Today's Highlight in History:

On January third, 1959, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union as the 49th state.

On this date:

In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

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

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 1892, J.R.R. Tolkein, author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

In 1938, the "March of Dimes" campaign to fight polio was organized.

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 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.

In 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died in a Dallas hospital.

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

In 1993, President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a historic nuclear missile-reduction treaty in Moscow.

Ten years ago: Ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to US forces, ten days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission following the US invasion of his country.

Five years ago: The Postal Service raised the price of a first-class stamp to 32 cents. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo announced an emergency plan for wage and price controls and budget cuts to stabilize the peso and combat spiraling inflation.

One year ago: Chicagoans dug out from their biggest snowstorm in more than 30 years. Israeli authorities detained 14 members of Concerned Christians, a Denver-based cult, later expelling all of them. (Israeli officials feared the group was plotting violence in Jerusalem in order to bring about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.)



"Experience is a wonderful thing; it enables you to recognize a mistake every time you repeat it."

-- Anonymous