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This Day in History — January 2

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

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Today is the second day of 2018. There are 363 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

2014: The New York Times and Guardian newspapers call for clemency for Edward Snowden, saying that the espionage worker-turned-privacy advocate should be praised rather than punished for his disclosures.

OTHER EVENTS

1492: The leader of the last Arab stronghold in Spain surrenders to the Spanish forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I.

1788: Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the US Constitution.

1792: The first classes began at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

1799: Britain joins Russian-Turkish alliance; Napoleon Bonaparte advances into Syria.

1893: The US Postal Service issues its first-ever set of commemorative stamps to honour the upcoming World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago as well as the quadricentennial of Christopher Columbus's voyage.

1900: Open-door policy in China is announced by US Secretary of State John Hay.

1905: Japanese General Nogi receives a letter offering surrender from Russian General Stoessel, thereby formally ending the Russo-Japanese War.

1909: Dismissal of Yuan Shih-kai places Chinese administration in Manchu hands.

1913: Turkish garrison on Chios Island surrenders to Greeks.

1921: Religious services are broadcast on radio for the first time as KDKA in Pittsburgh aired the regular Sunday service of the city's Calvary Episcopal Church.

1932: Manchukuo Republic is proclaimed in Manchuria, China.

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.)

1937: English and Italians sign agreement on Mediterranean and in favour of maintaining Spain's independence.

1942: Japanese capture Philippine capital, Manila, during World War II. Twenty-two nations add their signatures to the UN Declaration already signed by the US, UK, USSR, and China.

1955: The president of Panama, Jose Antonio Remon Cantera, is assassinated at a racetrack.

1965: Ayub Khan wins Pakistan's presidential elections.

1967: Republican Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office as the new governor of California in a ceremony in Sacramento shortly just after midnight.

1971: Sixty-six people suffocate or are trampled to death when crowd barrier gives way at a soccer match in Glasgow, Scotland.

1974: President Richard Nixon signs legislation requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 miles an hour as a way of conserving gasoline in the face of an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries oil embargo. (The 55 mph limit is effectively phased out in 1987; federal speed limits are abolished in 1995.)

1976: Soviet Union hardens its stand on emigration despite 1975 Helsinki Agreement to permit freer movement of people and ideas in Europe.

1983: The musical Annie, based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, closes on Broadway in New York after a run of 2,377 performances.

1988: Right-wing guerrillas ambush train near Mozambique's western border, killing at least 22 people and injuring 71.

1991: Leftist rebels down US army helicopter in El Salvador; one crew member dies from injuries sustained in crash and two others are apparently executed by rebels. Sharon Pratt is sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC, becoming the first black woman to head a city of Washington's size and prominence.

1992: Military commanders in Croatia agree to stop fighting within 24 hours to allow for dispatch of up to 10,000 UN peacekeepers.

1993: Government authorities arrest the second-in-command of the Popular Liberation Army, the third-largest Marxist guerrilla group in Colombia.

1994: Zapatista rebels take over San Cristobal de Las Casas in the Chiapas region of Mexico and battle government troops. At least 57 people die in fighting.

1995: Less than 24 hours after Russian troops say they have taken Grozny, the capital of the separatist Chechnya region, rebels beat them back from the city centre.

1996: US Government dietary guidelines acknowledge for the first time that consuming some alcohol can be healthy.

1997: Kofi Annan arrives at UN headquarters for the first time as secretary general.

1999: Rebel forces shoot down a UN cargo plane with eight people aboard, the second UN plane to crash in Angola's highland war zone in eight days.

2001: Ships from outlying Taiwanese islands dock in ports in mainland China, making the first legal and direct crossing between the mainland and Taiwanese territory in more than 50 years.

2002: Veteran politician Eduardo Duhalde becomes Argentina's fifth president in two weeks as he takes on the burden of a US$132-billion public debt.

2003: Chinese space officials announce plans to launch a manned spacecraft in the second half of the year. The October 15 launch of the Shenzhou 5 mission carrying astronaut Yang Liwei makes China the third nation, after Russia and the United States, to do so.

2004: The summit of the seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation agrees on a framework for a free trade zone, which would start tearing down tariffs by January 1, 2006.

2005: After the devastation wreaked by the seas, a deluge from the skies deepens the misery for tsunami-stricken areas, triggering flash floods in Sri Lanka that send evacuees fleeing and increasing the threat of deadly disease.

2006: The roof of an ice rink in Germany collapses after a heavy snowfall in a town in the Bavarian Alps, killing 15 people and injuring dozens.

2007: Kenya deploys troops, armoured vehicles and trucks with light weapons along its 420-mile (675-kilometre) long border with Somalia following reports that Islamist militiamen fleeing fighting there are pressing on the Kenyan frontier.

2008: A mob torches a church where hundreds had sought refuge in Kenya's Rift Valley city of Eldoret, and witnesses say dozens of people — including children — were burned alive or hacked to death with machetes in ethnic violence that followed Kenya's disputed election. The Justice Department opens a full criminal investigation into the destruction of Central Intellgence Agency videotapes of the interrogation of two al-Qaeda suspects. (A special prosecutor later clears the CIA's former top clandestine officer and others.) 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 reached agreements to allow writers to work on their shows; Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel returned without theirs.)

2009: Sri Lankan forces capture the Tamil Tigers' de facto capital, Kilinochchi.

2010: A chastened President Hamid Karzai must submit new Cabinet picks after defiant Afghan lawmakers reject 17 of his 24 nominees, including a powerful warlord and the country's only woman minister.

2011: The United Nations says that it will do everything it can to locate areas where human rights abuses have allegedly occurred in Ivory Coast following disputed presidential elections.

2012: Tens of thousands of protesters jeer Hungarian leaders outside a glitzy gala to mark the country's brand new constitution, accusing the Government of exerting control over everything from the media to the economy and religion.

2013: The United Nations gives a grim new count of the human cost of Syria's civil war, saying the death toll has exceeded 60,000 in 21 months — far higher than recent estimates by anti-regime activists. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left a New York hospital, three days after doctors discovered a blood clot in her head.

2017: A suicide bomber driving a pickup loaded with explosives strikes a bustling market in Baghdad, killing at least 36 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group hours after French President Francois Hollande arrived in the Iraqi capital.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

James Wolfe, English general (1727-1759); Nouri Said, Iraqi prime minister (1888-1958); Michael Tippett, English musician (1905-1998); Isaac Asimov, Russian-born US writer (1920-1992); Todd Haynes, US director (1961- ); Cuba Gooding Jr, US actor (1968- ); Christy Turlington, US model (1969- ); Taye Diggs, US actor (1971- )

— AP

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