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Today in History

January 1, 2019

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2019. There are 364 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 1, 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.

On this date:

In 1818, the first edition of the Gothic novel “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” by English author Mary Shelley, 20, was published anonymously in London.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states shall be “forever free.”

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 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 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement 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: An Israeli warplane dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on the home of one of Hamas’ top five decision-makers, instantly killing him and 18 others. The U.S. formally transferred control of the Green Zone to Iraqi authorities in a pair of ceremonies that also handed back Saddam Hussein’s former palace. Russia made good on its threat to cut off all natural gas supplies to Ukraine. Six-term Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell died at age 90. The Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 in the Winter Classic at chilly Wrigley Field. No. 5 Southern California defeated No. 6 Penn State 38-24 in the 95th Rose Bowl.

Five years ago: The nation’s first legal recreational pot shops opened in Colorado at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Actress Juanita Moore, 99, died in Los Angeles. No. 4 Michigan State romped to a 24-20 victory over No. 5 Stanford in the 100th Rose Bowl. No. 15 Central Florida pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the bowl season by outlasting No. 6 Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl.

One year ago: Former Fox News Channel anchor and 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson was named chairwoman of the Miss America Organization’s board of directors, with three other past pageant winners joining her on the board. In the first Rose Bowl to go into overtime, Georgia advanced to college football’s national championship game with a 54-48 win over Oklahoma. Alabama advanced by beating top-ranked Clemson, 24-6, in the Sugar Bowl. Peter Martins, the longtime leader of the New York City Ballet, announced his retirement in the midst of an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct. California launched legal sales of recreational marijuana, with customers linking up early for ribbon cuttings and promotions.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., is 97. Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 89. Actor Frank Langella is 81. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 77. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 76. Actor Rick Hurst is 73. Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 69. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 65. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is 63. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 61. Actress Renn Woods is 61. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 55. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 53. Actor Morris Chestnut is 50. Rhythm and blues singer Tank is 43. Model Elin Nordegren is 39. Actor Jonas Armstrong is 38. Actress Eden Riegel is 38. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis is 32. Rock musician Noah Sierota (Echosmith) is 23.

Thought for Today: “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.” — Author unknown.

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