Today in History – January 2

1492 – The leader of the last Arab stronghold in Spain surrendered to Spanish forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I.

1788 – Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1842 – In Fairmount, PA, the first wire suspension bridge was opened to traffic.

1859 – Erastus Beadle published “The Dime Book of Practical Etiquette.”

1872 – Brigham Young, the 71-year-old leader of the Mormon Church, was arrested on a charge of bigamy. He had 25 wives.

1879 – Thomas Edison began construction on his first generator.

1890 – Alice Sanger became the first female White House staffer.

1892 – Ellis Island opened as America’s first federal immigration center. Annie Moore, at age 15, became the first person to pass through.

1893 – The first commemorative postage stamps were issued.

1900 – U.S. Secretary of State John Hay announced the Open Door Policy to prompt trade with China.

1900 – The Chicago Canal opened.

1910 – The first junior high school in the United States opened. McKinley School in Berkeley, CA, housed seventh and eighth grade students. In a separate building students were housed who attended grades 9-12.

1917 – Royal Bank of Canada took over the Quebec Bank.

1921 – The first religious broadcast on radio was heard on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, PA, as Dr. E.J. Van Etten of Calvary Episcopal Church preached.

1921 – DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park opened.

1929 – The United States and Canada reached an agreement on joint action to preserve Niagara Falls.

1935 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann went on trial for the kidnap-murder of Charles Lindberghs baby. Hauptmann was found guilt and executed.

1942 – The Philippine capital of Manila was captured by Japanese forces during World War II.

1953 – “The Life of Riley” debuted on NBC-TV.

1955 – Panamanian President Jose Antonio Remon was assassinated.

1957 – The San Francisco and Los Angeles stock exchanges merged.

1959 – CBS Radio ended four soap operas. “Our Gal Sunday”, “This is Nora Drake”, “Backstage Wife” and “Road of Life” all aired for the last time.

1960 – U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

1965 – “Broadway” Joe Namath signed the richest rookie contract ($400,000) in the history of pro football.

1968 – Fidel Castro announced petroleum and sugar rationing in Cuba.

1971 – In the U.S., a federally imposed ban on television cigarette advertisements went into effect.

1974 – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill requiring all states to lower the maximum speed limit to 55 MPH. The law was intended to conserve gasoline supplies during an embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries. Federal speed limits were abolished in 1995.

1983 – The final edition of Garry Trudeau’s comic strip, “Doonesbury”, appeared in 726 newspapers. “Doonesbury” began running again in September 1984.

1983 – The musical “Annie” closed on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after 2,377 performances.

1985 – The Rebels of UNLV beat Utah State in three overtime periods. The final score of 142-140 set a new NCAA record for total points in a basketball game (282). The game took over three hours to play.

1991 – Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC. She was the first black woman to head a city of that size and prominence.

1996 – AT&T announced that it would eliminate 40,000 jobs over three years.

1998 – Russia began circulating new rubles in effort to keep inflation in check and promote confidence.

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