This Day in History: Jan. 11

On this day, Jan. 11 …

1989: Nine days before leaving the White House, President Ronald Reagan bids the nation farewell in a primetime address, saying of his eight years in office: "We meant to change a nation and instead we changed a world."

Also on this day: 

  • 1861: Alabama becomes the fourth state to withdraw from the Union.
  • 1908: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims the Grand Canyon National Monument. (It would become a national park in 1919.)
  • 1913: The first enclosed sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, goes on display at the 13th National Automobile Show in New York.
  • 1935: Aviator Amelia Earhart begins an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif., that would make her the first person to fly solo across any part of the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1939: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax, the British foreign secretary, meet with Italian leader Benito Mussolini in Rome.

  • 1963: The Beatles’ single “Please Please Me” (B side “Ask Me Why”) is released in Britain by Parlophone.
  • 1964: U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issues “Smoking and Health,” a report which concludes that “cigarette smoking contributes substantially to mortality from certain specific diseases and to the overall death rate.”
  • 1977: France sets off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
  • 1978: Two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule link up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already docked.
  • 1995: A Colombian DC-9 jetliner crashes as it is preparing to land near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena, killing 51 people. However, 9-year-old Erika Delgado survives.
  • 2003: Calling the death penalty process “arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral,” Illinois Gov. George Ryan commutes the sentences of 167 condemned inmates, clearing his state’s death row two days before leaving office.
  • 2009: In a rare Sunday session, the Senate advances legislation that would set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness.
  • 2009: The movie “Slumdog Millionaire” wins four Golden Globes, including best drama; the late Heath Ledger wins best supporting actor for “The Dark Knight” while Kate Winslet receives two acting awards for “Revolutionary Road” and “The Reader.”
  • 2010: Miep Gies, the Dutch office secretary who defied Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager’s diary, dies at age 100.
  • 2014: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 85, dies eight years after a devastating stroke left him in a coma.
  • 2014: Alex Rodriguez is dealt the most severe punishment in the history of baseball’s drug agreement when an arbitrator rules the New York Yankees third baseman is suspended for the entire 2014 season as the result of a drug investigation.
  • 2018: Walmart announces that it is boosting its starting salary for U.S. workers and handing out bonuses on the same day the company confirms it is closing dozens of Sam’s Club warehouse stores.
  • 2018: Edgar Ray Killen, a 1960s Klan leader who was convicted decades later in the slayings of three civil rights workers, dies in prison at the age of 92.

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