In 1985, to the shock and dismay of U.S. officials, Soviet defector Vitaly Yurchenko announced he was returning to the Soviet Union, charging he had been kidnapped by the CIA.
In 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, California; attending were President George H.W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon — the first-ever gathering of five past and present U.S. chief executives.
In 2007, King Tutankhamen’s face was unveiled for the first time to the public more than 3,000 years after the pharaoh was buried in his Egyptian tomb.
In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama was elected the first Black president of the United States, defeating Republican John McCain. California voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, overturning a state Supreme Court decision that gave gay couples the right to wed just months earlier.
In 2020, a day after the presidential election, victories in Michigan and Wisconsin left Joe Biden one battleground state short of winning the White House. President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory in several key states and called the election process “a major fraud on our nation.”
Ten years ago: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said cold temperatures would leave “tens of thousands” of people whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy in need of alternate housing. A 2-year-old boy was mauled to death by a pack of African wild dogs when he fell into their pen from a viewing area at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Five years ago: China’s rubber-stamp legislature made it a criminal offense to disrespect the country’s national anthem, punishable by up to three years in prison; the move came amid rising nationalist appeals from the ruling Communist Party. Saudi Arabian authorities began a wave of arrests of dozens of the country’s most powerful princes, military officers, businessmen and government ministers in a purported anti-corruption sweep; they included potential rivals or critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
One year ago: The Biden administration issued a rule requiring tens of millions of Americans who worked at companies with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested for the virus weekly. (The Supreme Court rejected that rule in January 2022, finding that the administration had overstepped its authority.) The Biden administration sued Texas over new voting rules, saying that the restrictions surrounding mail-in voting requirements and voter assistance violated federal civil rights protections. A Texas real estate agent, Jennifer Leigh Ryan, who bragged she wasn’t going to jail for storming the U.S. Capitol because she was white, had blond hair and had a good job, was sentenced to two months behind bars. Drug gang gunmen stormed ashore at a beach on Mexico’s resort-studded Caribbean coast in front of luxury hotels and executed two drug dealers from a rival gang.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Loretta Swit is 85. R&B singer Harry Elston (Friends of Distinction) is 84. Blues singer Delbert McClinton is 82. Former first lady Laura Bush is 76. Actor Ivonne Coll is 75. Rock singer-musician Chris Difford (Squeeze) is 68. Country singer Kim Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 62. Actor-comedian Kathy Griffin is 62. Actor Ralph Macchio is 61. “Survivor” host Jeff Probst is 61. Actor Matthew McConaughey is 53. Rapper-producer Sean “Puffy” Combs is 53. TV personality Bethenny Frankel is 52. Actor Anthony Ruivivar is 52. Soul/jazz singer Gregory Porter is 51. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is 47. Actor Heather Tom is 47. R&B/gospel singer George Huff is 42. Actor Emme Rylan is 42. Actor Chris Greene (Film: “Loving”) is 40.