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On This Day: Borge Ousland completes 1st solo trek across Antarctica

On Jan. 18, 1997, Norwegian Borge Ousland completed a 1,675-mile trek across Antarctica. It was the first time anyone traversed the continent alone.

By UPI Staff
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On This Day: Borge Ousland completes 1st solo trek across Antarctica
On January 18, 1997, Norwegian Borge Ousland (R) completed a 1,675-mile trek across Antarctica. It was the first time anyone traversed the continent alone. File Photo by Laurent Gillieron/EPA

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1778, James Cook became the first European to reach the Hawaiian Islands. He called them the Sandwich Islands.

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In 1871, William of Prussia was declared the first German emperor.

In 1919, world leaders gathered in Paris to begin a peace conference after the end of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson used the negotiations to push his idea of an international peacekeeping organization, the League of Nations.

In 1935, an additional 98 individuals were sentenced, 19 to prison and 79 to exile, for playing a role in the assassination of Sergei Kirov as Josef Stalin ruled unchallenged throughout Soviet Russia.

In 1969, as he prepared for the peaceful transfer of power, President Lyndon Johnson put his faith in history that his record of public service and accomplishments would serve as a fitting legacy.

UPI File Photo

In 1983, the International Olympic Committee restored Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals to his family. They had been rescinded for Thorpe's having played professional baseball. He won gold medals in 1912 in the pentathlon and decathlon.

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In 1990, authorities arrested Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry on narcotics charges after he was caught on camera smoking crack cocaine by a woman who agreed to record him in exchange for a reduced sentence on a previous charge.

In 1997, Norwegian Borge Ousland completed a 1,675-mile trek across Antarctica. It was the first time anyone traversed the continent alone.

In 2007, Venezuelan lawmakers voted to allow President Hugo Chavez to rule by decree for 18 months.

File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI

In 2010, Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 and was later forgiven by the pontiff, was released from a Turkish prison.

In 2011, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest among a group of police recruits in Tikrit, Iraq, killing at least 60 people and injuring 150 others.

In 2013, Algerian forces freed more than 600 hostages held by Islamist militants at a gas plant in Amenas.

In 2021, Brazil began administering COVID-19 vaccines to its citizens for the first time after granting emergency authorization to vaccines made by Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

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File Photo by Fernando Bizerra/EPA-EFE

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