Today in History....January 18
1778, English navigator Capt. James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the "Sandwich Islands"
1803, Thomas Jefferson requests funding from Congress to finance the Lewis and Clark expedition. Jefferson officially asked for $2,500 in funding from Congress, though some sources indicate the expedition ultimately cost closer to $50,000
1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it.
(Scott and his party perished during the return trip.)
1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending World War I, opened in Versailles, France
1943, during World War II, the Soviets announced they'd broken through the long Nazi siege of Leningrad (it was another year before the siege was fully lifted). ALSO: The deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the concentration camp at Treblinka is resumed-but not without much bloodshed and resistance along the way. AND: A wartime ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread in the U.S. -- aimed at reducing bakeries' demand for metal replacement parts -- went into effect
1950, People's Republic of China formally recognizes the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam and agrees to furnish it military assistance; the Soviet Union extended diplomatic recognition to Hanoi on January 30. China and the Soviet Union provided massive military and economic aid to North Vietnam, which enabled North Vietnam to fight first the French and then the Americans
1990, at the end of a joint sting operation by FBI agents and District of Columbia police, Mayor Marion Barry is arrested and charged with drug possession and the use of crack, a crystalline form of cocaine. ALSO: A jury in Los Angeles acquitted former preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges.
2002, two Israeli tanks and an armored personnel carrier parked outside the headquarters of Yasser Arafat, ym"sh, confining the terrorist to his office complex a day after a Palestinian gunman burst into a banquet hall and gunned down six Israelis