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This Day in History: January 3


1749 – Benning Wentworth issues the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the establishment of Vermont.

1777 – American General George Washington defeats British General Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton.

1823 – Stephen F. Austin receives a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico.

1848 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts is sworn in as the first president of the independent African Liberia.

1861 – American Civil War: Delaware votes not to secede from the United States.

1870 – Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins.

1913 – An Atlantic coast storm sets the lowest confirmed barometric pressure reading for a non-tropical system in the continental United States.

1925 – Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy.

1932 – Martial law is declared in Honduras to stop a revolt by banana workers fired by the United Fruit Company.

1933 – Minnie D. Craig becomes the first female elected as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, the first female to hold a Speaker position anywhere in the United States.

1938 – The March of Dimes is established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1944 – World War II: Top Ace Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington is shot down in his Vought F4U Corsair by Captain Masajiro Kawato flying a Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

1945 – World War II: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is placed in command of all U.S. Naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima and Okinawa in Japan.

1947 – Proceedings of the U.S. Congress are televised for the first time.

1953 – Frances P. Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, become the first mother and son to serve simultaneously in the U.S. Congress.

1959 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state.

1961 – The United States severs diplomatic relations with Cuba over the latter's nationalization of American assets.

1977 – Apple Computer is incorporated.

1996 – The Motorola StarTAC, the first flip phone and one of the first mobile phones to gain widespread consumer adoption, goes on sale.

2000 – The last original weekday Peanuts comic strip is published.


1793 – Lucretia Mott, American activist (d. 1880)

1840 – Father Damien, Flemish priest and missionary (d. 1889)

1879 – Grace Coolidge, American wife of Calvin Coolidge, 32nd First Lady of the United States (d. 1957)

1886 – John Gould Fletcher, American poet and author (d. 1950)

1887 – Helen Parkhurst, American author and educator (d. 1973)

1897 – Marion Davies, American actress, singer, and producer (d. 1961)

1898 – Carolyn Haywood, American author and illustrator (d. 1990)

1916 – Maxene Andrews, American singer (The Andrews Sisters) (d. 1995)

1916 – Betty Furness, American actress and television journalist (d. 1994)


1895 – James Merritt Ives, American lithographer and businessman, co-founded Currier and Ives (b. 1824)

1945 – Edgar Cayce, American psychic and author (b. 1877)

1946 – William Joyce, American-born Irish-British Nazi propaganda broadcaster (b. 1906)

1967 – Jack Ruby, American murderer (b. 1911)

1979 – Conrad Hilton, American businessman, founded the Hilton Hotels & Resorts (b. 1887)

2003 – Sid Gillman, American football player and coach (b. 1911)

2014 – Phil Everly, American singer and guitarist (The Everly Brothers) (b. 1939)