Today is the first day of 2017 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; Gary Johnson (1953- ), businessman/politician; 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: "For the faithful, the patient, the hermetically pure, all the important things in this world -- not life and death, perhaps, which are merely words, but the important things -- work out rather beautifully." -- J.D. Salinger, "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction"
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 new moon (Dec. 28) and first quarter moon (Jan. 5).