Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
1/16/13 at 3:00 AM
1961 - Mantle's pay highest in AL
Oklahoma native Mickey Mantle, who was raised in Commerce, became the highest-paid baseball player in the American League when he signed a $75,000 contract to play for the New York Yankees for the 1961 season. But his contract was still $10,000 behind that of Willie Mays, who played for the San Francisco Giants in the National League.
1969 - Manned spaceships link up
Two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships linked up in Earth orbit, making them the first to perform such a maneuver, and transferred cosmonauts from one ship to the other. The Soviet news agency Tass said the multiple maneuvers made feasible the exchanges of space crews on long operations and the rescue of spacemen from downed ships.
1982 - Weather slows search
Sub-zero temperature and biting wind slowed the search for bodies and the flight recorders from an ice-caked Air Florida 737 jetliner that crashed into the 14th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C., three days earlier shortly after takeoff from National Airport. Survivors and rescue workers credited bank examiner Arland D. Williams Jr., one of the passengers, with sacrificing his life by giving a rescue line from a helicopter to others to save some of the other five who survived the crash. When the bridge span was repaired, it was renamed for Williams, 46, the only passenger who died of drowning rather than crash injuries. Visibility was only a half mile in heavy snowfall when the plane fell into the Potomac River, killing 78, including four motorists.
1992 - Civil war ends
A peace treaty ending the 12-year Salvadoran civil war, which had killed at least 75,000, was signed in Mexico City by the government and rebel leaders who were required to lay down their arms and take up politics. "There's absolutely no fear," El Salvador President Alfredo Cristiani said at a news conference. News of the pact signing touched off raucous but separate celebrations in San Salvador - guerrillas and their supporters gathered in Plaza Civica; the governing party a block away in Plaza Libertad - an indication that the rival sides were still far apart in their beliefs.
Mickey Mantle in 1961 Associated Press file