Today in history
In 1924: The pike to Grand Haven and Saugatuck is hopelessly blocked and has been the greater part of the week, and conditions are even worse on M51 to Grand Rapids. No busses or freight trucks have been coming through and none are expected for some days to come. A short time ago the road commissioner with 75 men had gotten the road open for the benefit of trucks and bus lines and yesterday a large gang with plows began to work from both ends, but no sooner had a path been shoveled, it was filled up again. Chairman Austin Harrington felt that it was a hopeless job and very expensive and called the shovelers off until after the storm subsides which may be for a few days yet.
On this day
In 1613, Mikhail Romanov, 16, was unanimously chosen by Russia’s national assembly to be czar, beginning a dynasty that would last three centuries.
In 1862, Nathaniel Gordon became the first and only American slave-trader to be executed under the U.S. Piracy Law of 1820 as he was hanged in New York.
In 1945, during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea was sunk by kamikazes with the loss of 318 men.
In 1964, the first shipment of U.S. wheat purchased by the Soviet Union arrived in the port of Odessa.
In 1965, black Muslim leader and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned; all were eventually paroled.)
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon began his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Beijing.
In 1992, Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States won the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating at the Albertville Olympics; Midori Ito of Japan won the silver, Nancy Kerrigan of the U.S., the bronze.
In 1995, Chicago adventurer Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean by balloon, landing in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada.
In 2013, Drew Peterson, the Chicago-area police officer who gained notoriety after his much-younger fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in 2007, was sentenced to 38 years in prison for murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
In 2018, the Rev. Billy Graham, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died at his North Carolina home; he was 99.
William Baldwin is 57.
Tyne Daly is 74.
Tricia Nixon Cox is 74.
Sophie Turner is 24.