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Ten years ago: On the 12th anniversary of the Gulf War, a defiant Saddam Hussein called on his people to rise up and defend the nation against a new U.S.-led attack. Tom Ridge sailed through Senate confirmation hearings on his way to becoming the nation's first Homeland Security Department chief. Actor Richard Crenna died in Los Angeles at age 76. Gertrude Janeway, the last known widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War, died in Blaine, Tenn., at age 93 (she had married John Janeway in 1927 when he was 81 and she was barely 18).
Five years ago: Bobby Fischer, the chess grandmaster who became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, died in Reykjavik, Iceland, at age 64. Character actor Allan Melvin died in Los Angeles at age 84.
One year ago: Italian officials released a recording of a furious Coast Guard officer, Capt. Gregorio De Falco, demanding that Capt. Francesco Schettino (frahn-CHEHS'-koh skeh-TEE'-noh), commander of the grounded Costa Concordia, re-board the ship to direct its evacuation after the vessel rammed into a reef on Jan. 13. (Schettino resists the order, making excuses that it's dark and that the ship is listing.) Johnny Otis, the "godfather of rhythm and blues" who wrote and recorded the R&B classic "Willie and the Hand Jive," died in Los Angeles at age 90.
Today's birthdays: Actress Betty White is 91. Former FCC chairman Newton N. Minow is 87. Actor James Earl Jones is 82. Talk show host Maury Povich is 74. International Boxing Hall of Famer Muhammad Ali is 71. Pop singer Chris Montez is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 68. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 65. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 60. Singer Steve Earle is 58. Singer Paul Young is 57. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 56. Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 54. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 51. Actor Denis O'Hare is 51. First Lady Michelle Obama is 49. Actor Joshua Malina is 47. Singer Shabba Ranks is 47. Rock musician Jon Wysocki is 45. Actor Naveen Andrews is 44. Rapper Kid Rock is 42. Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 38. Actress Zooey Deschanel is 33. Singer Ray J is 32. Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 31. DJ/singer Calvin Harris is 29.
Thought for today: "A politician is a person with whose politics you don't agree; if you agree with him he's a statesman." -- David Lloyd George (1863-1945)
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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