Today is the 21st day of 2017 and the 32nd day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1793, King Louis XVI of France was executed by guillotine in Paris.
In 1861, Jefferson Davis resigned from the U.S. Senate to lead the Confederacy during the Civil War.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardoned nearly all Vietnam War draft evaders.
In 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that for the first time, the largest minority group in the United States was Hispanics (who may be of any race).
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Ethan Allen (1738-1789), writer/military leader; Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863), Confederate army general; Christian Dior (1905-1957), fashion designer; Telly Savalas (1922-1994), actor; Wolfman Jack (1938-1995), disc jockey; Jack Nicklaus (1940- ), golfer; Placido Domingo (1941- ), opera singer; Eric Holder (1951- ), attorney general; Paul Allen (1953- ), co-founder of Microsoft; Geena Davis (1956- ), actress; Jam Master Jay (1965-2002), rapper; Ken Leung (1970- ), actor; Cat Power (1972- ), singer-songwriter.
TODAY'S FACT: The guillotine was used for executions in France as recently as 1977. The death penalty was abolished there in 1981.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1979, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII to become the first NFL team to win three Super Bowls.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Reason therefore must be the standard by which we determine the respective claims of revelation; for otherwise we may as well subscribe to the divinity of the one as of the other, or to the whole of them, or to none at all." -- Ethan Allen, "Reason: The Only Oracle of Man"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 9 -- price in shillings (approximately $61 in modern American currency) of William Hill Brown's "The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature," published in Boston on this day in 1789. The work is widely considered to be the first American novel.
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Jan 19) and new moon (Jan. 27).