On this day: January 1

POSTED: 01:21 PM PST Dec 31, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Dec 31, 2013 

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 - Ray Walston
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Jeff Vinnick/Reuters

2001: Actor Ray Walston, best known for his roles in the TV sitcom "My Favorite Martian" and as high school teacher Mr. Hand in the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," dies of complications from lupus at the age of 86 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Walston is also remembered for his roles in "South Pacific," "Damn Yankees" and "The Sting" and as Judge Henry Bone on the TV drama series "Picket Fences."

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