Today is Thursday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2012. There are 340 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 26, 1942, the first American Expeditionary Force to go to Europe during World War II arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
On this date:
In 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.
In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.
In 1841, Britain formally occupied Hong Kong, which the Chinese had ceded to the British.
In 1861, Louisiana passed an Ordinance of Secession, becoming the sixth state to break free from the United States.
In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.
In 1911, the Richard Strauss opera "Der Rosenkavalier" (The Cavalier of the Rose) premiered in Dresden, Germany.
In 1939, during the Spanish Civil War, rebel forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco captured Barcelona.
In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.
In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon _ but the probe ended up missing its target by more than 22,000 miles. Charles "Lucky" Luciano, a leading Mafia figure in the U.S., died in Naples, Italy, at age 64.
In 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.
In 1992, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, appearing with his wife, Hillary, on CBS' "60 Minutes," acknowledged "causing pain in my marriage," but said past problems were not relevant to the campaign. The Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI (26), defeating the Buffalo Bills 37-24. Actor Jose Ferrer, 80, died in Coral Gables, Fla.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton forcefully denied having an affair with a former White House intern, telling reporters, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
Ten years ago: In a preview of his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush pledged in his Saturday radio address to "work to create jobs and renew the strength of our economy." Jennifer Capriati made a stunning comeback as she overcame Martina Hingis to defend her Australian Open title, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2.
Five years ago: The White House said President George W. Bush had authorized U.S. forces in Iraq to take whatever actions were necessary to counter Iranian agents deemed a threat to American troops or the public at large. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a news conference that a congressional resolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq undercut U.S. commanders and emboldened the enemy. Nine black youths were convicted in juvenile court in Long Beach, Calif., of beating three white women in a racially charged attack on Halloween night. (They were later sentenced to probation and house arrest after spending about three months in custody during their trials.)
One year ago: Speaking in Manitowoc, Wis., President Barack Obama campaigned vigorously for his revamped economic message, warning that other countries were grasping for first place in the global marketplace as the U.S. fell down on the job. Afghan President Hamid Karzai swore in the country's new parliament, marking the end of a drawn-out battle over whether the lawmakers would be able to start work despite ongoing investigations into electoral fraud.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Anne Jeffreys is 89. Actress Joan Leslie is 87. Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 83. Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker is 77. Actor Scott Glenn is 73. Singer Jean Knight is 69. Activist Angela Davis is 68. Rock musician Corky Laing (Mountain) is 64. Actor David Strathairn (streh-THEHRN') is 63. Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is 59. Rock singer-musician Eddie Van Halen is 57. Reggae musician Norman Hassan (UB40) is 54. Actress-comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 54. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky is 51. Musician Andrew Ridgeley is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazzie B. (Soul II Soul) is 49. Actor Paul Johansson is 48. Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is 42. Actress Jennifer Crystal is 39. Rock musician Chris Hesse (Hoobastank) is 38. Actor Gilles Marini (ZHEEL ma-REE'-nee) is 36. NBA player Vince Carter is 35. Actress Sarah Rue is 34. Country musician Michael Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 29.
Thought for Today: "Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves." _ Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian statesman (1889-1964).
(Above Advance for Use Thursday, Jan. 26)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.