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This Week in History: Jan. 8-14: Rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi

On Jan. 8, 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. (Getty Images)

Jan. 8, 1642: Astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy.

Jan. 8, 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.)

Jan. 8, 1918: Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

Jan. 9, 1931: Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper broke an endurance record for female aviators as they returned to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.

Jan. 9, 1968: The Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

Jan. 10, 1776: Thomas Paine published his influential pamphlet, “Common Sense.”

Jan. 10, 1861: Florida seceded from the Union.

Jan. 10, 1928: The Soviet Union ordered the exile of Leon Trotsky.

Jan. 10, 1946: The first manmade contact with the moon was made as radar signals were bounced off the lunar surface.

Jan. 11, 1908: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in 1919).

Jan. 11, 1913: The first enclosed sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th National Automobile Show in New York.

Jan. 11, 1935: Aviator Amelia Earhart began an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, California, that made her the first person to fly solo across any part of the Pacific Ocean.

Jan. 12, 1773: The first public museum in America was organized in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jan. 12, 1971: The groundbreaking situation comedy “All in the Family” premiered on CBS television.

Jan. 13, 1941: A new law went into effect granting Puerto Ricans U.S. birthright citizenship.

Jan. 14, 1784: The United States ratified the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War; Britain followed suit in April 1784.

Jan. 14, 1900: Puccini's opera “Tosca” had its world premiere in Rome.

Jan. 14, 1914: Ford Motor Co. greatly improved its assembly-line operation by employing an endless chain to pull each chassis along at its Highland Park plant.

Jan. 14, 1943: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French General Charles de Gaulle opened a wartime conference in Casablanca.

Compiled by Lori Sears and Paul McCardell.

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