Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed the plan-et Neptune,but mistook it for a star. (Neptune wasn’t ofﬁcial-ly discovered until 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle.)
,John C. Calhoun became the ﬁrst vice president of theUnited States to resign,stepping down because of differenceswith President Andrew Jackson.
Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to theUnion.
the 28th president of the United States,ThomasWoodrow Wilson,was born in Staunton,Va.
the play “Cyrano de Bergerac,”by Edmond Rostand,premiered in Paris.
the New York Evening Mail published “A NeglectedAnniversary,”a facetious,as well as ﬁctitious,essay by H.L.Mencken recounting the history of bathtubs in America.
,composer Maurice Ravel died in Paris at age 62.
,Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.
,the Tennessee Williams play “Night of the Iguana”opened on Broadway. Former ﬁrst lady Edith Bolling GaltWilson,the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson,died inWashington at age 89.
Kim Il Sung,the premier of North Korea,was namedthe country’s president under a new constitution.
Nevell Johnson Jr.,a black man,was mortally wound-ed by a police ofﬁcer in a Miami video arcade,setting off threedays of race-related disturbances that left another man dead.
,a mass killing came to light as the bodies of 14 rela-tives of Ronald Gene Simmons were found at his home nearDover,Ark.,after Simmons shot and killed two other people inRussellville. (Simmons was executed in 1990.)Former United Auto Workers union president Owen Bieber is83. Actor Martin Milner is 81. Actress Nichelle Nichols is 80.Actress Dame Maggie Smith is 78. Rock singer-musicianCharles Neville is 74. Sen. Johnny Isakson,R-Ga.,is 68. Sen.Tim Johnson,D-S.D.,is 66. Rock singer-musician Edgar Winteris 66. Country singer Joe Difﬁe is 54. Country musician MikeMcGuire (Shenandoah) is 54. Actor Chad McQueen is 52.Country singer-musician Marty Roe (Diamond Rio) is 52. ActorMalcolm Gets is 48. Actor Mauricio Mendoza is 43. ActorBrendan Hines is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer John Legend is34. Actress Sienna Miller is 31. Actor Thomas Dekker is 25.
Man gets DUI after drivingon AA co-founder’s lawn
DORSET,Vt. — Vermont State Policesay a man faces a drunken driving chargeafter driving onto the lawn of a historichome once owned by the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.Police say 55-year-old Donald BloodIII of Marlborough,Mass.,was orderedto appear in court in Bennington on Jan.14.Police say Blood thought he was driv-ing into a parking lot,but actually it wasthe lawn of the Wilson House,built in1852 in Dorset,the birthplace of AA co-founder Bill Wilson.The Wilson House’s website describesit as a “place of sanctuary where peoplecan come to give thanks to God for theirnew lives.”It still hosts several AA meetings eachweek.
Good Samaritanfindsring on snowy highway
KINGVALE — Finding a lost wed-ding ring along a snowy highway is hardenough. But a Good Samaritan inNorthern California also has to track down the man it belongs to.Douglas Benedetti says he met theman but doesn’t know his name or phonenumber.Benedetti says the man was searchingfor the ring on the shoulder of Interstate80 near Kingvale in the Sierra earlier thismonth. He told Benedetti he’d lost thering while putting chains on his vehicle.Benedetti,who installs chains for peo-ple on the highway,decided to return tothe area hours after the man left. After alittle less than an hour of searching,hecame across the ring in the snow next toa semi-truck.Benedetti wants to return the ring. Butall he has to go on is its inscription:“Lisa,5th June,2010.”
College student’s turtleproject takes dark twist
CLEMSON,S.C. — ClemsonUniversity student Nathan Weaver set outto determine how to help turtles cross theroad. He ended up getting a glimpse intothe dark souls of some humans.Weaver put a realistic rubber turtle inthe middle of a lane on a busy road nearcampus. Then he got out of the way andwatched over the next hour as seven driv-ers swerved and deliberately ran over theanimal. Several more apparently tried tohit it but missed.“I’ve heard of people and from friendswho knew people that ran over turtles.But to see it out here like this was a bitshocking,”said Weaver,a 22-year-oldsenior in Clemson’s School of Agricultural,Forest and EnvironmentalSciences.To seasoned researchers,the practicewasn’t surprising.The number of box turtles is in slowdecline,and one big reason is that manywind up as roadkill while crossing theasphalt,a slow-and-steady trip that cantake several minutes.Sometimes humans feel a need toprove they are the dominant species onthis planet by taking a two-ton metalvehicle and squishing a defenseless crea-ture under the tires,said Hal Herzog,aWestern Carolina University psychologyprofessor.“They aren’t thinking,really. It is notsomething people think about. It justseems fun at the time,”Herzog said. “It isthe dark side of human nature.”Herzog asked a class of about 110 stu-dents getting ready to take a finalwhether they had intentionally run over aturtle,or been in a car with someone whodid. Thirty-four students raised theirhands,about two-thirds of them male,said Herzog,author of a book abouthumans’relationships with animals,called “Some We Love,Some We Hate,Some We Eat.”Weaver,who became interested in ani-mals and conservation through the BoyScouts and TV’s “Crocodile Hunter”Steve Irwin,wants to ﬁgure out the bestway to get turtles safely across the roadand keep the population from dwindlingfurther.Among the possible solutions:turtleunderpasses or an education campaignaimed at teenagers on why driversshouldn’t mow turtles down.
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