Jan. 15 (UPI) — On this date in history:
In 1870, a cartoon by Thomas Nast appeared in Harper’s weekly with a donkey symbolizing the Democratic Party for the first time.
In 1892, Dr. James Naismith published the rules of basketball. He invented the game at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass.
In 1919, 21 people were killed and scores injured when a vat holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses exploded and sent torrents of the syrup into the streets of Boston. The event is known as the Boston Molasses Disaster.
In 1922, the Irish Free State was formed as part of the treaty that ended the Irish War of Independence. It was under the dominion of the United Kingdom until 1937, when the independent state of Ireland was established. The independent republic was formalized in 1949.
In 1943, the Pentagon, the world’s largest building of its kind, was dedicated on the Virginia side of the Potomac River just outside of Washington.
In 1967, the first Super Bowl, pitting the NFL and AFL champions, was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with the Green Bay Packers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.
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In 1973, President Richard Nixon called a halt to U.S. military offensives in Vietnam.
In 1986, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a sweeping arms-control plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons by the year 2000 and rid “mankind of the fear of nuclear catastrophe.”
In 1997, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat reached an agreement on the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank city of Hebron.
In 2001, free online encyclopedia Wikipedia debuts, giving users the ability to create and edit articles. Within four years, Wikipedia was the largest and fastest-growing educational reference website.
In a 2006 runoff, Chile elected Michelle Bachelet as its first female president.
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In 2008, meat and milk from cloned animals were ruled safe for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after years of debate.
In 2009, all 155 people aboard US Airways Flight 1549 escaped serious injury when pilot Chesley Sullenberger gently landed his disabled aircraft in the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey. The landing became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
In 2011, voters in southern Sudan overwhelmingly approved a referendum to secede from Sudan and become an independent African nation.
In 2018, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles revealed she was one of more than 100 women and young girls abused by former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
In 2021, the National Rifle Association filed for bankruptcy and said it plans to implement a restructuring plan, moving the organization from New York to Texas.
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