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Today in History: January 22, Supreme Court declares right to abortion with Roe v Wade

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2012. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2012. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Today in History

Today is Monday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2024. There are 344 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, declared a nationwide constitutional right to abortion.

On this date:

In 1901, Britain’s Queen Victoria died at age 81 after a reign of 63 years; she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII.

In 1938, Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town” was performed publicly for the first time in Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces began landing at Anzio, Italy.

In 1947, America’s first commercially licensed television station west of the Mississippi, KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, made its official debut.

In 1953, the Arthur Miller drama “The Crucible” opened on Broadway.

In 1995, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy died at the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, at age 104.

In 1997, the Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the nation’s first female secretary of state.

In 1998, Theodore Kaczynski pleaded guilty in Sacramento, California, to being the Unabomber responsible for three deaths and 29 injuries in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

In 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points, the second-highest in NBA history, in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 122-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

In 2008, actor Heath Ledger, age 28, was found dead of an accidental prescription overdose in a New York City apartment.

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp within a year. (The facility remained in operation as lawmakers blocked efforts to transfer terror suspects to the United States; President Donald Trump later issued an order to keep the jail open and allow the Pentagon to bring new prisoners there.)

In 2012, longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who’d won more games than anyone in major college football but was fired amid a child sex abuse scandal that scarred his reputation, died at age 85.

In 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line bloc fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election, forcing Netanyahu to negotiate a broad coalition deal.

In 2020, Chinese health authorities urged people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings after warning that a new viral illness that had infected hundreds of people and caused at least nine deaths could spread further. Health officials in Washington state said they were actively monitoring 16 people who’d come in close contact with a traveler to China, the first U.S. resident known to be infected with the virus.

In 2023, a 72-year-old gunman killed 10 people at a Southern California ballroom dance studio amid Lunar New Year celebrations then tried but failed to target a second dance hall before killing himself as police approached him.

Today’s birthdays: Celebrity chef Graham Kerr (TV: “The Galloping Gourmet”) is 90. Author Joseph Wambaugh is 87. Singer Steve Perry is 75. Country singer-musician Teddy Gentry (Alabama) is 72. Movie director Jim Jarmusch is 71. Actor John Wesley Shipp is 69. Actor Linda Blair is 65. Actor Diane Lane is 59. Actor and rap DJ Jazzy Jeff is 59. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is 56. Actor Olivia d’Abo is 55. Actor Katie Finneran is 53. Actor Gabriel Macht is 52. Actor Balthazar Getty is 49. Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson is 44. Jazz singer Lizz Wright is 44. Pop singer Willa Ford is 43. Actor Beverley Mitchell is 43. Rock singer-musician Ben Moody (Evanescence) is 43. Actor Kevin Sheridan is 42. Actor-singer Phoebe Strole is 41. Rapper Logic is 34. Tennis player Alizé Cornet (uh-LEEZ’ kohr-NAY’) is 34. Actor Sami Gayle is 28.