spotlight Today in history: Jan. 17 Jan 17, 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Major events that happened around the world on this day in history. 1916: Professional Golfers' Association In 1916, the Professional Golfers' Association of America had its beginnings as department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker hosted a luncheon of pro and amateur golfers in New York City. (The PGA of America was formally established on April 10, 1916.) JHB 1917: Virgin Islands In 1917, Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the United States for $25 million. AP 1945: Warsaw In 1945, Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II; Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody. AP 1955: USS Nautilus In 1955, the submarine USS Nautilus made its first nuclear-powered test run from its berth in Groton (GRAH'-tuhn), Connecticut. ASSOCIATED PRESS 1961: Eisenhower farewell In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against "the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." Bill Allen 1977: Gary Gilmore In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade. Anonymous 1984: Video Cassette Recorders In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., ruled 5-4 that the use of home video cassette recorders to tape television programs for private viewing did not violate federal copyright laws. Tsugufumi Matsumoto 1994: California Earthquake In 1994, the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Lenny Ignelzi 1995: Kobe Earthquake On Jan. 17, 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan. Chiaki Tsukumo 2001: California rolling blackouts In 2001, faced with an electricity crisis, California used rolling blackouts to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people; Gov. Gray Davis signed an emergency order authorizing the state to buy power. ERIC RISBERG 2010: Erich Segal Ten years ago: Erich Segal, author of the best-selling novel "Love Story," died in London at age 72. Gianni Foggia 2010: Golden Globe Awards Ten years ago: At the Golden Globes, top honors went to James Cameron's "Avatar" as well as the TV series "Glee" and "Mad Men." Matt Sayles 2010: Pope Benedict XVI Rome synagogue Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit to a Rome synagogue, where he and Jewish leaders sparred over the World War II-era record of Pope Pius XII. PIER PAOLO CITO 2015: Bill Cosby Five years ago: Bill Cosby performed to a welcoming Denver audience, despite a protest by some 100 people chanting "Rape is not a joke!" and "No means no!" outside the Buell Theatre. Brennan Linsley 2015: Pope Francis Philippines Five years ago: Pope Francis braved an approaching tropical storm to travel to the far eastern Philippines to comfort survivors of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan. Alessandra Tarantino 2019: Chicago Police One year ago: A judge in Chicago acquitted three police officers of trying to cover up the fatal 2014 police shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Zbigniew Bzdak 2019: Government Shutdown One year ago: As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers were set to depart on a previously undisclosed trip to Afghanistan and Brussels, President Donald Trump denied use of a military plane for the trip, calling it a “public relations event” and saying it would be best if Pelosi stayed in Washington to negotiate an end to the government shutdown; the move came a day after Pelosi called on Trump to postpone his State of the Union address due to the shutdown. 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