This Day in History: Jan. 9

On this day, Jan. 9 …

2009: The Illinois House votes 114-1 to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of soliciting bribes for political appointments, including Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat after Obama was elected president. (The Illinois Senate would unanimously vote to remove Blagojevich from office 20 days later.)

Also on this day:

  • 1861: Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreats because of artillery fire.
  • 1913: Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, is born in Yorba Linda, Calif.
  • 1914: The County of Los Angeles opens the country’s first public defender’s office.
  • 1931: Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper break an endurance record for female aviators as they return to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.
  • 1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his State of the Union address to Congress, warns of the threat of Communist imperialism.
  • 1972: Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, says a purported autobiography of him by Clifford Irving is a fake.
  • 1987: The White House releases a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
  • 2001: Linda Chavez withdraws her bid to be President-elect George W. Bush’s labor secretary because of controversy over an immigrant in the U.S. illegally who’d once lived with her.
  • 2014: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fires one of his top aides, Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, and apologizes repeatedly for his staff’s “stupid” behavior, insisting during a news conference that he had no idea anyone around him had engineered traffic jams as part of a political vendetta against a Democratic mayor.