First Posted: 12/30/2013
The History Channel
* On Jan. 17, 1865, Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s army is delayed in Savannah, Ga., by 10 days of rain as it waits to begin marching into the Carolinas. Just as Sherman and his army had destroyed nearly everything in its path in Georgia, Sherman planned to subject the Carolinas to the same brutal treatment.
* On Jan. 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified and becomes law. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed prohibition.
* On Jan. 15, 1936, Edsel Ford, son of auto pioneer Henry Ford, forms a philanthropic organization called the Ford Foundation with a donation of $25,000. The foundation was established in part as a legal way for the Ford family to avoid inheritance taxes.
* On Jan. 14, 1954, Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe marries New York Yankees slugger Joe DiMaggio. The marriage barely got past the honeymoon, and they were divorced 274 days later. In her filing, Monroe accused her husband of “mental cruelty.”
* On Jan. 13, 1962, comedian Ernie Kovacs, who hosted his own television shows during the 1950s, dies after crashing his Chevrolet Corvair into a telephone pole in Los Angeles while driving in a rainstorm. The Corvair was later made infamous by Ralph Nader’s groundbreaking 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed.”
* On Jan. 18, 1985, for the first time since joining the World Court in 1946, the United States walks out of a case, this one concerning U.S. paramilitary activities against the Nicaraguan government. The Court decided against the United States; it charged that the U.S. violated international law with its actions against the Sandinistas.
* On Jan. 19, 1977, President Gerald Ford pardons “Tokyo Rose,” a Japanese-American woman named Iva Toguri. Toguri and other women had broadcast sentimental American music and phony announcements in a vain attempt to destroy the morale of Allied soldiers during World War II.