Today is Thursday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2012. There are 340 days left in the year.
On Jan. 26, 1942, the first American Expeditionary Force to go to Europe during World War II arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
On this date:
In 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.
In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.
In 1841, Britain formally occupied Hong Kong, which the Chinese had ceded to the British.
In 1861, Louisiana passed an Ordinance of Secession, becoming the sixth state to break free from the United States.
In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.
In 1911, the Richard Strauss opera “Der Rosenkavalier” (The Cavalier of the Rose) premiered in Dresden, Germany.
In 1939, during the Spanish Civil War, rebel forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco captured Barcelona.
In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.
In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon — but the probe ended up missing its target by more than 22,000 miles. Charles “Lucky” Luciano, a leading Mafia figure in the U.S., died in Naples, Italy, at age 64.
In 1979, former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.