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Friday, January 02, 2009


Today is Friday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2009.
There are 363 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:
  • Fifty years ago, on Jan. 2, 1959, the Soviet Union launched its space probe Luna 1, the first manmade object to fly past the moon, its apparent intended target.
  • Click here to find out more!

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 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • In 1965, the New York Jets signed University of 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:
  • A U.N.-chartered cargo plane carrying nine people was downed in Angola's central highland war zone; there were no survivors.

Five years ago:
  • Insurgents shot down a U.S. helicopter west of Baghdad, killing one soldier.
  • British flights to Washington and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were canceled as a security precaution.
  • The NASA spacecraft Stardust flew through the halo of the distant comet Wild 2.

One year ago:
  • The Justice Department opened a full criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes.
  • Pakistan pushed back parliamentary elections until Feb. 18, 2008, a six-week delay prompted by rioting that followed the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
  • Oil prices soared to $100 a barrel for the first time.
  • Late-night talk shows returned to the air two months into a writers' strike. (David Letterman and Craig Ferguson had interim agreements allowing writers to work on their shows; Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel returned without theirs.)

Today's Birthdays:
  • Country musician Harold Bradley is 83.
  • TV host Jack Hanna is 62.
  • Actress Wendy Phillips is 57.
  • Actress Gabrielle Carteris is 48.
  • Movie director Todd Haynes is 48.
  • Actress Tia Carrere is 42.
  • Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 41.
  • Model Christy Turlington is 40.
  • Actor Taye Diggs is 38.
  • Rock musician Scott Underwood (Train) is 38.
  • Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 34.
  • Actor Dax Shepard is 34.
  • Actress Paz Vega is 33.
  • Country musician Chris Hartman is 31.
  • Rock musician Jerry DePizzo Jr. (O.A.R.) is 30.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Kelton Kessee (IMX) is 28.
  • Actress Kate Bosworth is 26.

Thought for Today:
"There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil." -
Alfred North Whitehead, English philosopher and mathematician (1861-1947).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"