Today is Monday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2009. There are 339 days left in the year. This is the Lunar New Year. This Date In Sound & Vision Today's Highlight in History: On Jan. 26, 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney. On this date: In 1784, in a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the choice of the eagle as the symbol of America, and stated his own preference: the turkey. In 1802, Congress passed an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol. 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 seceded from the Union. In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union. [Stay out, tax-parasites. Our nation neither needs nor wants you. — Ed.] In 1942, the first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore in Northern Ireland. 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 missed its target by more than 22,000 miles. In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon declared a federal disaster in California in the wake of major flooding. In 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70. [The stories we've heard! — Ed.] In 1996, First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before a grand jury connected to the Whitewater probe. Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton welcomed a frail Pope John Paul II as the pontiff began his seventh pilgrimage to the United States in St. Louis. Jordan's King Hussein turned over the temporary operation of his country to his eldest son and flew back to the United States for urgent medical care. In 2001, an earthquake hit the Indian subcontinent, killing more than 13,000 people. Five years ago: The White House retreated from its once-confident claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; Democrats swiftly sought to turn the about-face into an election-year issue. Lionel Tate, the Florida teen who'd killed a 6-year-old playmate and became the youngest defendant in the nation to be locked away for life, was released after three years behind bars. At least 16 people were killed in the collapse of a building in Nasr City, Egypt. In 2005, Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as secretary of state. In 2006, confronted by Oprah Winfrey on her syndicated talk show, author James Frey acknowledged lies in his addiction memoir "A Million Little Pieces." One year ago: Barack Obama routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the South Carolina primary. Maria Sharapova won the Australian Open, beating Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 6-3 for her third Grand Slam singles title. Mirai Nagasu became the second-youngest woman (after Tara Lipinski) to win the title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in St. Paul, Minn. Christian Brando, the troubled eldest son of the late actor Marlon Brando, died in Los Angeles at age 49. Radical PLO leader George Habash died in Amman, Jordan, at age 81. Thought for Today: "Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking." — Albert Einstein, German-born physicist (1879-1955).