Today's Highlight in History:
On January first, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free.
On this date:
In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
In 1898, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were consolidated into New York City.
In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.
In 1953, country singer Hank Williams Senior, 29, died of a drug and alcohol overdose while en route to a concert date in Canton, Ohio.
In 1958, treaties establishing the European Economic Community went into effect.
In 1959, Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory over Fulgencio Batista.
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 break-up of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.
In 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.
Ten years ago: David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.
Five years ago: A cease-fire supposed to last four months began in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sweden, Finland and Austria joined the European Union. Fernando Henrique Cardoso took office as Brazil's 37th president.
One year ago: The euro, the new single currency of eleven European countries, officially came into existence with the start of the New Year. Cuban President Fidel Castro, marking the 40th anniversary of his rise to power, portrayed his socialist nation as a defender of humanity against rapacious capitalism.
"To most of us the future seems unsure. But then it always has been; and we who have seen great changes must have great hopes."
-- John Masefield, English poet (1878-1967).