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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
This Week in History

Saying Goodbye to an Honorary Citizen, Launching the USS Missouri, and a Crossover Sensation

--On Jan. 30, 1965: The state funeral was held for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Churchill was probably best known for his leadership as the British prime minister during World War II, but he was also a writer, lecturer and an amateur artist. During the war, Churchill worked closely with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in devising war strategy, and he traveled to the United States multiple times. On Dec. 26, 1941, Churchill gave an important speech before a joint meeting of the United States Congress regarding the war. Churchill resigned as the prime minister on May 23, 1945, but would again become prime minister from 1951 to 1955. In 1963, the United States proclaimed Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States -- the first person to be awarded that honor. Although Churchill was unable to attend the ceremony, his son, Randolph Churchill, read a letter from him accepting the honor. On Jan. 24, 1965, Churchill passed away at the age of 90. The state funeral honoring Churchill was watched on television by millions of people.

--On Jan. 29, 1944: The USS Missouri was launched. On that day, it was christened by Margaret Truman, Harry Truman's daughter. It saw action in World War II, the Korean War and the Gulf War. On Sept. 2, 1945, the formal Japanese surrender ceremony, which officially ended World War II, was held aboard the ship. A plaque aboard the ship commemorates the event. The USS Missouri was decommissioned in 1955 but was reactivated and modernized in 1984. Margaret Truman was also present at the 1986 recommission ceremony. It was again decommissioned on March 31, 1992, and it later became a museum at Pearl Harbor.

--On Jan. 30, 1961: Singer Patsy Cline released the song I Fall to Pieces. The song would later become her first song to hit No. 1 on the country music charts. It also reached No. 12 on the pop charts. Although she did not get her first No. 1 song until 1961, Cline had already experienced success with her musical career. On Jan. 21, 1957, Cline appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts performing Walkin' After Midnight. After the show, the song became a hit, reaching No. 2 on the country charts and No. 12 on the pop charts. The talented singer's music often appealed to both country and pop music fans, and Cline had other crossover hits including Crazy and She's Got You. Arguably, Cline's best known hit song was Crazy, which was written by Willie Nelson. Cline was killed in an airplane crash on March 5, 1963. A decade later, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for her contributions to the genre.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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