There are 339 days left in the year.
This is the Lunar New Year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- On Jan. 26, 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.
On this date:
- In 1784, in a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the choice of the eagle as the symbol of America, and stated his own preference: the turkey.
- In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.
- In 1841, Britain formally occupied Hong Kong, which the Chinese had ceded to the British.
- In 1861, Louisiana seceded from the Union.
- In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.
- In 1942, the first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore in Northern Ireland.
- In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.
- In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon — but the probe missed its target by more than 22,000 miles.
- In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon declared a federal disaster in California in the wake of major flooding.
- In 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.
Ten years ago:
- President Bill Clinton welcomed a frail Pope John Paul II as the pontiff began his seventh pilgrimage to the United States in St. Louis.
- Jordan's King Hussein turned over the temporary operation of his country to his eldest son and flew back to the United States for urgent medical care.
Five years ago:
- The White House retreated from its once-confident claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; Democrats swiftly sought to turn the about-face into an election-year issue.
- Lionel Tate, the Florida teen who'd killed a 6-year-old playmate and became the youngest defendant in the nation to be locked away for life, was released after three years behind bars.
- At least 16 people were killed in the collapse of a building in Nasr City, Egypt.
One year ago:
- Barack Obama routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the South Carolina primary.
- Maria Sharapova won the Australian Open, beating Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 6-3 for her third Grand Slam singles title.
- Mirai Nagasu became the second-youngest woman (after Tara Lipinski) to win the title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in St. Paul, Minn.
- Christian Brando, the troubled eldest son of the late actor Marlon Brando, died in Los Angeles at age 49.
- Radical PLO leader George Habash died in Amman, Jordan, at age 81.
- Actress Anne Jeffreys is 86.
- Actress Joan Leslie is 84.
- Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 80.
- Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker is 74.
- Actor Scott Glenn is 70.
- Singer Jean Knight is 66.
- Activist Angela Davis is 65.
- Rock musician Corky Laing (Mountain) is 61.
- Actor David Strathairn is 60.
- Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is 56.
- Rock singer-musician Eddie Van Halen is 54.
- Reggae musician Norman Hassan (UB40) is 51.
- Actress-comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 51.
- Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky is 48.
- Musician Andrew Ridgeley is 46.
- Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazzie B. (Soul II Soul) is 46.
- Actor Paul Johansson is 45.
- Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is 39.
- Actress Jennifer Crystal is 36.
- Rock musician Chris Hesse (Hoobastank) is 35.
- Actress Sarah Rue is 31.
- Country musician Michael Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 26.
Thought for Today:
"Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."
Albert Einstein, German-born physicist (1879-1955).
"Let's all be careful out there!"