This Day in History – January 26 

bill-clinton

Today is the 26th day of 2017. There are 339 days left in the year.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT

1998: US President Bill Clinton says that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms Lewinsky”. He acknowledges a relationship some months later.

1609: The Ottoman Empire signs Peace Treaty of Karlowitz with Austria, Russia, Poland and Venice, ceding control of most of Transylvania and Hungary. The treaty significantly diminishes Turkish influence in east-central Europe and makes Austria the dominant power there.

1778: Australia is settled by the British.

1788: First fleet of ships bringing convicts from Britain arrives in Australia to establish penal colonies.

1802: Congress passes an Act calling for a library to be established within the US capital, paving the way for the Library of Congress.

1865: Britain announces no more convicts will be shipped to Australia.

1930: Mohandas K Gandhi, India’s independence leader who also was known as “Mahatma” Gandhi, begins a march across India against British occupation.

1931: Mohandas K Gandhi is released from prison in India for discussions with Government.

1934: Germany signs 10-year non-aggression pact with Poland.

1950: India officially proclaims itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad takes the oath of office as president.

1957: Kashmir Constitution for incorporation with India goes into effect.

1962: The United States launches Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon, but the probe misses its target by some 35,500 kilometres (22,000 miles).

1988: The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Phantom of the Opera opens at Broadway’s Majestic Theater in New York.

1991: Seven Iraqi warplanes fly to Iran to avoid destruction in Gulf War.

1992: In Mauritania, police open fire at Opposition supporters protesting election of military ruler.

1994: Civilians mob a food convoy and shoot six of its police escorts in a grim demonstration of how hunger and desperation are fuelling lawlessness in Bosnia.

1996: Polish Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy, accused of spying for Moscow for 13 years, resigns.

1997: Police wielding batons beat back demonstrators as tens of thousands march through Belgrade in a continuing protest against government annulment of local elections.

1999: The first official commemoration of homosexual Holocaust victims takes place at a Memorial Day service at the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp. An estimated 10,000 gays were persecuted during World War II.

2000: More than a year after a DNA test suggests that Thomas Jefferson may have had a son by his slave Sally Hemings, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation — which owns Jefferson’s home — acknowledges that he probably was the father of one, if not all six, of her children.

2001: The most powerful earthquake to strike India in half a century levels parts of western Gujarat state, killing more than 2,000 people and injuring more than 3,000.

2003: A China Airlines jet lands in Shanghai, China, and picks up passengers, becoming the first Taiwanese airliner to do so in mainland China since 1949.

2004: US intelligence agencies need to explain why their research indicated Iraq possessed banned weapons before the American-led invasion, says the outgoing top US inspector, David Kay, who now believes Saddam Hussein had no such arms.

2008: Gunmen kidnap burqa-clad American aid worker Cyd Mizell and her driver, Abdul Hadi, in a residential neighbourhood of Kandahar, the latest in a series of kidnappings of foreigners in the troubled country.

2010: Thousands of Venezuelan university students protest against President Hugo Chavez again, accusing the socialist leader of forcing an Opposition-allied TV channel off cable and satellite as a means of silencing his critics.

2012: Egypt bans at least 10 Americans and Europeans from leaving the country, hiking tensions with Washington over a campaign by Egypt’s military against groups promoting democracy and human rights.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Paul Newman, US actor (1925-2008); Angela Davis, American activist (1944-); Gene Siskel, American journalist and film critic (1946-1999 ); Eddie Van Halen, Dutch-born guitarist (1955- ); Ellen DeGeneres, US comedian/talk show host (1958- ); Anita Baker, American singer-songwriter (1958- ); Wayne Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey player (1961-); José Mourinho, Portuguese football manager (1963-); Justin Gimelstob, American tennis player (1977-)

—AP