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This Day in History: January 9


1788 – Connecticut becomes the fifth state to be admitted to the United States.

1857 – The 7.9 Mw Fort Tejon earthquake shakes Central and Southern California with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent).

1858 – Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, commits suicide.

1861 – American Civil War: The "Star of the West" incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered by some historians to be the "First Shots of the American Civil War".

1861 – Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Fort Hindman begins in Arkansas.

1880 – The Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high winds and heavy snow.

1894 – New England Telephone and Telegraph installs the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.

1918 – Battle of Bear Valley: The last battle of the American Indian Wars.

1945 – World War II: The United States invades Luzon in the Philippines.

1947 – Elizabeth "Betty" Short, the Black Dahlia, is last seen alive.

1991 – Representatives from the United States and Iraq meet at the Geneva Peace Conference to try to find a peaceful resolution to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

2007 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the first iPhone.


1839 – John Knowles Paine, American composer and academic (d. 1906)

1854 – Lady Randolph Churchill, American-born wife of Lord Randolph Churchill (d. 1921)

1859 – Carrie Chapman Catt, American activist, founded the League of Women Voters and International Alliance of Women (d. 1947)

1870 – Joseph Strauss, American engineer, co-designed the Golden Gate Bridge (d. 1938)

1901 – Chic Young, American cartoonist (d. 1973)

1913 – Richard Nixon, American commander, lawyer, and politician, 37th President of the United States (d. 1994)

1921 – John Sperling, American businessman, founded the University of Phoenix (d. 2014)

1928 – Judith Krantz, American novelist

1934 – Bart Starr, American football player and coach

1935 – Bob Denver, American actor (d. 2005)

1935 – Dick Enberg, American game show host and sportscaster

1935 – Earl G. Graves, Sr., American businessman and publisher, founded Black Enterprise magazine

1936 – Anne Rivers Siddons, American author

1941 – Joan Baez, American singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist

1972 – Rawson Stovall, American video game producer and author


1858 – Anson Jones, American physician and politician; 4th President of the Republic of Texas (b. 1798)

1876 – Samuel Gridley Howe, American physician and activist (b. 1801)

1946 – Countee Cullen, American poet and playwright (b. 1903)