Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Today in History: January 2, John F. Kennedy launches bid for presidency

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2024. There are 364 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

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 1811, Sen. Timothy Pickering, a Federalist from Massachusetts, became the first member of the U.S. Senate to be censured after he'd improperly revealed the contents of an executive document.

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

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

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

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 after midnight.

In 1971, 66 people were killed in a pileup of spectators leaving a soccer match at Ibrox 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.)

In 2007, the state funeral for former President Gerald R. Ford began with an elaborate service at Washington National Cathedral, then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In 2015, Little Jimmy Dickens, a diminutive singer-songwriter who was the oldest cast member of the Grand Ole Opry, died at age 94.

In 2016, a heavily armed group led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, beginning a 41-day standoff to protest the imprisonment of two ranchers convicted of setting fires on public land and to demand the federal government turn over public lands to local control.

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, while NBC News announced that Hoda Kotb (HOH'-duh KAHT'-bee) 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.

In 2023, at the Vatican, tens of thousands of people filed past the body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as it lay in St. Peter's Basilica, while in Brazil, thousands paid their respects to soccer legend Pele in a procession past his coffin at Vila Belmiro Stadium in his hometown of Santos.

Today's Birthdays: TV host Jack Hanna is 77. Actor Wendy Phillips is 72. Actor Cynthia Sikes is 70. Actor Gabrielle Carteris is 63. Movie director Todd Haynes is 63. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher David Cone is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez is 61. Actor Tia Carrere is 57. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 56. Model Christy Turlington is 55. Actor Taye Diggs is 53. Actor Renée Elise Goldsberry is 53. Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 49. Actor Dax Shepard is 49. Actor Paz Vega is 48. Ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff (TV: "Dancing with the Stars") is 46. Rock musician Jerry DePizzo Jr. (O.A.R.) is 45. R&B singer Kelton Kessee (IMX) is 42. Pop singer-musician Ryan Merchant (Capital Cities) is 43. Actor Kate Bosworth is 41. Actor Anthony Carrigan is 41. Actor Peter Gadiot is 39. Jazz singer-musician Trombone Shorty is 38. Singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey (TV: "America's Got Talent") is 36. R&B singer-rapper Bryson Tiller is 31. San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. is 25.