Today is Friday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2015. There are 363 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 2, 1965, New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath to a contract reportedly worth $427,000.
On this date:
In 1788, Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1893, the U.S. Postal Service issued its first commemorative stamp to honor the World’s Columbian Expedition and the quadricentennial of Christopher Columbus’ voyage.
In 1900, Secretary of State John Hay announced the “Open Door Policy” to facilitate trade with China.
In 1921, religious services were broadcast on radio for the first time as KDKA in Pittsburgh aired the regular Sunday service of the city’s Calvary Episcopal Church.
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 1955, the president of Panama, Jose Antonio Remon Cantera, was assassinated.
In 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts launched his successful bid for the presidency.
In 1971, 66 people were killed in a pileup of spectators leaving a soccer match at Ibrox (EYE’-brox) Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland.
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 2006, 12 miners died in a methane gas explosion at the Sago (SAY’-goh) Mine in West Virginia, but one miner, Randal McCloy Jr., was eventually rescued.
Ten years ago: NFL teams joined Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and other sports figures around the world in assisting the relief mission for the tsunami-earthquake catastrophe in southern Asia.
Five 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.
One year 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.
Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Harold Bradley is 89. Singer Julius La Rosa is 85. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is 73. TV host Jack Hanna is 68. Actress Wendy Phillips is 63. Actress Gabrielle Carteris is 54. Movie director Todd Haynes is 54. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher David Cone is 52. Actress Tia Carrere is 48. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 47. Model Christy Turlington is 46. Actor Taye Diggs is 44. Rock musician Scott Underwood (Train) is 44. Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 40. Actor Dax Shepard is 40. Actress Paz Vega is 39. Country musician Chris Hartman is 37. Ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 37. Rock musician Jerry DePizzo Jr. (O.A.R.) is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kelton Kessee (IMX) is 34. Actress Kate Bosworth is 32. Actor Peter Gadiot (TV: “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”) is 30. Jazz singer-musician Trombone Shorty is 29.
Thought for Today: “You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be.” — Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss theologian (1741-1801).