Today is Friday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2015. There are 349 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 16, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, which decreed that 400,000 acres of land in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida would be confiscated, divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, which was later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, "Forty acres and a mule.")

On this date:

In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as "Ivan the Terrible") was crowned Czar.

In 1883, the U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.

In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)

In 1935, fugitive gangster Fred Barker and his mother, Kate "Ma" Barker, were killed in a shootout with the FBI at Lake Weir, Florida.

In 1942, actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother Elizabeth and 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nevada, while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.

In 1957, three B-52's took off from Castle Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, which lasted 45 hours and 19 minutes. Classical music conductor Arturo Toscanini died in New York at age 89.

In 1969, two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.

In 1978, NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America's first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America's first black astronaut in space.

In 1989, three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd's passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)

In 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

In 1995, the now-defunct United Paramount Network (UPN) made its debut by broadcasting the first episode of "Star Trek: Voyager."

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN' rah-MOHN'). (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)

Ten years ago: The U.S. military freed 81 detainees in Afghanistan, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. Golden Globes were awarded to "The Aviator" as best movie drama and "Sideways" as best movie musical or comedy.

Five years ago: As precious water and food began reaching parched and hungry earthquake survivors on the streets of Haiti's ruined capital Port-au-Prince, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Haitian President Rene Preval (reh-NAY' preh-VAHL') and promised that U.S. quake relief efforts would be closely coordinated with local officials. Glen W. Bell Jr., 86, founder of the Taco Bell chain, died in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

One year ago: The Vatican was called to account for the global priest sex abuse scandal as U.N. experts in Geneva interrogated the Holy See for eight hours about the scale of abuse, and what it was doing to prevent it. The U.S. Senate voted 72-26 for a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature. The state of Ohio executed Dennis McGuire for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of pregnant newlywed Joy Stewart; McGuire gasped and snorted for 26 minutes before he was declared dead, raising questions about the drugs used in his lethal injection. "American Hustle" and "Gravity" each received 10 Academy Award nominations; "12 Years a Slave" (which ended up winning Best Picture) trailed close behind with nine Oscar nods. Death claimed actors Russell Johnson ("Gilligan's Island") at age 89 and Dave Madden ("The Partridge Family") at age 82.

Today's Birthdays: Author William Kennedy is 87. Author-editor Norman Podhoretz is 85. Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 81. Hall of Fame auto racer A.J. Foyt is 80. Singer Barbara Lynn is 73. Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 72. Singer Katherine Anderson Schaffner (The Marvelettes) is 71. Country singer Jim Stafford is 71. Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 68. Movie director John Carpenter is 67. Actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen is 65. Singer Sade (shah-DAY') is 56. Rock musician Paul Webb (Talk Talk) is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Maxine Jones (En Vogue) is 49. Actor David Chokachi (CHOH'-kuh-chee) is 47. Actor Richard T. Jones is 43. Actress Josie Davis is 42. Model Kate Moss is 41. Country musician James Young (The Eli Young Band) is 35. Rock musician Nick Valensi (The Strokes) is 34. Actress Renee Felice Smith (TV: "NCIS: Los Angeles") is 30. NFL quaterback Joe Flacco is 30. Actress Yvonne Zima is 26.

Thought for Today: "A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks th' Lord wud do if He knew th' facts iv th' case." — From "Mr. Dooley's Philosophy" by Finley Peter Dunne, American humorist (1867-1936).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, Jan. 16)

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