Kihei, Hawaii Whitefish, Montana Bloomington, Minnesota Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria UTC/GMT Iraq Afghanistan Republic of Korea Ocean Grove, Victoria
Optimized for 1280x1024 resolution

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Today is Thursday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2009.
There are 364 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • Fifty years ago, on Jan. 1, 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.

On this date:

  • In 1808, a law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States went into effect.
  • In 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free.
  • In 1890, the first Tournament of Roses was held in Pasadena, Calif.
  • In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
  • In 1898, New York City was consolidated into five boroughs.
  • In 1909, five-term Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater was born in Phoenix, Arizona Territory.
  • In 1953, country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, while being driven to a concert date in Canton, Ohio, was discovered dead in the back seat of his car during a stop in Oak Hill, W.Va.
  • 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 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.

Ten years ago:

  • The euro, the new single currency of 11 European countries (later 15), officially came into existence with the start of the New Year. (The euro became legal tender on this date in 2002.)
  • Cuban President Fidel Castro, marking the 40th anniversary of his rise to power, portrayed his socialist nation as a defender of humanity against rapacious capitalism.

Five years ago:

  • Pakistan's Gen. Pervez Musharraf won a vote of confidence validating his five-year term as president.
  • The University of Southern California defeated the University of Michigan, 28-14, in the Rose Bowl.

One year ago:

  • Revelers celebrated the new year around the world; a ball dropped for the 100th year in New York's Times Square.
  • Violence claimed scores of lives in Kenya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • U.S. diplomat John Granville and his driver were shot to death by Sudanese gunmen in Khartoum.
  • New no-smoking rules went into effect in France, prohibiting people from lighting up in cafes, bars and restaurants.
  • Cyprus and Malta adopted the euro.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs romped past Hawaii 41-10 at the Sugar Bowl, ending the Warriors' perfect season.

Today's Birthdays:

  • Author J.D. Salinger is 90.
  • Former Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., is 87.
  • Actor Ty Hardin is 79.
  • Actor Frank Langella is 71.
  • Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 67.
  • Writer-comedian Don Novello is 66.
  • Actor Rick Hurst is 63.
  • Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 59.
  • Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 51.
  • Actress Ren Woods is 51.
  • Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 45.
  • Actress Embeth Davidtz is 43.
  • Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 43.
  • Actor Morris Chestnut is 40.
  • Actor Verne Troyer is 40.

Thought for Today:
"Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols." -
Thomas Mann, German author (1875-1955).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"