January 2

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

1788 - Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. 

1842 - In Fairmount, PA, the first wire suspension bridge was opened to traffic. 

1859 - Erastus Beadle published "The Dime Book of Practical Etiquette." 

1872 - Brigham Young, the 71-year-old leader of the Mormon Church, was arrested on a charge of bigamy. He had 25 wives. 

1879 - Thomas Edison began construction on his first generator. 

1890 - Alice Sanger became the first female White House staffer. 

1892 - Ellis Island opened as America's first federal immigration center. Annie Moore, at age 15, became the first person to pass through. 

1893 - The first commemorative postage stamps were issued. 

1900 - U.S. Secretary of State John Hay announced the Open Door Policy to prompt trade with China. 

1900 - The Chicago Canal opened. 

1910 - The first junior high school in the United States opened. McKinley School in Berkeley, CA, housed seventh and eighth grade students. In a separate building students were housed who attended grades 9-12. 

1917 - Royal Bank of Canada took over the Quebec Bank. 

1921 - The first religious broadcast on radio was heard on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, PA, as Dr. E.J. Van Etten of Calvary Episcopal Church preached. 

1921 - DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park opened. 

1929 - The United States and Canada reached an agreement on joint action to preserve Niagara Falls. 

1935 - Bruno Richard Hauptmann went on trial for the kidnap-murder of Charles Lindberghs baby. Hauptmann was found guilt and executed. 

1942 - The Philippine capital of Manila was captured by Japanese forces during World War II. 

1953 - "The Life of Riley" debuted on NBC-TV. 

1955 - Panamanian President Jose Antonio Remon was assassinated. 

1957 - The San Francisco and Los Angeles stock exchanges merged. 

1959 - CBS Radio ended four soap operas. "Our Gal Sunday", "This is Nora Drake", "Backstage Wife" and "Road of Life" all aired for the last time. 

1960 - U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

1965 - "Broadway" Joe Namath signed the richest rookie contract ($400,000) in the history of pro football. 

1968 - Fidel Castro announced petroleum and sugar rationing in Cuba. 

1971 - In the U.S., a federally imposed ban on television cigarette advertisements went into effect. 

1974 - U.S. President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill requiring all states to lower the maximum speed limit to 55 MPH. The law was intended to conserve gasoline supplies during an embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries. Federal speed limits were abolished in 1995. 

1983 - The final edition of Garry Trudeau’s comic strip, "Doonesbury", appeared in 726 newspapers. "Doonesbury" began running again in September 1984. 

1983 - The musical "Annie" closed on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after 2,377 performances. 

1985 - The Rebels of UNLV beat Utah State in three overtime periods. The final score of 142-140 set a new NCAA record for total points in a basketball game (282). The game took over three hours to play. 

1991 - Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC. She was the first black woman to head a city of that size and prominence. 

1996 - AT&T announced that it would eliminate 40,000 jobs over three years. 

1998 - Russia began circulating new rubles in effort to keep inflation in check and promote confidence.