Today in history

Today is Thursday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2020. There are 364 days left in the year.

Today is Thursday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2020. There are 364 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Jan. 2, 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts launched his successful bid for the presidency.

On this date:

In 1788, Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1900, U.S. Secretary of State John Hay announced the “Open Door Policy” to facilitate trade with China.

In 1935, Bruno Hauptmann went on trial in Flemington, New Jersey, on charges of kidnapping and murdering the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. (Hauptmann was found guilty, and executed.)

In 1942, the Philippine capital of Manila was captured by Japanese forces during World War II.

In 1959, the Soviet Union launched its space probe Luna 1, the first manmade object to fly past the moon, its apparent intended target.

In 1965, New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath to a contract reportedly worth $427,000.

In 1967, Republican Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as the new governor of California in a ceremony that took place in Sacramento shortly just after midnight.

In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed legislation requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 miles an hour as a way of conserving gasoline in the face of an OPEC oil embargo. (The 55 mph limit was effectively phased out in 1987; federal speed limits were abolished in 1995.) “Singing cowboy” star Tex Ritter died in Nashville at age 68.

In 1981, police in Sheffield, England, arrested Peter Sutcliffe, who confessed to being the “Yorkshire Ripper,” the serial killer of 13 women.

In 1983, the original Broadway production of the musical “Annie” closed after a run of 2,377 performances.

In 2006, a methane gas explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia claimed the lives of 12 miners, but one miner, Randal McCloy, Jr., was eventually rescued. The roof of a skating rink collapsed in the German town of Bad Reichenhall, killing 15 people.

In 2018, Sen. Al Franken formally resigned from the Senate a month after the Minnesota Democrat announced his plan to leave Congress amid a series of sexual misconduct allegations. NBC News announced that Hoda Kotb would be the co-anchor of the first two hours of the “Today” show, replacing Matt Lauer following his firing due to sexual misconduct allegations.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, in his weekly Internet and radio address, said an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen apparently ordered the failed Christmas Day bombing plot against a U.S. airliner. Texas Tech rallied to beat Michigan State 41-31 in a shootout at the Alamo Bowl.

Five years ago: The United States imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea, targeting the North’s defense industry and spy service in an attempt to punish Pyongyang for a crippling cyberattack against Sony. California began issuing driver’s licenses to immigrants who were in the country illegally. Little Jimmy Dickens, a diminutive singer-songwriter who was the oldest cast member of the Grand Ole Opry, died at age 94.

One year ago: At a closed-door meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders, neither side budged on Trump’s demand for billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, as the partial government shutdown continued through a 12th day. Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a letter to shareholders, said demand for iPhones was declining and that revenue for the last quarter of 2018 would fall well below projections. Daryl Dragon, the cap-wearing “Captain” of the singing duo Captain & Tennille, died in Arizona at the age of 76.

Today’s birthdays: Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is 78. TV host Jack Hanna is 73. Actress Wendy Phillips is 68. Actress Cynthia Sikes is 66. Actress Gabrielle Carteris is 59. Movie director Todd Haynes is 59. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher David Cone is 57. Baseball Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez is 57. Actress Tia Carrere is 53. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 52. Model Christy Turlington is 51. Actor Taye Diggs is 49. Actress Renee Elise Goldsberry is 49. Rock musician Scott Underwood is 49. Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 45. Actor Dax Shepard is 45. Actress Paz Vega is 44. Country musician Chris Hartman is 42. Ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 42. Rock musician Jerry DePizzo Jr. (O.A.R.) is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kelton Kessee (IMX) is 39. Pop singer-musician Ryan Merchant (Capital Cities) is 39. Actress Kate Bosworth is 37. Actor Anthony Carrigan is 37. Actor Peter Gadiot is 35. Jazz singer-musician Trombone Shorty is 34. Singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey (TV: “America’s Got Talent”) is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer-rapper Bryson Tiller is 27.

Thought for today: “Love doesn’t grow on trees like apples in Eden — it’s something you have to make. And you must use your imagination too.” — Joyce Cary, Anglo-Irish author (1888-1957)

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