attributes the decline of the Roman Empire to the rise of Christianity (in which he did not believe)
1668 Charles-Alphonse Defresnoy, French artist born in 1611.
1606Baltasar de Alcázar, poeta satírico español.
1219 Thousands die in floods in Northern Netherlands after storm
^ 0308 Marcellus I  30th pope [308-09], .
      The tyrannical emperor Maxentius had this pope seized and sent into exile. This took place at the end of 308 or the beginning of 309 according to the "Catalogus Liberianus", which gives the length of the pontificate as no more than one year, six (or seven) months, and twenty days. Marcellus died shortly after leaving Rome, and was venerated as a saint. His feast-day was 16 January, according to the "Depositio episcoporum" of the "Chronography" of 354 and every other Roman authority. Nevertheless, it is not known whether this is the date of his death or that of the burial of his remains, after these had been brought back from the unknown quarter to which he had been exiled. He was buried in the catacomb of St. Priscilla where his grave is mentioned by the itineraries to the graves of the Roman martyrs as existing in the basilica of St. Silvester.
Jaws!Births which occurred on a January 16:
1974 Jaws, Peter Benchley's novel from which Stephen Spielberg made a movie in 1975 [picture >], is published.
1942Nicole Fontaine, presidenta del Parlamento Europeo.
1938 José Manuel Vilabella Guardiola, escritor español.
^ 1933 Susan Sontag, novelist and essay writer, in New York City in 1933.
      Sontag's parents lived in China, where her father was a fur trader, but Sontag's mother returned to the United States for her daughter's birth and left the newborn with relatives. After her father's death, when Sontag was a toddler, her mother returned to the States and remarried. The family moved to Arizona, then Southern California, where Sontag attended North Hollywood High. A fiercely intellectual student, Sontag went on to the University of California at Berkeley, then attended the University of Chicago and Harvard, getting a doctorate in English literature and philosophy. Along the way, she married (at age 17), had a son (at age 19), and divorced (at age 26). She also began publishing essays and writing fiction
      At age 30, she sent off the manuscript of her first book, The Benefactor, addressed simply to "The Fiction Editor" at Farrar Straus Giroux. The publishing house immediately bought the novel for a $500 advance, and she remained with the same publisher for decades. Her 1964 essay, "Notes on Camp," published in the Partisan Review, made her a celebrity at age 31, when she defined the appeal of camp culture. She published another novel, Death Kit, in 1967 but turned her attention toward essays, nonfiction, and politics in the late 60s and 70s. She lived in Europe from 1968 to 1974. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1972, she turned her illness into her best-known work, Illness as Metaphor (1977). In 1992, she surprised her readers with a historical romance, The Volcano Lover, set in 18th-century Naples. She lived in New York.
1931 Johannes Rau, presidente de Alemania.
1930 Norman Podhoretz, author-editor.
1928 William Kennedy, author.
1922 Luis Echeverría Álvarez, político mejicano.
1920 Bill Boone, mathematician.
1911 Eduardo Frei (Christian Democrat), President of Chile (1964-70)
1901 Fulgencio Batista President / Dictator of Cuba (1933-44, 1952-59). He died on 06 August 1973.
1887 George Kelly, US playwright and actor who died on 18 June 1974.
1885 Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz president of Poland (1939-40)
1883 The US Civil Service Commission is established.
1881 Sir Arthur Fleming, English engineer who died on 14 September 1960.
1874 Robert Service, Canadian verse writer [not “poet“ ???] who died on 11 September 1958.
1853 André Michelin France, industrialist/tire manufacturer (Michelin)
1850 "Pierre Loti" (Louis M. J. Viaud), escritor francés.
1824 Seymour Joseph Guy, English US painter and printmaker who died on 10 December 1910. — links to images.
1801 Clausen, mathematician.
1759 British Museum opens in London.
1754 Paul-Théodor van Brussel, Dutch artist who died in 1795.
1752 George Cabot, US Federalist leader who died on 18 April 1823..
1749 Vittorio Alfieri, Italian poet who died on 08 October 1803.
1675 Le duc de Saint-Simon, à Paris, mémorialiste de la cour de Louis XIV.
Santos Fulgencio y Marcelo / Pape en 308, Saint Marcel doit faire face aux persécutions romaines. Il est lui-même réduit par l'empereur Maxence à l'état de palefrenier.
A Tinibrainer out for a drive in the country sees on a roadside sign: “20 HECTARES FOR SALE — WILL DIVIDE” and a phone number. Interested, he calls the number and says: “May I speak with Mr. Divide?”
Thought for the day: “There is only one success — to be able to spend your life in your own way.” — Christopher Morley, US journalist [1890-1957]
“There is only one excess — to spend your life away.”
updated Friday 16-Jan-2004 1:56 UT
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