Today in history: January 3

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2005. There are 362 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:
On Jan. 3, 1777, Gen. George Washington’s army routed the British in the Battle of Princeton, N.J.

On this date:
In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1868, the Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of Japan’s emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as “shoguns.”

In 1938, the “March of Dimes” campaign to fight polio was organized.

In 1947, congressional proceedings were televised for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York got to see some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.

In 1959, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union as the 49th state.

In 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.

In 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died in a Dallas hospital.

In 1980, conservationist Joy Adamson, author of “Born Free,” was killed in northern Kenya by a servant.

In 1990, ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican’s diplomatic mission.

In 1993, President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a historic nuclear missile-reduction treaty in Moscow.

Ten years ago: The Postal Service raised the price of a first-class stamp to 32 cents. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo announced an emergency plan for wage and price controls and budget cuts to stabilize the peso and combat spiraling inflation.

Five years ago: Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin fired Boris Yeltsin’s daughter, Tatyana Dyachenko, from her Kremlin post in one of his first official acts, moving quickly to distance himself from Yeltsin’s scandal-tinged administration. The last new daily “Peanuts” strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.

One year ago: A Boeing 737 owned by Egyptian charter tour operator Flash Airlines crashed into the Red Sea, killing all 148 people aboard, most of them French tourists. NASA’s Mars rover, Spirit, touched down on Mars.

Today’s birthdays: Pro Football Hall of Famer Hank Stram is 82. Record producer Sir George Martin is 79. Actor Robert Loggia is 75. Actor Dabney Coleman is 73. Journalist-author Betty Rollin is 69. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull is 66. Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 62. Musician Stephen Stills is 60. Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 59. Actress Victoria Principal is 55. Actor-director Mel Gibson is 49. Actress Shannon Sturges is 37. Jazz musician James Carter is 36. Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 33. Actor Jason Marsden is 30. Actress Danica McKellar is 30. Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 29. Singer Kimberley Locke (“American Idol”) is 27. Actor Alex D. Linz is 16.

Thought for today: “The human body is the best picture of the human soul.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher (1889-1951).