Today is the first day of 2015 and the 12th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, freeing slaves in Confederate states.
In 1892, the Ellis Island immigration station opened in New York City.
In 1908, the first Times Square "ball drop" triggered a fireworks show celebrating the New Year.
In 1912, the Republic of China was established.
In 1994, provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Paul Revere (1735-1818), American patriot; Betsy Ross (1752-1836), seamstress/U.S. flag designer; E.M. Forster (1879-1970), author; J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972), FBI director; J.D. Salinger (1919-2010), author; Charlie Munger (1924- ), businessman/philanthropist; Frank Langella (1938- ), actor; Grandmaster Flash (1958- ), musician; Derrick Thomas (1967-2000), football player; Morris Chestnut (1969- ), actor.
TODAY'S FACT: Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, considered the first of some 78 million postwar "baby boomers," was born in Philadelphia one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1902, the University of Michigan Wolverines defeated the Stanford University Cardinals, 49-0, in the first college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody." -- J.D. Salinger, "Franny and Zooey"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 1 million -- people processed through the Ellis Island immigration station in 1907, the peak year for immigration to the United States.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (Dec. 28) and full moon (Jan. 4).