Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states shall be “forever free.”
On this date:
In 1660, Englishman Samuel Pepys (peeps) began keeping his famous diary.
In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
In 1953, country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, was discovered dead in the back seat of his car during a stop in Oak Hill, West Virginia, while he was being driven to a concert date in Canton, Ohio.
In 1954, NBC broadcast the first coast-to-coast color TV program as it presented live coverage of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.
In 1975, a jury in Washington found Nixon administration officials John N. Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman and Robert C. Mardian guilty of charges related to the Watergate cover-up (Mardian’s conviction for conspiracy was later overturned on appeal).
In 1979, the United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In 1984, the breakup of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.
In 1992, Boutros Boutros-Ghali succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar (hah-vee-EHR’ PEHR’-ehs day KWAY’-yahr) as secretary-general of the United Nations.
In 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 2005, desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid as the U.S. military launched its largest operation in the region since the Vietnam War. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, died near Daytona Beach, Florida, at age 80.
In 2014, the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops opened in Colorado at 8 a.m. Mountain time.
Ten years ago: A suicide bomber killed 21 people outside a church in Alexandria, Egypt, in one of the country’s worst attacks targeting Coptic Christians. Third-ranked TCU finished a perfect season by beating No. 4 Wisconsin 21-19 in the Rose Bowl. Oprah Winfrey launched her OWN cable network.
Five years ago: Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign said it had raised $37 million in the previous three months and more than $112 million in all of 2015 to support her bid for the Democratic nomination. Ohio State defeated Notre Dame 44-28 in the Fiesta Bowl; Stanford beat Iowa 45-16 in the Rose Bowl; Mississippi toppled Oklahoma State 48-20 in the Sugar Bowl. Death claimed former Arkansas governor and U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers at age 90; former U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley at age 71; and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond at age 85.
One year ago: Militiamen backed by Iran withdrew from the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad after two days of clashes with American security forces. David Stern, who spent 30 years as the NBA’s commissioner as it grew into a global power, died at the age of 77, three weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage. A fire at the Krefeld Zoo in western Germany killed more than 30 primates, including five orangutans and two gorillas.
Today’s Birthdays: Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 91. Actor Frank Langella is 83.
Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 79. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 78. Actor Rick Hurst is 75. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 67. The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is 65. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 63. Actor Renn Woods is 63. Actor Dedee Pfeiffer is 57. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 55. Actor Morris Chestnut is 52. Rhythm and blues singer Tank is 45. Model Elin Nordegren is 41. Actor Jonas Armstrong is 40. Actor Eden Riegel is 40. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis is 34. Rock musician Noah Sierota (Echosmith) is 25.