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Today in History: Jan. 1, Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation

Today in History

Today is Monday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2024. There are 365 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states shall be "forever free."

On this date:

In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.

In 1942, the Rose Bowl was played in Durham, North Carolina, instead of Pasadena, California because of security concerns in the wake of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor; in it, Oregon State defeated Duke, 20-16.

In 1953, Hank Williams Sr., among the most important singers and songwriters in country music history, was discovered dead at age 29 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 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.

In 1975, a jury in Washington found Nixon administration officials John N. Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman guilty of charges related to the Watergate cover-up.

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, intended as a more adult alternative to MTV, 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 2006, the Medicare prescription drug plan went into effect.

In 2013, in Maryland, same-sex marriage became legal in the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

In 2014, the nation's first legal recreational marijuana shops opened in Colorado.

In 2017, California launched legal sales of recreational marijuana.

In 2023, actor Jeremy Renner was left in critical condition with major chest trauma after he was run over by his own snow plow while helping a relative near Lake Tahoe, California.

Today's Birthdays: Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 94. Actor Frank Langella is 86. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 82. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 81. Actor Rick Hurst is 78. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 70. The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is 68. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 66. Actor Renn Woods is 66. Actor Dedee Pfeiffer is 60. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 58. Actor Morris Chestnut is 55. R&B singer Tank is 48. Model Elin Nordegren is 44. Actor Jonas Armstrong is 43. Actor Eden Riegel is 43. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis is 37. Rock musician Noah Sierota (Echosmith) is 28.