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On This Day: U.S., Australia take New Guinea in WWII

Jan. 22 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 1771, Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain.

In 1901, Queen Victoria of Britain died at age 82 after a reign of 64 years. She was succeeded by her son, Edward VII.

In 1914, attorneys for world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, an African-American prizefighter, filed a brief for a new trial with the U.S. Court of Appeals, challenging Johnson’s conviction under the Mann Act.

In 1924, senators investigating the Teapot Dome lease scandal declared they would use all the legal powers of the government to get to the truth.

In 1943, U.S. and Australian troops took New Guinea in the first land victory over the Japanese in World War II.

In 1944, U.S. troops invaded Italy, landing at Anzio beach in a move to outflank German defensive positions.

In 1973, in its historic Roe v. Wade decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans and made abortion legal.

In 1987, Glen Tremml, 27, pedaled the ultralight aircraft Eagle over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for a human-powered flight record of 37.2 miles.

In 1991, Iraq launched a Scud missile attack against Israel, injuring 98 people.

In 1998, Theodore Kaczynski, known as the “Unabomber,” accused of sending bombs that killed and wounded people, pleaded guilty to all counts against him in California and New Jersey. He was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2003, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge to be the first secretary of Homeland Security by a 94-0 vote.

In 2006, Evo Morales was inaugurated as president of Bolivia.

In 2008, Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen accused of plotting to explode a radioactive “dirty bomb” in the United States, was sentenced to 17 years and 4 months in prison for aiding terrorists.

In 2008, Heath Ledger, star of Brokeback Mountain, A Knight’s Tale and The Dark Knight, died of a drug overdose. He was 28.

In 2012, Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach who won a record 409 games in his storied six-decade career but was forced out amid a sex scandal involving an ex-assistant coach, died of lung cancer. He was 85.

In 2014, the New York Yankees agreed to a seven-year, $155 million contract with right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of Japan.

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