This Day in History: Jan. 5

(AP Photo)

On this day, Jan. 5 …

1983: President Ronald Reagan announces he is nominating Elizabeth Dole to succeed Drew Lewis as secretary of transportation; Dole would become the first woman to head a Cabinet department in Reagan’s administration and the first to head the Department of Transportation.

Also on this day: 

  • 1066: Edward the Confessor, King of England, dies after a reign of nearly 24 years.
  • 1589: Catherine de Medici of France dies at age 69.
  • 1781: A British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burns Richmond, Va.
  • 1895: French Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of treason, is publicly stripped of his rank. 
  • 1925: Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming takes office as America’s first female governor, succeeding her late husband, William, following a special election.
  • 1933: Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, dies in Northampton, Mass., at age 60.

Workmen assist the derrick operator, chief engineer Joseph Strauss, in joining the center of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Ca., Nov. 18, 1936. The bridge has a main span of 4,200 feet, 1,280 meters, making it the world’s longest suspension structure. (AP Photo)

  • 1933: Construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • 1943: Educator and scientist George Washington Carver dies in Tuskegee, Ala., at about age 80.
  • 1953: Samuel Beckett’s two-act tragicomedy “Waiting for Godot” premieres in Paris.
  • 1957: President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposes assistance to countries to help them resist Communist aggression in what becomes known as the Eisenhower Doctrine.
  • 1993: The state of Washington executes Westley Allan Dodd, an admitted child sex killer, in America’s first legal hanging since 1965.
  • 1994: Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, former speaker of the House, dies in Boston at age 81.
  • 1998: Sonny Bono, former one-half of the pop duo Sonny & Cher, later becoming a California congressman, is killed when he strikes a tree while skiing at the Heavenly Ski Resort on the Nevada-California state line.
  • 2009: Retired Lt. Gen. Harry W.O. Kinnard, a paratroop officer who’d suggested the famously defiant answer “Nuts!” to a German demand for surrender during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, dies in Arlington, Va., at age 93.
  • 2017: Actor Jerry Van Dyke dies in Arkansas at the age of 86.
  • 2017: Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, dies at his Houston home; he was 87.

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