Today in History - Jan. 3

Associated Press

Today is Monday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2011. There are 362 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 3, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the United States was formally terminating diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba, citing a move by the Cuban government to limit the number of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Havana to 11 persons.

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, N.J.

In 1861, more than two weeks before Georgia seceded from the Union, the state militia seized Fort Pulaski at the order of Gov. Joseph E. Brown. The Delaware House and Senate voted to oppose secession from the Union.

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 organized.

In 1949, in a pair of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court said that states had the right to ban closed shops.

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

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

In 1990, ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission.

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

Ten years ago: The 107th Congress opened with the Senate split evenly down the middle. Eleven people died in a house fire in Oak Orchard, Del. Oklahoma defeated Florida State, 13-2, to win the Orange Bowl and capture college football's Bowl Championship Series title game.

Five years ago: Lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to providing gifts to officials in exchange for their help; he agreed to cooperate in investigations of corruption in Congress. Iran told the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency it planned to resume nuclear fuel research. Militants broke into the home of an Afghan headmaster and beheaded him in the latest in a spate of attacks blamed on the Taliban that had forced many schools to close.

One year ago: The U.S. closed its embassy in Yemen, citing ongoing threats by the al-Qaida branch linked to the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt of a U.S. airliner headed to Detroit; Britain also shuttered its embassy. A Rutgers University doctoral student breached security at Newark Liberty Airport to kiss his girlfriend goodbye, prompting a six-hour shutdown. (Haisong Jiang (hy-song gee-ong) later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and was fined.)

(Stations: Lloyd, single name, is correct)

Today's Birthdays: Record producer Sir George Martin is 85. Actor Robert Loggia is 81. Actor Dabney Coleman is 79. Journalist-author Betty Rollin is 75. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull is 72. Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 68. Musician Stephen Stills is 66. Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 65. Actress Victoria Principal is 61. Actor-director Mel Gibson is 55. Actress Shannon Sturges is 43. Jazz musician James Carter is 42. Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 39. Actor Jason Marsden is 36. Actress Danica McKellar is 36. Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 35. Singer Kimberley Locke ("American Idol") is 33. NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lloyd is 25. Actor Alex D. Linz is 22.

Thought for Today: "The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't." — Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, Jan. 3)

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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