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January 21, 1950
A former official in the US State Department, Alger Hiss, is convicted of perjury.  Hiss was found guilty in his 2nd trial of lying about his involvement in a Soviet spy ring.  

Hiss was not tried for treason because at the time of the trial the statute of limitations had expired for a treason charge.
Hiss had been accused by Whittaker Chambers before the House Un-American Activities Committee of passing top secret information to him.  

Although Hiss denied the charge, Chambers produced copies of the documents that had been hidden in a pumpkin (the “pumpkin papers”)

 Congressman Richard Nixon of California was a member of the HUAC.
January 21, 1968
The Battle of Khe Sanh begins. 

 The US Marine base, used to stage patrols & plan future efforts to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, is located 14 miles below the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) & 6 miles from Laos.
The siege will last 66 days with US planes dropping 5000 bombs each day.  In the end, both sides will claim victory.  

The battle results in 205 US Marines killed & 16,000 wounded.  The North Vietnamese Army loses more than 10,000.
 January 21, 1977
President Jimmy Carter pardons all civilians who failed to register for the Vietnam War draft or who had fled the US to avoid service.
This is President Carter’s 2nd day in office.  He interprets his action to be one of “forgiveness” rather than an official admission that US participation in the Vietnam War was wrong.
Carter’s pardon wipes out all criminal records.  It does not apply to military personnel who went AWOL during the war. 

January 21, 1793
King Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine in Paris.  He was convicted of conspiring with foreign powers including Austria by the National Convention.  
His Queen, Marie Antoinette, was also arrested, imprisoned, & executed nine months later.
January 21, 1924
Vladimir Lenin dies in Moscow, USSR of a cerebral hemorrhage.  He was the leader of the Bolshevik movement that had resulted in the overthrow of the Russian czar in 1917.  The New York Times wrote that “Lenin’s death will unify and strengthen the Communist party.” 

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