Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Today is Wednesday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2018 with 362 to follow.
On this date in history:
In 1777, the Continental Army commanded by Gen. George Washington defeated the British at Princeton, N.J.
In 1870, construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, begins.
In 1933, Minnie Craig becomes the first female speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives. Craig was the first woman to hold a speakership in the United States.
In 1938, the March of Dimes was established by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1944, USMC fighter ace Pappy Boyington is shot down over the Pacific by Japanese pilot Masajiro Kawato.
In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States.
In 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro announced he was a communist.
In 1962, Cuban leader Fidel Castro is excommunicated by Pope John XXIII.
In 1967, Jack Ruby, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of President John F. Kennedy, died of cancer in Dallas.
In 1969, police in Newark, N.J., confiscated a shipment of the John Lennon-Yoko Ono album Two Virgins because the cover photo, featuring full frontal nudity, violated pornography laws.
In 1990, deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega left his refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Panama City and surrendered to U.S. troops. He was taken to Florida to face narcotics trafficking charges.
In 1991, AIDS was removed from the list of diseases that would automatically bar an infected person from entering the United States.
In 1993, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the START II treaty reducing strategic nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.
In 2004, a Flash Airline Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff in Egypt, killing 148 people.
In 2006, Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist, agreed to plead guilty to fraud, public corruption and tax evasion charges, and to testify against politicians and former colleagues.
In 2009, the Genesis block, the first block of the blockchain of the decentralized payment system Bitcoin, is established by Satoshi Nakamoto.
In 2012, the Taliban in Afghanistan announced they would open a political office in Qatar. Observers saw the move as a positive sign that could lead to peace talks between the insurgents and the U.S.-led Afghan coalition.
In 2014, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers ("Bye Bye Love," "Wake up Little Susie," "All I Have to do is Dream") died at age 74 in Burbank, Calif. Everly and his brother, Don, were among the first performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2015, the Boko Haram militant group began a series of attacks on the northeastern Nigerian town of Baga lasting five days. Local media said at least 100 people died, though some reports put the death toll closer to 2,000.