updated 1/11/2006 12:00:58 AM ET 2006-01-11T05:00:58

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 11, the eleventh day of 2006. There are 354 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 11, 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report saying smoking may be hazardous to one’s health.

On this date:
In 1757, the first secretary of the U-S Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, was born in the West Indies.

In 1805, the Michigan Territory was created by an act of Congress.

In 1815, Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 1861, Alabama seceded from the Union.

In 1913, the first sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th Automobile Show in New York.

In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began a trip from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif., that made her the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean.

In 1942, Japan declared war against the Netherlands, the same day that Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.

In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.

In 1977, France set off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In 1995, 52 people were killed when a Colombian airliner crashed as it was preparing to land near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena; a nine-year-old girl survived.

Ten years ago: Addressing pointed questions about the first lady, President Clinton offered a rousing defense of his wife, Hillary, during a news conference. The space shuttle Endeavour blasted off on a nine-day mission. Ryutaro Hashimoto was chosen the new prime minister of Japan. Funeral services were held for former French president Francois Mitterrand.

Five years ago: The Army acknowledged that U.S. soldiers killed an “unknown number” of South Korean refugees early in the Korean Conflict at No Gun Ri. President-elect Bush chose Elaine Chao to be secretary of labor after Linda Chavez withdrew. The Federal Communications Commission approved the merger of America Online and Time Warner.

One year ago: President Bush nominated federal judge Michael Chertoff to be the new homeland security chief, succeeding Tom Ridge. Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi publicly acknowledged for the first time that parts of Iraq probably wouldn’t be safe enough for people to vote in the upcoming elections. James Griffin, founding member of 1970s pop group Bread, died in Franklin, Tenn., at age 61.

Today’s Birthdays: Producer Grant Tinker is 80. Producer David L. Wolper is 78. Actor Rod Taylor is 76. The former prime minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, is 72. Actor Mitchell Ryan is 72. Rock musician Clarence Clemons is 64. Movie director Joel Zwick is 64. Country singer Naomi Judd is 60. Golfer Ben Crenshaw is 54. Singer Robert Earl Keen is 50. Musician Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) is 48. Actress Kim Coles is 44. Actor Jason Connery is 43. Rock musician Tom Dumont (No Doubt) is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Maxee Maxwell (Brownstone) is 37. Singer Mary J. Blige is 35. Musician Tom Rowlands (The Chemical Brothers) is 35. Actor Marc Blucas is 34. Actress Amanda Peet is 34. Actor Rockmond Dunbar is 32.

Thought for Today: “The essence of taste is suitability. Divest the word of its prim and priggish implications, and see how it expresses the mysterious demand of the eye and mind for symmetry, harmony and order.” -- Edith Wharton, American author (1862-1937).

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