Events - January 2
1788 - One peach of a state, Georgia, became the 4th state to enter the United States of America. Nicknamed the Peach State for obvious reasons, Georgia is also referred to as the Empire State of the South. First explored by the Spanish, but named after King George II of England, Georgia became the stronghold of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Atlanta, its capital and largest city has been the center of commerce, communication, politics and transportation for the Southeastern region of the U.S. Like the rest of the 50 states, Georgia has a state bird: the brown thrasher; a state flower: for some reason it's not the peach blossom, but the Cherokee rose; a state tree: the live oak; a state song: "Georgia on My Mind"; and an official state motto: Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.
1842 - The first wire suspension bridge was opened to traffic -- in Fairmount, Pennsylvania.
1859 - Erastus Beadle published "The Dime Book of Practical Etiquette". Here’s one suggestion: “Always read ‘Those Were the Days’ because it’s the proper thing to do.” Right there on page 7, we promise!
1872 - Brigham Young, the 71-year-old leader of the Mormon Church, was arrested on a charge of bigamy. He had 25 wives. Imagine taking them all to the grocery store each week?
1893 - The first commemorative postage stamps were issued. They commemorated the lowest prices these stamps would ever be again.
1921 - The first religious broadcast on radio was heard, as Dr. E.J. Van Etten of Calvary Episcopal Church preached on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1932 - Freddy Martin formed a new band and was hired to play the Roosevelt Grill in New York City. Martin became one of the big names in the music business. Merv Griffin later became Martin’s lead vocalist.
1941 - The Andrews Sisters recorded "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" on Decca Records. LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews recorded in Los Angeles and the song was heard in the movie, "Buck Privates", starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
1942 - Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, fell to invading Japanese troops.
1952 - Libya became an independent constitutional monarchy.
1953 - NBC-TV presented the first program in the series of "The Life of Riley", starring William Bendix. The program had aired for one season in 1949 with Jackie Gleason in the starring role of Chester A. Riley. Before that it had a long run on radio where William Bendix also starred in the Riley role (before Bendix, the original Riley on the radio was played by Lionel Stander).
1957 - Gene Fullmer defeated Sugar Ray Robinson to earn the world middleweight boxing title.
1959 - CBS radio dropped the curtain on four soap operas. "Our Gal Sunday", "This is Nora Drake", "Backstage Wife" and "Road of Life" all hit the road for good.
1960 - Senator 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 when he signed on the dotted line to play with the New York Jets of the American Football League.
1971 - George Harrison’s "All Things Must Pass" was number one on U.S. album charts. Harrison was the first ex-Beatle to hit #1 with a solo album.
1974 - Singing cowboy Tex Ritter died of a heart attack at the age of 67. His son, John, became a significant television star in "Three’s Company", and in movies, including "Problem Child". In fact, we just saw him on the tube the other night.
1974 - U.S. President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill requiring states to lower the maximum speed limit to 55 MPH. The law was meant to conserve gasoline supplies during an embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries. The embargo was lifted on March 13, 1974, but the speed limit lid stayed on until 1987.
1980 - Officials of the Miss America Pageant announced that Bert Parks would not return as host of the annual beauty contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Parks sang “There she is, Miss America” for 25 years. He was replaced by Ron Ely, television's Tarzan.
1983 - The smash musical, "Annie", closed on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after 2,377 performances: the sixth longest-running show on the Great White Way. The five longest-running shows at the time were: "Fiddler on the Roof", "Life With Father", "Tobacco Road", "Hello Dolly" and "Music Man". Now you know...
1983 - The final edition of Garry Trudeau’s comic strip, "Doonesbury", appeared in 726 newspapers. It had a readership of 60 million people. "Doonesbury" began anew in September 1984.
1985 - The Rebels of UNLV beat Utah State in three overtime periods, 142-140. The 282 total points scored set a new NCAA mark for total points in a basketball game. It took over three hours to play the game.
1987 - The most-watched college football game was played this day, as Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions of Penn State defeated the Miami Hurricanes, 14-10, at the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona. The game was so popular that it beat "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest" in the TV ratings. 1988 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement to lift trade restrictions between their countries. (The ratified by both governments and became effective January 1, 1989.)
1988 - An Ashland Oil Company tank collapsed in West Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, sending more than 700,000 gallons of diesel oil oozing into the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers near Pittsburgh.
1990 - Actor Alan Hale Jr., Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, died of cancer. He was 71 years old.
1994 - The newly-elected Republican mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, delivering his inaugural address, said, “On the second day of January of 1994, I dedicate my administration to you -- the people of New York.”
1995 - The most distant galaxy yet discovered was found by scientists using the Keck telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. "8C 1435+63" was estimated to be 15 billion light years away. The discovery was made by a team of astronomers from the University of California, led by Hyron Spinrad. They found the new galaxy to be 150,000 to 200,000 light-years across.
1996 - Former U.S. Interior Secretary James Watt pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count. He had attempted to sway a grand jury investigating 1980s influence-peddling at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Watt was later fined and sentenced to five years’ probation.
1997 - Rain and melting snow swamped the Western U.S., trapping visitors in Yosemite National Park, closing casinos in Reno, NV, and forcing the evacuation of 100,000 Californians.
1998 - Josef Tošovský was sworn in as prime minister of the Czech Republic. He pledged economic reforms, privatization, and efforts to fight crime and corruption.
1999 - Rolf Liebermann, Swiss composer, died in Paris. Liebermann led the Hamburg Opera from 1959-1972 and the Paris Opera from 1973-1980. His work included Eleonore 40/45, Penelope, L’Ecole des Femmes and La Foret.
2000 - Retired Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Junior died. He was 79 years old. Zumwalt was known early in his career for modernizing the U.S. Navy and later for ordering the spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam.
2001 - U.S. President-elect George Bush (II) tapped Democrat Norman Y. Mineta to be his transportation secretary, Spencer Abraham to be energy secretary and Linda Chavez to be secretary of labor. (Chavez later withdrew her name.)
2002 - The new Afghan government confirmed that American bombs had killed the Taliban’s intelligence chief, Qari Ahmadullah.
2002 - Eduardo Duhalde was sworn in as president of Argentina. He was the fifth president to take office in two weeks.
2003 - Astrologer Sydney Omarr, whose horoscopes appeared in more than 200 newspapers, died in Santa Monica, CA. He was 76 years old.
2004 - Secret Things opened in U.S. theatres. The drama stars Sabrina Seyvecou, Coralie Revel, Roger Mirmont, Fabrice Deville, Blandine Bury, Olivier Soler, Sylvain Bourguignon, Arnaud Goujon, Lisa Hérédia, Frédéric Marques and Bruno Sx.
2005 - The death toll from the Dec 26, 2004 earthquake/tsunami was estimated at 150,000.
20052005target="top">H. David Dalquist, died at 86 years of age at his home in Edina, MN. Dalquist founded St. Louis Park-based Nordic Ware, which has sold more than 50 million Bundt pans.
2006 - An explosion in a West Virginia coal mine resulted in the deaths of 12 of 13 miners in what came to be known as the Sago Mine disaster. The survivor, Randal McCloy Jr., remained in a coma for over three weeks after his rescue. A Dec, 2006 report blamed a lightning strike for the spark that set off the methane gas explosion in the mine.
2006 - Fifteen people died when the roof collapsed at the Bad Reichenhall ice rink in Bavaria, Germany.
2007 - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon created controversy on his first day in office when he failed to state the United Nation’ opposition to the death penalty -- and to Saddam Hussein’s execution. Ki-moon said capital punishment should be a decision of individual countries.
2007 - Oprah Winfrey opened a school for disadvantaged girls south of Johannesburg, South Africa, fulfilling a promise she made to former President Nelson Mandela and giving more than 150 students a chance for a better future.
2008 - Oil futures hit an intraday high of $100 per barrel and closed at a record $99.62.
Birthdays - January 2
1752 - Philip Freneau (Poet of the American Revolution: The Indian Burying Ground; died Dec 18, 1832)
1857 - Martha Carey Thomas (women’s education advocate: 1st president of National College Women's Equal Suffrage League, president of Bryn Mawr College for women [1894-1922]; died Dec 2, 1935)
1861 - Helen Taft (First Lady: wife of 27th U.S. President William Howard Taft; died May 22, 1943)
1904 - James Melton (singer: La Traviata; died Apr 21, 1961)
1905 - Sir Michael Tippett (composer: String Quartet No. 1, A Child of Our Time, The Midsummer Marriage, Fourth Symphony, The Mask of Time, The Rose Lake; writer: Those Twentieth Century Blues [autobiography], Tippett on Music, Caliban’s Song; died Jan 8, 1998)
1905 - Pinky (Arthur Carter) Whitney (baseball: Philadelphia Phillies [all-star: 1936], Boston Braves, Boston Bees; died Sep 1, 1987)
1917 - Vera Zorina (Eva Brigitta Hartwig) (dancer, actress: Star-Spangled Rhythm; died April 9, 2003)
1920 - Isaac Asimov (sci-fi writer: I Robot; died Apr 6, 1992)
1922 - Jason Evers (actor: Fer-De-Lance, Barracuda, Basket Case; died Mar 13, 2005)
1927 - Gino Marchetti (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Baltimore Colts)
1930 - Julius LaRosa (singer: Anywhere I Wander, Eh Cumpari, Arthur Godfrey’s radio/TV shows; movie: Let’s Rock; DJ: WNEW, NYC; died May 12, 2016)
1936 - Roger Miller (songwriter: King of the Road, Invitation to the Blues, You Don’t Want My Love; singer: Dang Me, Chug-a-Lug; 11 Grammys in 1964-65; wrote hit musical: Big River; died Oct 25, 1992)
1937 - Martin Lauer (hurdler: Olypic Gold Medalist: Men’s 4-by-100 meter relay [w/Bernd Cullmann, Armin Hary, Walter Mahlendorf: Rome, 1960])
1940 - Jim Bakker (Orsen) (TV evangelist: PTL Club/Heritage USA: defrocked by Assemblies of God after 1987 financial scandal; autobiography: I Was Wrong)
1947 - Calvin Hill (football: Dallas Cowboys running back, Super Bowl V, VI)
1949 - Chick Churchill (musician: keyboards: group: Ten Years After: I’m Going Home, Love like a Man)
1949 - Christopher Durang (actor: Housesitter, The Butcher’s Wife, In the Spirit, Mr. North, Heaven Help Us)
1949 - Mike Newlin (basketball: Houston Rockets guard)
1951 - Bill Madlock (baseball: Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs [all-star: 1975/NL batting Champ: 1975, 1976], SF Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1979/all-star: 1981, 1983/NL batting champ: 1981, 1983], LA Dodgers, Detroit Tigers)
1952 - Wendy Phillips (actress: Executive Suite, A Year in the Life, The Robert Guillaume Show, Homefront, Falcon Crest, The Eddie Capra Mysteries, Bugsy, Midnight Run, Death Be Not Proud)
1957 - Joanna Pacula (actress: Timemaster, Deep Red, Tombstone, Eyes of the Beholder, Husbands and Lovers, Marked for Death, Sweet Lies, Death Before Dishonor, Gorky Park)
1961 - Gabrielle Carteris (actress: Beverly Hills 90210, Raising Cain)
1967 - Tia Carrere (Althea Janairo) (actress: Relic Hunter, General Hospital, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Wayne’s World, Wayne’s World 2, True Lies, Operation Delta Force III: Clear Target, The Night of the Headless Horseman, Meet Prince Charming)
1968 - Cuba Gooding Jr. (actor: Pearl Harbor, Jerry Maguire, The Tuskegee Airmen, Outbreak, Losing Isaiah, A Few Good Men, Boyz N the Hood, Coming to America)
1983 - Kate Bosworth (actress: The Horse Whisperer, Young Americans, Remember the Titans, The Newcomers)
Chart Toppers - January 2
It Might as Well Be Spring - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Billy Williams)
I Can’t Begin to Tell You - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
Silver Dew on the Blue Grass Tonight - Bob Wills
Oh! My Pa-Pa - Eddie Fisher
Changing Partners - Patti Page
Stranger in Paradise - Tony Bennett
Let Me Be the One - Hank Locklin
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens
Run to Him - Bobby Vee
The Twist - Chubby Checker
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
Someday We’ll Be Together - Diana Ross & The Supremes
Raindrop Keep Fallin’ on My Head - B.J. Thomas
Holly Holy - Neil Diamond
(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again - Charley Pride
How Deep is Your Love - Bee Gees
(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again - L.T.D.
Baby Come Back - Player
Here You Come Again - Dolly Parton
Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy
Alive & Kicking - Simple Minds
Have Mercy - The Judds
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...
Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams
Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.