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Chris Chaberski

Library of Congress
Library of Congress
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This Day in History for January 1 — Emancipation Proclamation Signed, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1863: President Abraham Lincoln signs the final Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery in the rebelling states (more info)

1934: Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison (more info)

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Category: National News
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2 Firefighters Shot and Killed at Scene of Fire in Webster, N.Y.; Gunman Dead (UPDATED)

UPDATE 4:07 p.m. EST: Authorities have identified the gunman as William Spengler, an ex-convict who spent 17 years in prison for murdering his 92-year-old grandmother in 1980.

Spengler was paroled for the crime in 1998.

Police also have not located Spengler's 67-year-old sister, who lived in the house with Spengler.

Authorities also report that a total of seven houses were destroyed in the blaze.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m. EST: Police chief Gerald Pickering says that the gunman, who was killed at the scene, either by police or from a self-inflicted wound, may have set a trap for first responders.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m. EST: The Associated Press is reporting that the gunman who killed the two firefighters is also dead. His body was found at the scene. The names of the two deceased firefighters, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, are Mike Chiapperini, 43, a volunteer firefighter and the Webster Police Department’s public information officer, and Tomasz Kaczowka. The names of the wounded firefighters are Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino.

Early Monday morning two firefighters were shot and killed when responding to a call in Webster, New York, just outside Rochester. After the firefighters arrived at 191 Lake Road, an unknown shooter fired at them as they left their truck, killing two of them and wounding two others. The wounded men are at a nearby hospital; one is in stable condition, the other is in guarded condition.

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Category: News, Sports Commentary
NRA hat
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
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NRA Breaks Silence, Plans Press Conference on Friday

The National Rifle Association went quiet after last week's shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and many have been wondering what the gun-advocacy group would have to say. On Tuesday, the NRA released an official statement:

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Newtown church
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How You Can Help Families in Newtown, Connecticut

In the wake of the horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week, Americans across the country are wondering how they can aid the families of the victims. There are numerous methods to donate money, but you also can help in other ways, such as volunteering your time, writing a card or letter, or sending a teddy bear to a child in Newtown.

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Category: National News
Shooting At Elementary School In Newtown, Connecticut
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27 Dead, Including 20 Children, in Connecticut Elementary School Shooting (UPDATED)

NOTE: This post will be continually updated as new information comes in. Video and photos are below. All times Eastern.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Originally it was thought that Adam Lanza, the gunman, shot his mother at the Sandy Hook Elementary school, where she was a teacher's aide. ABC has learned that, in fact, Nancy Lanza was killed at her home (by her son) prior to the massacre. He then drove to the school, where he killed 20 children and six adults, before killing himself.

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Category: News, Sports Commentary
Kevin Clash and Elmo
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
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Man Who Accused Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash of Underage Sexual Relationship Recants

On Monday, news broke that an unnamed 24-year-old man had accused Kevin Clash, who is the creator and puppeteer of Elmo on 'Sesame Street,' of engaging in a sexual relationship with him when he was 16. Today, that man has recanted his allegations.

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