Today is Sunday, Jan. 1, the first day of Leap Year 2012. There are 365 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 1, 1912, the Republic of China was established under its first president, Sun Yat-sen.
On this date:
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free.
In 1890, the first Tournament of Roses was held in Pasadena, Calif.
In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
In 1913, the U.S. Parcel Post system went into operation.
In 1942, 26 countries, including the United States, signed the Declaration of the United Nations, pledging "not to make a separate armistice or peace" with members of the Axis. The Rose Bowl was played in Durham, N.C., because of security concerns in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack; Oregon State defeated Duke, 20-16.
In 1953, country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, was discovered dead in the back seat of his car during a stop in Oak Hill, W.Va., 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 1962, the first two U.S. Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land) teams were created. Western Samoa became independent of New Zealand. The Beatles (with Pete Best) auditioned in London for Decca Records, which opted to sign Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.
In 1972, Kurt Waldheim became secretary-general of the United Nations.
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 1992, Boutros Boutros-Ghali succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar (hah-vee-EHR' PEHR'-ehs day KWAY'-yahr) as secretary-general of the United Nations. President George H.W. Bush became the first American leader to address the Australian Parliament.
In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.
Ten years ago: The euro became legal tender in 12 European nations. Michael Bloomberg succeeded Rudolph Giuliani as New York City's mayor. Eduardo Duhalde (doo-AHL'-day) was named Argentina's fifth president in two weeks. No. 2 Oregon defeated No. 3 Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush joined thousands of other mourners in paying respects to former President Gerald R. Ford. An Indonesian Boeing 737 jetliner crashed, killing all 102 people on board. Ban Ki-moon became the 8th U.N. secretary-general. Grand Ole Opry star Del Reeves died at age 74. Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams, 24, was slain in a drive-by shooting (gang member Willie Clark was later convicted of killing Williams and was sentenced to life in prison). The 9th-ranked Boise State Broncos completed a perfect season with a 43-42 overtime victory over No. 7 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. No. 8 Southern California beat No. 3 Michigan 32-18 in the Rose Bowl.
One year ago: A suicide bomber killed 21 people outside a church in Alexandria, Egypt, in one of the country's worst attacks targeting Coptic Christians. Third-ranked TCU finished a perfect season by beating No. 4 Wisconsin 21-19 in the Rose Bowl. Oprah Winfrey launched her OWN cable network.
Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., is 90. Actor Ty Hardin is 82. Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 82. Actor Frank Langella is 74. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 70. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 69. Actor Rick Hurst is 66. Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 62. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 58. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 54. Actress Ren Woods is 54. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 48. Actress Embeth Davidtz is 46. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 46. Actor Morris Chestnut is 43. Actor Verne Troyer is 43. Actress Eden Riegel is 31.
Thought for Today: "A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other." _ Author unknown.
(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Jan. 1)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.