Today is the ninth day of 2015 and the 20th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1788, Connecticut ratified the U.S. Constitution and became the fifth U.S. state.
In 1861, Confederates fired upon the steamship Star of the West as it attempted to deliver supplies to the garrison of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, an incident many historians consider the "first shots of the American Civil War."
In 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the American Sixth Army invaded the island of Luzon in the Philippines.
In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Chic Young (1901-1973), cartoonist; Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), author; Richard Nixon (1913-1994), 37th U.S. president; Judith Krantz (1928- ), author; Bart Starr (1934- ), football player; Bob Denver (1935-2005), actor; Joan Baez (1941- ), singer-songwriter; Jimmy Page (1944- ), musician; J.K. Simmons (1955- ), actor; Mark Martin (1959- ), NASCAR driver; Dave Matthews (1967- ), singer-songwriter; Sergio Garcia (1980- ), golfer; Kate Middleton (1982- ), duchess of Cambridge.
TODAY'S FACT: The comic strip "Blondie," launched by Chic Young in 1930, eventually appeared in more than 2,000 newspapers around the world and spawned 28 film adaptations between 1938 and 1950.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1972, the Milwaukee Bucks ended the Los Angeles Lakers' record 33-game winning streak with a 120-104 win.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it." -- Simone de Beauvoir
TODAY'S NUMBER: 1,441,279 -- active applications available for download on Apple devices through the Apple App Store, as of mid-December 2014. Apple receives more than 30,000 application submissions monthly from developers worldwide.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Jan. 4) and last quarter moon (Jan. 13).