Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 3, 1990, ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican’s diplomatic mission.
On this date:
In 1777, Gen. George Washington’s army routed the British in the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey.
In 1861, more than two weeks before Georgia seceded from the Union, the state militia seized Fort Pulaski at the order of Gov. Joseph E. Brown. The Delaware House and Senate voted to oppose secession from the Union.
In 1868, the Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of Japan’s emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns.
In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state as President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation.
In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the United States was formally terminating diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.
In 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, died in a Dallas hospital.
In 1977, Apple Computer was incorporated in Cupertino, California, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula (MAHR’-kuh-luh) Jr.
In 2002, a judge in Alabama ruled that former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry was mentally competent to stand trial on murder charges in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls. (Cherry was later convicted, and served a life sentence until his death in November 2004.)
In 2007, Gerald R. Ford was laid to rest on the grounds of his presidential museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during a ceremony watched by thousands of onlookers.
In 2008, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama won Democratic caucuses in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee won the Republican caucuses.
In 2013, students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, reconvened at a different building in the town of Monroe about three weeks after the massacre that had claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators. The new 113th Congress opened for business, with House Speaker John Boehner (BAY’-nur) re-elected to his post despite a mini-revolt in Republican ranks.
In 2020, the United States killed Iran’s top general in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport; the Pentagon said Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds force, had been “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members” in Iraq and elsewhere. Iran warned of retaliation.
Ten years ago: The Iowa Republican Party held its caucuses; although Mitt Romney was originally considered the winner by an extremely narrow eight-vote margin, officials later said that Rick Santorum had in fact beaten Romney by 34 votes; in the Democratic caucuses, President Barack Obama ran unopposed.
Five years ago: Ford Motor Co. canceled plans to build a new $1.6 billion factory in Mexico, and said it would invest at least some of the savings in new electric and autonomous vehicles. The national president of the NAACP and five others were arrested after staging a sit-in at the Alabama office of Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general. It was announced that Fox News star Megyn Kelly would be leaving the network to work at NBC News.
One year ago: An outpouring of current and former Republican officials warned that President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the election result was undermining Americans’ faith in democracy. A bipartisan group of 10 senators issued a statement saying that the election was over, and that further efforts to cast doubt on the result were “contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people.” All 10 living former secretaries of defense, writing in the Washington Post, warned against any move to involve the military in pursuing claims of election fraud, saying it would take the country into “dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.” Nancy Pelosi was narrowly reelected as speaker, giving her the reins of Democrats’ slender House majority. Gerry Marsden, lead singer of the 1960s British group Gerry and the Pacemakers, died at 78.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dabney Coleman is 90. Journalist-author Betty Rollin is 86. Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull is 83. Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 79.
Musician Stephen Stills is 77. Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 76. Actor Victoria Principal is 72. Actor-director Mel Gibson is 66. Actor Shannon Sturges is 54. Actor John Ales is 53. Jazz musician James Carter is 53. Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 50. Musician Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk) is 47. Actor Jason Marsden is 47. Actor Danica McKellar is 47. Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 46. Singer Kimberley Locke (TV: “American Idol”) is 44. Actor Kate Levering is 43. Former NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 41. Actor Nicole Beharie is 37. Pop musician Mark Pontius is 37. R&B singer Lloyd is 36. Pop-rock musician Nash Overstreet (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 36. Actor Alex D. Linz is 33.