updated 1/9/2006 12:03:04 AM ET 2006-01-09T05:03:04

Today is Monday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2006. There are 356 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On January ninth, 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, Calif.

On this date:
In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J.

In 1861, Mississippi seceded from the Union.

In 1861, the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreated after being fired on by a battery in the harbor.

In 1945, during World War Two, American forces began landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.

In 1957, Anthony Eden resigned as British prime minister.

In 1964, anti-U.S. rioting broke out in the Panama Canal Zone, resulting in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and three U.S. soldiers.

In 1968, the Surveyor Seven space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported biography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.

In 1997, a Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.

Ten years ago: President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders broke off budget talks. President Clinton vetoed a Republican welfare overhaul bill. Chechen rebels seized a hospital in the southern Russian city of Kizlyar and took up to 3,000 hostages. (The rebels released all but about 160 hostages the next day, using the remaining captives as a shield against Russian troops.)

Five years ago: Linda Chavez withdrew her bid to be secretary of labor because of controversy over an illegal immigrant who’d once lived with her.

One year ago: Mahmoud Abbas, the No. 2 man in the Palestinian hierarchy during Yasser Arafat’s rule, was elected Palestinian Authority president by a landslide. Sudan’s vice president (Ali Osman Mohammed Taha) and the country’s main rebel leader (John Garang) signed a comprehensive peace agreement, concluding an eight-year process to stop a civil war in the south.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Herbert Lom is 89. Author Judith Krantz is 78. Football Hall-of-Famer Bart Starr is 72. Sportscaster Dick Enberg is 71. Actress K. Callan is 70. Actor-singer Jimmy Boyd (“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”) is 66. Folk singer Joan Baez is 65. Actress Susannah York is 65. Rock musician Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) is 62. Pop singer Bill Cowsill is 58. Singer David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) is 56. Singer Crystal Gayle is 55. Actor J.K. Simmons is 51. Rock musician Eric Erlandson is 43. Actress Joely Richardson is 41. Rock musician Carl Bell (Fuel) is 39. Rock singer Steve Harwell (Smash Mouth) is 39. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 39. Singer A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) is 28.

Thought for Today: “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” -- Agnes de Mille, American dancer-choreographer (1905-1993).

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