On this day: January 1

Published On: Dec 31 2012 03:21:32 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 01 2014 01:00:00 AM CST

Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, Ellis Island opens, the Rose Bowl becomes the first college bowl game, Hank Williams dies, and the Y2K panic fizzles out, all on this day.

OTD January 1 - Hank Williams
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MGM Records

1953: Country singer-songwriter Hank Williams, best known for such songs as "Lovesick Blues," "Honky Tonkin'" and "Your Cheatin' Heart," dies suddenly in the early morning hours at the age of 29 from heart failure brought on by pills and alcohol. He was riding in the backseat of a Cadillac somewhere in Virginia or West Virginia on the way to a New Year's Day show in Canton, Ohio, when he died.

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