Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Today in History: January 3, Alaska becomes the 49th state

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2024. There are 363 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

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

On this date:

In 1777, Gen. George Washington's army routed the British in the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1861, more than two weeks before Georgia seceded from the Union, the state militia seized Fort Pulaski at the order of Gov. Joseph E. Brown. The Delaware House and Senate voted to oppose secession from the Union.

In 1868, the Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of Japan's emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns.

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the United States was formally terminating diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.

In 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald — the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy — died in a Dallas hospital.

In 1977, Apple Computer was incorporated in Cupertino, California, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula (MAHR'-kuh-luh) Jr.

In 1990, ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission.

In 2002, a judge in Alabama ruled that former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry was mentally competent to stand trial on murder charges in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls. (Cherry was later convicted, and served a life sentence until his death in November 2004.)

In 2007, Gerald R. Ford was laid to rest on the grounds of his presidential museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during a ceremony watched by thousands of onlookers.

In 2008, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama won Democratic caucuses in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee won the Republican caucuses.

In 2013, students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, reconvened at a different building in the town of Monroe about three weeks after the massacre that had claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.

In 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order disbanding the controversial voter fraud commission he had set up to investigate the 2016 presidential election after alleging without evidence that voting fraud cost him the popular vote; the White House blamed the decision to end the panel on more than a dozen states that refused to cooperate.

In 2020, the United States killed Iran's top general in an airstrike at Baghdad's international airport; the Pentagon said Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force, had been "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members" in Iraq and elsewhere. Iran warned of retaliation.

In 2022, a jury in San Jose, California, convicted Elizabeth Holmes of duping investors into believing that her startup company Theranos had developed a revolutionary medical device that could detect diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Dabney Coleman is 92. Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 81. Musician Stephen Stills is 79. Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 78. Actor Victoria Principal is 74. Actor-director Mel Gibson is 68. Actor Shannon Sturges is 56. Actor John Ales is 55. Jazz musician James Carter is 55. Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 52. Musician Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk) is 49. Actor Jason Marsden is 49. Actor Danica McKellar is 49. Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 48. Singer Kimberley Locke (TV: "American Idol") is 46. Actor Kate Levering is 45. Former NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 43. Actor Nicole Beharie is 39. Pop musician Mark Pontius is 39. R&B singer Lloyd is 38. Pop-rock musician Nash Overstreet (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 37. Actor Alex D. Linz is 35.