Today in History

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Posted: Jan 03, 2017 12:01 AM

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2017. There are 362 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 3, 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.

On this date:

In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.

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

In 1870, groundbreaking took place for the Brooklyn Bridge.

In 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was born in Bloemfontein (BLOOM'-fahn-tayn), South Africa.

In 1911, the first postal savings banks were opened by the U.S. Post Office. (The banks were abolished in 1966.)

In 1938, the March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who himself had been afflicted with the crippling disease.

In 1946, William Joyce, the pro-Nazi radio propagandist known as "Lord Haw-Haw," was hanged at Wandsworth Prison in London for high treason.

In 1947, congressional proceedings were televised for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York got to see some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.

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

In 1977, Apple Computer was incorporated in Cupertino, California, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Makkula Jr.

In 1980, conservationist Joy Adamson, author of "Born Free," was killed in northern Kenya by a former employee.

In 1997, Bryant Gumbel signed off for the last time as host of NBC's "Today" show.

Ten years ago: 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. Four Americans and an Austrian abducted in southern Iraq spoke briefly and appeared uninjured in a video delivered to The Associated Press. (The men, security contractors for the Crescent Security Group based in Kuwait, were later killed by their captors.) Former Commerce Secretary C. William Verity Jr., 89, died in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Five years ago: The Iowa Republican Party held its caucuses; although Mitt Romney was originally considered the winner by an extremely narrow eight-vote margin, officials later said that Rick Santorum had in fact beaten Romney by 34 votes; in the Democratic caucuses, President Barack Obama ran unopposed. A gas pipeline in central Syria exploded; the government blamed "terrorists" while the opposition accused officials of playing on fears of religious extremism and terrorism to rally support behind President Bashar Assad.

One year ago: Republican presidential contender Donald Trump brushed off an African militant group's video that showed him calling for Muslims to be banned from coming to the U.S., telling the Sunday news shows he wouldn't be dissuaded from saying what he thought. Saudi Arabia announced it was severing diplomatic relations with Shiite (SHEE'-eyet) powerhouse Iran amid escalating tensions over the Sunni kingdom's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

(Stations: Lloyd, single name, is correct)

Today's Birthdays: Actor Dabney Coleman is 85. Journalist-author Betty Rollin is 81. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull is 78. Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 74. Musician Stephen Stills is 72. Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 71. Actress Victoria Principal is 67. Actor-director Mel Gibson is 61. Actress Shannon Sturges is 49. Actor John Ales is 48. Jazz musician James Carter is 48. Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 45. Musician Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk) is 42. Actor Jason Marsden is 42. Actress Danica McKellar is 42. Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 41. Singer Kimberley Locke ("American Idol") is 39. Actress Kate Levering is 38. NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 36. Actress Nicole Beharie is 32. Pop musician Mark Pontius (Foster the People) is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lloyd (single name correct) is 31. Pop-rock musician Nash Overstreet (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 31. Actor Alex D. Linz is 28.

Thought for Today: "If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done." — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher (1889-1951).