This Day in History — January 3

This is the 3rd day of 2023. There are 362 days left in the year.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT

1997: A Rwandan court sentences two Hutu men to death, the first verdict in the massacres of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans, most of them Tutsis, in 1994.

OTHER EVENTS

1521: Martin Luther, the German priest whose questioning of certain Roman Catholic practices initiated the Protestant Reformation, is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

1648: English military leader Oliver Cromwell condemns King Charles I before Parliament; the Royalists soon take up arms again and the Second Civil War begins.

1795: A secret treaty takes place between Russia and Austria for the third partition of Poland.

1815: Austria, Britain and France form a defensive alliance against Prussia and Russia.

1868: The Meiji Restoration re-establishes the authority of Japan’s emperor and heralds the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns.

1896: Anglo-German relations reach crisis level over German support to Transvaal leaders.

1921: The first Indian Parliament meets.

1925: Benito Mussolini, prime minister and leader of Italy’s Fascists, assumes responsibility for the murder of an Opposition politician and dares Parliament to prosecute him, he launches a crackdown that makes him dictator of Italy.

1938: The March of Dimes campaign to fight polio is organised in the United States.

1941: Italian forces surrender at Bardia, Libya, in World War II.

1947: US Congressional proceedings are televised for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York City see some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.

1958: Jamaica becomes a founding member of the West Indies Federation.

1959: US President Dwight Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting Alaska as 49th US state.

1961: The United States severs diplomatic relations with Cuba.

1962: Indonesia’s President Sukarno proclaims West New Guinea an independent province.

1974: Kuwait reaches an agreement with Gulf Oil and British Petroleum companies for a 60 per cent takeover in the Gulf state.

1977: The International Monetary Fund gives the largest loan in its 30-year history — almost US$4 billion — to Britain to bolster the country’s currency. Apple Computer is incorporated in Cupertino, California, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Makkula Jnr.

1985: Israel reluctantly concedes it mounted an airlift to relocate large numbers of Ethiopian Jews from the famine-wracked country to Israel.

1987: Aretha Franklin becomes the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1990: Ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrenders to US forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican’s diplomatic mission.

1993: US President George H W Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign an arms control treaty to reduce nuclear weapons by two-thirds.

1994: A Russian passenger jet crashes and explodes in flames in a snowy field at a livestock farm in Siberia, killing all 120 people aboard.

1995: Tamil separatist rebels and government negotiators in Sri Lanka agree to a ceasefire; the rebels release four policemen held captive for more than four years.

1999: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif escapes an apparent assassination attempt when a bomb explodes on a bridge as he is about to pass; four die in the explosion.

2000: Assailants protesting Russia’s crackdown on Chechnya fire rocket-propelled grenades at the Russian Embassy in Beirut; a policeman and a Palestinian attacker die.

2003: Street protests turn deadly in Caracas, Venezuela, as police struggle in vain to separate battling supporters and opponents of President Hugo Chavez; at least two people are shot to death and 78 others are injured.

2005: President George W Bush enlists two former presidents, his father George H W Bush and Bill Clinton, for an ambitious, private, fund-raising drive for victims of the deadly tsunamis in South Asia.

2006: US rescuers push deep into a West Virginia mine shaft in a desperate search for 13 coal miners trapped after an explosion; only one miner is found alive.

2007: Myanmar’s repressive military Government frees 2,831 prison inmates, including about 20 political prisoners, ahead of the 59th anniversary of its independence from Britain.

2008: A car bomb targeting soldiers in a bus kills five people and wounds 68 — including 30 troops — in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated south-eastern city of Diyarbakir. Illinois Senator Barack Obama wins the Democratic caucuses in Iowa while Mike Huckabee wins the Republican caucuses.

2009: After seven days of pummelling Gaza from the air, Israel unsheathes its land forces, raising its war against Gaza’s Hamas rulers to a new level.

2010: Western embassies in Yemen lock up after fresh threats from al-Qaeda, and the White House expresses alarm at the terror group’s expanded reach in the poor Arab nation.

2011: Iran invites Russia, China, the European Union and its allies among the Arab and developing world to tour its nuclear sites, in an apparent move to gain support ahead of a new round of talks with six world powers.

2012: The Taliban announce that they will open an office in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar to hold talks with the United States, an unprecedented step toward a peace process that might lead to a winding down of the 10-year war in Afghanistan.

2013: An American drone strike in Pakistan kills a top Taliban commander who sent money and fighters to battle the US in Afghanistan but had a truce with the Pakistani military.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Italian musician (1710-1736); David W Griffith, pioneer US film producer (1875-1948); J R R (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien, British fantasy writer (1892-1973); Victor Borge, Danish pianist-humorist (1909-2000); John Paul Jones, English bassist with rock group Led Zeppelin (1946- ); Mel Gibson, US-Australian actor (1951- ); Michael Schumacher, German race car driver (1969- )

– AP/ Jamaica Observer

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