In 1862, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Abraham Lincoln’s choice of Edwin M. Stanton to be the new Secretary of War, replacing Simon Cameron.
In 1892, the original rules of basketball, devised by James Naismith, were published for the first time in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the game originated.
In 1929, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta.
In 1943, work was completed on the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of War (now Defense).
In 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League 35-10 in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, retroactively known as Super Bowl I.
In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam, citing progress in peace negotiations.
In 1976, Sara Jane Moore was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco. (Moore was released on the last day of 2007.)
In 1981, the police drama series “Hill Street Blues” premiered on NBC.
In 1993, a historic disarmament ceremony ended in Paris with the last of 125 countries signing a treaty banning chemical weapons.
In 2001, Wikipedia, a web-based encyclopedia, made its debut.
In 2014, a highly critical and bipartisan Senate report declared that the deadly September 2012 assault on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, could have been prevented; the report spread blame among the State Department, the military and U.S. intelligence.
In 2020, Chinese officials said they couldn’t rule out the possibility that a new coronavirus in central China could spread between humans, though they said the risk of transmission appeared to be low. House Democratic leaders carried articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump across the U.S. Capitol in a formal procession to the Senate.
Ten years ago: Addressing a conference in Beirut on democracy in the Arab world, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded that Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, stop killing his own people, and said the “old order” of one-man rule and family dynasties was over in the Middle East. At the Golden Globes, “The Artist” won best movie musical or comedy, while “The Descendants” won best drama; on the TV side, “Homeland” won best drama series while “Modern Family” was recognized as best musical or comedy series.
Five years ago: In his final interview as president, Barack Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the increase of Israeli settlements had “gotten so substantial” that it was inhibiting the possibility of an “effective, contiguous Palestinian state.”
One year ago: The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 2 million; Johns Hopkins University reported the milestone amid a monumental but uneven effort to vaccinate people against the coronavirus. Federal watchdogs launched a sweeping review of how the FBI, the Pentagon and other law enforcement agencies responded to the riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Pentagon said it had reached its goal of reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan to roughly 2,500, a drawdown that appeared to violate a last-minute congressional prohibition on troop withdrawals. The National Rifle Association announced it had filed for bankruptcy protection and would seek to incorporate in Texas instead of New York, where a state lawsuit was trying to put the organization out of business.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Margaret O’Brien is 84. Actor Andrea Martin is 75. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy White is 69. Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is 65. Rock musician Adam Jones (Tool) is 57. Actor James Nesbitt is 57. Actor Chad Lowe is 54. Alt-country singer Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) is 52. Actor Regina King is 51. Actor Dorian Missick is 46. Actor Eddie Cahill is 44. Former NFL quarterback Drew Brees is 43. Rapper/reggaeton artist Pitbull is 41. Actor Victor Rasuk is 37. Actor Jessy Schram is 36. Electronic dance musician Skrillex is 34. Actor/singer Dove Cameron is 26. Singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal (TV: “America’s Got Talent”) is 18.