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January first, 1863, President Lincoln
signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring
that slaves in rebel states were free.
On this date:
In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in
New York formally opened.
Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten
Island were consolidated into New York City.
In 1901, the
Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.
In 1953, country
singer Hank Williams Senior, 29, died of a drug
and alcohol overdose while en route to a concert
date in Canton, Ohio.
In 1958, treaties
establishing the European Economic Community went
In 1959, Fidel
Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory over
In 1979, the
United States and China held celebrations in
Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment
of diplomatic relations between the two
In 1984, the
break-up of AT&T took place as the
telecommunications giant was divested of its 22
Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust
Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new
countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 1994, the North
American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.
Ten years ago:
David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City's
first black mayor.
Five years ago: A
cease-fire supposed to last four months began in
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sweden, Finland and Austria
joined the European Union. Fernando Henrique
Cardoso took office as Brazil's 37th president.
One year ago: The
euro, the new single currency of eleven European
countries, officially came into existence with
the start of the New Year. Cuban President Fidel
Castro, marking the 40th anniversary of his rise
to power, portrayed his socialist nation as a
defender of humanity against rapacious
"To most of us the
future seems unsure. But then it always has been;
and we who have seen great changes must have
John Masefield, English poet (1878-1967).