Today in history


By The Associated Press



Today is Wednesday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2019. There are 363 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 2, 1900, U.S. Secretary of State John Hay announced the “Open Door Policy” to facilitate trade with China.

On this date:

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

In 1792, the first classes began at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

In 1929, the United States and Canada reached agreement on joint action to preserve Niagara Falls.

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

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

In 1986, former baseball owner Bill Veeck (vehk), remembered for his well-publicized stunts and promotional gimmicks, including an exploding scoreboard and a midget pinch-hitter, died in Chicago at age 71.

In 2000, Retired Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., known early in his career for modernizing the Navy and later for ordering the spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam, died in Durham, N.C. at age 79.

In 2006, a methane gas explosion at the Sago (SAY’-goh) 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 (bahd RYK’-ehn-hahl), killing 15 people.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush branded Hamas rocket attacks on Israel an “act of terror” and outlined his own condition for a cease-fire in Gaza. President-elect Barack Obama and his family arrived in Chicago after a holiday vacation in Hawaii. AirTran Airways apologized to nine Muslims kicked off a New Year’s Day flight to Florida. Actor John Travolta’s 16-year-old son, Jett, died at the family’s vacation home in the Bahamas. Peyton Manning won a record-tying third Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award. No. 7 Utah finished a perfect season with a 31-17 upset of No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Five years ago: Fifty-two passengers trapped for more than a week on an icebound Russian research ship in the Antarctic were rescued when a Chinese helicopter swooped in and plucked them from the ice a dozen at a time. In the Sugar Bowl, No. 11 Oklahoma took down third-ranked Alabama 45-31.

One year ago: Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said he would not seek re-election after serving more than 40 years in the Senate; the announcement cleared the way for 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to successfully run for the seat. 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.

Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Harold Bradley is 93. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is 77. TV host Jack Hanna is 72. Actress Wendy Phillips is 67. Actress Cynthia Sikes is 65. Actress Gabrielle Carteris is 58. Movie director Todd Haynes is 58. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher David Cone is 56. Actress Tia Carrere is 52. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 51. Model Christy Turlington is 50. Actor Taye Diggs is 48. Actress Renee Elise Goldsberry is 48. Rock musician Scott Underwood is 48. Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 44. Actor Dax Shepard is 44. Actress Paz Vega is 43. Country musician Chris Hartman is 41. Ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 41. Rock musician Jerry DePizzo Jr. (O.A.R.) is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kelton Kessee (IMX) is 38. Pop singer-musician Ryan Merchant (Capital Cities) is 38. Actress Kate Bosworth is 36. Actor Peter Gadiot is 34. Jazz singer-musician Trombone Shorty is 33. Singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey (TV: “America’s Got Talent”) is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer-rapper Bryson Tiller is 26.

Thought for Today: “You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be.” — Johann Kaspar Lavater (LAH’-vah-tur), Swiss theologian (1741-1801).

By The Associated Press