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 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
In 1942, the Rose Bowl was played in Durham, North Carolina, because of security concerns in the wake of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor; Oregon State defeated Duke, 20-16.
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 1985, the music cable channel VH-1 made its debut with a video of Marvin Gaye performing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
In 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 2006, President George W. Bush strongly defended his domestic spying program, calling it legal as well as vital to thwarting terrorist attacks. The Medicare prescription drug plan went into effect.
In 2014, the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops opened in Colorado at 8 a.m. Mountain time.
Ten years ago: A second NASA probe braked into orbit around the moon, a day after its twin probe executed the same maneuver; it was part of the latest mission to understand how Earth’s closest neighbor formed.
Five years ago: Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations as its new secretary-general. A gunman killed 39 New Year’s revelers at a crowded nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, in an attack claimed by Islamic State. At least 57 inmates were killed in a prison riot in the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas.
One year ago: The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At a rare New Year’s Day session, Senate Republicans rejected President Donald Trump’s demand for $2,000 COVID-19 aid checks. The Senate overrode Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill after an earlier House vote to override; it was the first time Congress had overridden a Trump veto, and it came just weeks before he was to leave the White House. Floyd Little, the versatile running back who starred at Syracuse and for the Denver Broncos, died at his Nevada home at 78 after a long bout with cancer. Top-ranked Alabama beat Notre Dame 31-14 in the Rose Bowl, and No. 3 Ohio State beat Clemson 49-28 to reach the national championship game.
Today’s Birthdays: Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 92. Actor Frank Langella is 84. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 80. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 79. Actor Rick Hurst is 76. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 68. The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is 66. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 64. Actor Renn Woods is 64. Actor Dedee Pfeiffer is 58. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 56. Actor Morris Chestnut is 53.
R&B singer Tank is 46. Model Elin Nordegren is 42. Actor Jonas Armstrong is 41. Actor Eden Riegel is 41. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis is 35. Rock musician Noah Sierota (Echosmith) is 26.