10 years ago

From the Journal Tribune: “Pre-construction has begun on the major project planned for the Exit 25 service plazas. For more than a week crews from the Maine Turnpike Authority have been conducting advanced utility relocation on electrical and sewer lines located on the southbound Kennebunk exit behind the current plaza.”

50 years ago

From the Biddeford-Saco Journal: “The Portland Gas Light Co. will begin piping natural gas to its first customers Wednesday and the company expects that by March 15 all of it’s 16,000 customers in greater Portland will be cooking with the fuel. Gov. Reed said he foresees the day when other Maine cities will be tied intro the pipeline.”

100 years ago

From the Biddeford Daily Journal: “Many people in the two cities and at Old Orchard who had met the respondent at the beach last summer were more or less interested in the announcement that Morrison H. Peaslec was this morning at Concord, N.H., was acquitted by the jury on the charge of murdering his father.” — Krysteana Scribner

Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2016. There are 358 days left in the year.

On this date: In 1642, astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy. In 1790, President George Washington delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress in New York. In 1815, the last major engagement of the War of 1812 came to an end as U.S. forces defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, not having gotten word of the signing of a peace treaty. In 1863, America’s First Transcontinental Railroad had its beginnings as California Gov. Leland Stanford broke ground for the Central Pacific Railroad in Sacramento. (The transcontinental railroad was completed in Promontory, Utah, in May 1869.) In 1912, the African National Congress was founded in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In 1935, rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. In 1959, Charles de Gaulle was inaugurated as president of France’s Fifth Republic. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

Ten years ago The first funerals were held in West Virginia for the 12 miners who’d died in the Sago Mine disaster six days earlier.

Five years ago U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six other people were killed, 12 others also injured. (Gunman Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced in November 2012 to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.) Both Super Bowl teams from 2010 lost on the first day of the NFL playoffs; the Seattle Seahawks stunned the defending champion New Orleans Saints 41-36 while the New York Jets ended the night with a last-second 17-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

One year ago Three dissidents were abruptly released in what a leading human rights advocate said was part of Cuba’s deal with Washington to release 53 members of the island’s political opposition. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., a tenacious liberal whose election to the Senate in 1992 heralded a new era for women at the upper reaches of political power, announced she would not seek re-election. — By The Associated Press