This Day in History: Jan. 4

President Richard Nixon (AP Photo)

On this day, Jan. 4 …

1974: President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

Also on this day:

  • 1896: Utah is admitted as the 45th state.
  • 1904: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Gonzalez v. Williams, rules that Puerto Ricans are not illegal immigrants and can enter the United States freely; however, the court stops short of declaring them citizens. (Puerto Ricans would receive U.S. citizenship in March 1917.)
  • 1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, calls for legislation to provide assistance for the jobless, elderly, impoverished children and the handicapped.
  • 1943: Soviet dictator Josef Stalin makes the cover of Time as the magazine’s 1942 “Man of the Year.”
  • 1951: During the Korean War, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces recapture the city of Seoul.
  • 1960: Author and philosopher Albert Camus dies in an automobile accident in Villeblevin, France, at age 46.

  • 1964: Pope Paul VI begins a visit to the Holy Land, the first papal pilgrimage of its kind.
  • 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson delivers his State of the Union address, in which he outlined the goals of his “Great Society.”
  • 1987: Sixteen people are killed when an Amtrak train bound from Washington, D.C., to Boston collides with Conrail locomotives that crossed into its path from a side track in Chase, Md.
  • 1995: The 104th Congress convenes, the first entirely under Republican control since the Eisenhower era.
  • 2002: Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, is killed by small-arms fire during an ambush in eastern Afghanistan. (He is the first American military death from enemy fire in the war against terrorism.)
  • 2006: U.S. Supreme Court agrees that Jose Padilla, held for 3 1/2 years as an “enemy combatant,” can be transferred to civilian authorities in Miami.
  • 2009: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announces he is withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama’s commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors had won a lucrative state contract. (Prosecutors later would decline to bring charges against Richardson.)
  • 2009: A female suicide bomber strikes Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing 38.
  • 2018: The Trump administration moves to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a five-year plan that would open up federal waters off of California for the first time in decades and possibly open new areas of oil and gas exploration along the East Coast.
  • 2018: The Dow Jones Industrial Average bursts through the 25,000 mark, closing at 25,075.13 just five weeks after its first close above 24,000.
  • 2018: Ray Thomas, a founding member of the British rock group the Moody Blues, dies at his home south of London at the age of 76, months before the band would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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