Today is Monday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2012. There are 357 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 9, 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.
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 became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreated because of artillery fire.
In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, Calif.
In 1931, Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper broke an endurance record for female aviators as they returned to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.
In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.
In 1951, United Nations headquarters in New York was officially opened.
In 1960, on his 47th birthday, Vice President Richard Nixon became a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
In 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.
In 1987, the White House released a Jan. 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
In 1995, in New York, the trial of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and 11 other defendants accused of conspiring to wage holy war against the United States began. (All the defendants were convicted of seditious conspiracy, except for two who reached plea agreements with the government.)
In 1997, a Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.
Ten years ago: A U.S. military tanker plane crashed in western Pakistan, killing all seven Marines on board. Two Islamic militants stormed an Israeli army post near the Gaza Strip, killing four soldiers before being shot dead in a gun battle. The Bush administration and the auto industry agreed to promote development of pollution-free cars and trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Five years ago: U.S. forces continued to stage airstrikes against suspected al-Qaida fighters in Somalia in the first offensive there since 18 American soldiers were killed in 1993. Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, which went on sale the following June. Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Carlo Ponti, the Italian movie producer who discovered -- and married -- actress Sophia Loren, died in Geneva at age 94.
One year ago: Federal prosecutors brought charges against Jared Loughner, the man accused of attempting to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and killing six people at a political event in Tucson the day before. British movie director Peter Yates, who sent actor Steve McQueen screeching through the streets of San Francisco in a Ford Mustang in "Bullitt," died in London at age 81.
Today's Birthdays: Author Judith Krantz is 84. Football Hall-of-Famer Bart Starr is 78. Sportscaster Dick Enberg is 77. Actress K. Callan is 76. Folk singer Joan Baez is 71. Rockabilly singer Roy Head is 71. Rock musician Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) is 68. Singer David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) is 62. Singer Crystal Gayle is 61. Actor J.K. Simmons is 57. Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberto Menchu is 53. Rock musician Eric Erlandson is 49. Actress Joely Richardson is 47. Rock musician Carl Bell (Fuel) is 45. Rock singer Steve Harwell (Smash Mouth) is 45. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 45. Actress-director Joey Lauren Adams is 44. Singer A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) is 34. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is 30. Pop-rock musician Drew Brown (OneRepublic) is 28. Rock-soul singer Paolo Nutini is 25. Actor Tyree Brown (TV: "Parenthood") is eight.
Thought for Today: "Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it." -- Swedish proverb.
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.