Today is the seventh day of 2016 and the 17th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1785, Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries crossed the English Channel in a balloon.
In 1927, the first commercial transatlantic telephone call was made between London and New York City.
In 1955, Marian Anderson made her debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, becoming the first African-American to perform there.
In 2015, gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), 13th U.S. president; Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), author; Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), composer; Charles Addams (1912-1988), cartoonist; Katie Couric (1957- ), TV news anchor; Rand Paul (1963- ), politician; Nicolas Cage (1964- ), actor; John Ondrasik aka Five for Fighting (1965- ), singer-songwriter; Jeremy Renner (1971- ), actor; John Rich (1974- ), singer-songwriter; Francisco Rodriguez (1982- ), baseball player.
TODAY'S FACT: Millard Fillmore, who assumed the presidency in 1850 upon the death of Zachary Taylor, was the last president from the Whig party. Fillmore sought re-election in 1852, but the Whig party nominated Gen. Winfield Scott instead.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters (who were actually from Chicago) played their first game in Hinckley, Illinois. The team didn't play a game in Harlem until 1968.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches." -- Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 2.5 hours -- length of the first balloon trip across the English Channel, which crossed at the channel's narrowest point (21 miles).
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Jan. 1) and new moon (Jan. 9).