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Saturday, January 03, 2009


Today is Saturday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2009.
There are 362 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

Jan. 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state as President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation.

On this date:

  • 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.
  • 1777, Gen. George Washington's army routed the British in the Battle of Princeton, N.J.
  • 1868, the Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of Japan's emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns.
  • 1909, Danish-American comedian Victor Borge was born in Copenhagen.
  • 1938, the March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was organized.
  • 1947, congressional proceedings were televised for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York got to see some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.
  • 1949, in a pair of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court said that states had the right to ban closed shops.
  • 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.
  • 1990, ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission.
  • 1993, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a historic nuclear missile-reduction treaty in Moscow.

Ten years ago:
  • Chicagoans dug out from their biggest snowstorm in more than 30 years.
  • Israeli authorities detained, and later expelled, 14 members of Concerned Christians, a Denver-based cult which Israeli officials feared was plotting violence in Jerusalem to bring about the Second Coming of Christ.

Five years ago:
  • A Boeing 737 owned by Egyptian charter tour operator Flash Airlines crashed into the Red Sea, killing all 148 people aboard, most of them French tourists.
  • NASA's Mars rover, Spirit, touched down on Mars.

One year ago:
  • Barack Obama won the Democratic caucuses in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee won the Republican caucuses.
  • After nearly 27 years in prison, Texas inmate Charles Chatman was set free by a judge because of new DNA evidence showing he'd been wrongly convicted of rape.
  • Pop star Britney Spears was hospitalized after a child custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline resulted in an hours-long standoff with police.
  • The Kansas Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl, defeating Virginia Tech 24-21.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Record producer Sir George Martin is 83.
  • Journalist-author Betty Rollin is 73.
  • Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull is 70.
  • Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 66.
  • Musician Stephen Stills is 64.
  • Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 63.
  • Actress Victoria Principal is 59.
  • Actor-director Mel Gibson is 53.
  • Actress Shannon Sturges is 41.
  • Jazz musician James Carter is 40.
  • Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 37.
  • Actor Jason Marsden is 34.
  • Actress Danica McKellar is 34.
  • Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 33.
  • Singer Kimberley Locke ("American Idol") is 31.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Lloyd is 23.
  • Actor Alex D. Linz is 20.

Thought for Today:
"The human body is the best picture of the human soul." -
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher (1889-1951).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"