Today in History

AP News
Posted: Jan 02, 2010 12:00 AM

Today is Saturday, Jan. 2, the 2nd day of 2010. There are 363 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 as he announced his intention to enter the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

On this date:

In 1492, Muhammad XII, the sultan of Granada, the last Arab stronghold in Spain, surrendered to Spanish forces.

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

In 1900, 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 1935, Bruno Hauptmann went on trial in Flemington, N.J., 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 1959, the Soviet Union launched its space probe Luna 1, the first manmade object to fly past the moon, its apparent intended target.

In 1965, the New York Jets signed Alabama quarterback Joe Namath to a contract reportedly worth $427,000.

In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 miles an hour. (However, federal speed limits were abolished in 1995).

In 2006, a methane gas explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia claimed the lives of 12 miners, but a 13th miner, Randal McCloy Jr., was eventually rescued.

Ten years ago: 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.

Five 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.

One year 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 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.

Today's Birthdays: Country musician Harold Bradley is 84. Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is 68. TV host Jack Hanna is 63. Actress Wendy Phillips is 58. Actress Gabrielle Carteris is 49. Movie director Todd Haynes is 49. Retired All-Star pitcher David Cone is 47. Actress Tia Carrere is 43. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 42. Model Christy Turlington is 41. Actor Taye Diggs is 39. Rock musician Scott Underwood (Train) is 39. Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 35. Actor Dax Shepard is 35. Actress Paz Vega is 34. Country musician Chris Hartman is 32. Rock musician Jerry DePizzo Jr. (O.A.R.) is 31. R&B singer Kelton Kessee (IMX) is 29. Actress Kate Bosworth is 27.

Thought for Today: "It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." _ Ursula K. Le Guin, American author.