On This Day January 16
1938 – Acclaimed clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman (a.k.a. “The King of Swing”) makes history when he takes the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall. It not only marks the first time jazz is played in the hallowed music venue, but the first time a racially integrated ensemble performs.
1988 – After huge success as half of the pop duo Wham! during the early to mid-80s, George Michael claims the top spot on the Billboard album chart with his debut solo album, “Faith.” The production packs several major hits, including the title track, “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey.”
2004 – King of Pop, Michael Jackson, pleads not guilty to child molestation charges, as fans, reporters and TV crews from around the world swarm outside the California courthouse. The judge admonishes Jackson for arriving late.
1919 – The 18th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.” Known as Prohibition, the alcohol ban takes effect one year and one day later — on January 17, 1920 — and remains the law of the land until 1933 when it is repealed.
1942 – Actress Carole Lombard, famous for her roles in such screwball comedies as “My Man Godfrey” and “To Be or Not to Be,” and for her marriage to actor Clark Gable, is killed in a plane crash outside Las Vegas at the age of 33.
1991 – The Persian Gulf War begins as the United Nations deadline for the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait expires at midnight. The Pentagon prepares to launch offensive operations to forcibly eject Iraq from its five-month occupation of its oil-rich neighbor.