Thursday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2015

Today is Thursday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2015. There are 364 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 1, 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; a fifth defendant, Kenneth Parkinson, was acquitted, and Mardian’s conviction for conspiracy was later overturned on appeal.

On this date:

In 1515, Louis XII, King of France, died; he was succeeded by Francis I.

In 1660, Englishman Samuel Pepys (peeps) began keeping his famous diary.

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

In 1913, the U.S. Parcel Post system went into operation.

In 1935, The Associated Press inaugurated Wirephoto, the first successful service for transmitting photographs by wire to member newspapers.

In 1945, France was admitted to the United Nations.

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

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 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into being, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Sweden, Finland and Austria joined the European Union. Fernando Henrique Cardoso took office as Brazil’s president.

Ten years ago: Desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid as the U.S. military launched its largest operation in the region since the Vietnam War. Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, died near Daytona Beach, Florida, at age 80. California Congressman Robert T. Matsui (mat-SOO’-ee) died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 63. No. 6 Texas managed a wild 38-37 win over No. 13 Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Fifth-ranked Utah dominated 19th-ranked Pittsburgh 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Five years ago: A suicide bomber detonated a truckload of explosives on a volleyball field in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 97 people. Fifth-ranked Florida overwhelmed No. 4 Cincinnati 51-24 in the Sugar Bowl. In the Rose Bowl, No. 8 Ohio State defeated No. 7 Oregon 26-17.

One year 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.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., is 93. Actor Ty Hardin is 85. Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 85. Actor Frank Langella is 77. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 73. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 72. Actor Rick Hurst is 69. Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 65. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 61. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is 59. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 57. Actress Ren Woods is 57. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 51. Actress Embeth Davidtz is 49. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 49. Actor Morris Chestnut is 46. Actor Verne Troyer is 46. Elin Nordegren is 35. Actor Jonas Armstrong (Film: “Walking With the Enemy”; “Edge of Tomorrow”; TV: “Robin Hood”) is 34. Actress Eden Riegel is 34. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis is 28.

Thought for Today: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey.


Copyright 2015, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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