Today is Wednesday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2018. There are 362 days left in the year.
On Jan. 3, 1868, Japan’s Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of the emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns; the upheaval paved the way for Japan’s drive toward becoming a modern power.
On this date:
In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.
In 1777, Gen. George Washington’s army routed the British in the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey.
In 1870, groundbreaking took place for the Brooklyn Bridge.
In 1911, the first postal savings banks were opened by the U.S. Post Office. (The banks were abolished in 1966.)
In 1938, the March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who himself had been afflicted with the crippling disease.
In 1958, the first six members of the newly formed U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held their first meeting at the White House.
In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state as President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation.
In 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, died in a Dallas hospital.
In 1977, Apple Computer was incorporated in Cupertino, California, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Makkula Jr.
In 1993, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the START II missile-reduction treaty in Moscow. (However, the agreement ultimately fell apart.)
Ten years ago: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama won Democratic caucuses in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee won the Republican caucuses.
Five years ago: Students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, reconvened at a different building in the town of Monroe about three weeks after the massacre that had claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.