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January 28, 2015 08:06 GMT

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 28, the 28th day of 2015. There are 337 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On Jan. 28, 1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service. The American merchant vessel SS William P. Frye, en route to England with a cargo of wheat, became the first U.S. ship to be sunk during World War I by a German cruiser, the SS Prinz Eitel Friedrich, even though the United States was not at war.

On this date:

In 1547, England's King Henry VIII died; he was succeeded by his 9-year-old son, Edward VI.

In 1813, the novel "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen was first published anonymously in London.

In 1909, the United States withdrew its forces from Cuba as Jose Miguel Gomez became president.

In 1939, Irish poet-dramatist William Butler Yeats died in Menton, France.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first national TV appearance on "Stage Show," a CBS program hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.

In 1962, the last of Washington, D.C.'s original streetcars made its final run.

In 1973, a cease-fire officially went into effect in the Vietnam War.

In 1977, actor-comedian Freddie Prinze, 22, co-star of the NBC-TV show "Chico and the Man," shot and mortally wounded himself at the Beverly Comstock Hotel (he died the following day).

In 1980, six U.S. diplomats who had avoided being taken hostage at their embassy in Tehran flew out of Iran with the help of Canadian diplomats.

In 1985, the charity supergroup USA for Africa recorded the Michael Jackson-Lionel Richie song "We Are the World" at A&M Studios in Los Angeles.

In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

Ten years ago: Iraqis overseas began three days of voting in 14 nations. Senate Democrats criticized President George W. Bush's plan to add personal accounts to Social Security and accused his administration of improperly using the Social Security Administration to promote the idea. Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. and Gillette Co. announced a $57 billion merger.

Five years ago: Major world powers opened talks in London seeking an end to the conflict in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced $8 billion in federal grants for high-speed rail projects nationwide during a visit to Tampa, Florida. Embattled Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke won Senate confirmation for a second term.

One year ago: Seeking to energize his second term, President Barack Obama vowed in his State of the Union address to sidestep Congress "whenever and wherever" necessary to narrow economic disparities between rich and poor. Ukraine's prime minister, Mykola Azarov, resigned and the Ukrainian parliament repealed anti-protest laws in back-to-back moves designed to defuse the country's political crisis.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Nicholas Pryor is 80. Actor Alan Alda is 79. Actress Susan Howard is 73. Actress Marthe (cq) Keller is 70. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is 68. Actress-singer Barbi Benton is 65. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren is 61. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE') is 60. Actress Harley Jane Kozak is 58. Movie director Frank Darabont is 56. Rock musician Dave Sharp is 56. Rock singer Sam Phillips is 53. Rock musician Dan Spitz is 52. Country musician Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 50. Gospel singer Marvin Sapp is 48. Singer Sarah McLachlan is 47. Rapper Rakim is 47. DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) is 47. Actress Kathryn Morris is 46. Rock/soul musician Jeremy Ruzumna (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Hamilton is 44. Rock musician Brandon Bush is 42. Retired MLB All-Star Jermaine Dye is 41. Singer Joey Fatone Jr. ('N Sync) is 38. Rapper Rick Ross is 38. Actress Rosamund Pike is 36. Singer Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) is 35. Actor Elijah Wood is 34. Rapper J. Cole is 30. Actress Alexandra Krosney is 27. Actress Ariel Winter (TV: "Modern Family") is 17.

Thought for Today: "A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student." -- Henny Youngman, British-born American comedian (1906-1998).


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