TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2021. There are 363 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 2, 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.)

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 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 1959, the Soviet Union launched its space probe Luna 1, the first manmade object to fly past the moon, its apparent intended target.

In 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts launched his successful bid for the presidency.

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 just after midnight.

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, California began issuing driver’s licenses to immigrants who were in the country illegally. Little Jimmy Dickens, a diminutive singer-songwriter who was the oldest cast member of the Grand Ole Opry, died at age 94.

Today’s Birthdays: TV host Jack Hanna is 74. Actor Wendy Phillips is 69. Baseball Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez is 58. Actor Tia Carrere is 54. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 53. Model Christy Turlington is 52. Actor Taye Diggs is 50. Actor Dax Shepard is 46. Ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 43.