What Happened on January 2?

  • Oil prices reached over $100 US Dollars (USD) a barrel for the first time. (2008) The soaring prices led to a supply problem in the US, and many people were seen waiting for hours just to get a tank of gas. Many stations ran out of gas entirely, prompting violence in some cities.

  • The kidnapper of the Lindberg baby went on trial. (1935) The kidnapping and murder of aviator Charles Lindberg's son had attracted a media frenzy. Bruno Hauptmann, the man responsible, was convicted of the kidnapping and murder and was executed.

  • John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for president. (1960) Kennedy was a Senator from Massachusetts at the time. He went on to become one of the most well-known and beloved US Presidents before his assassination in 1963.

  • Members of the Duquesne spy ring were convicted. (1942) The German spy ring, led by Fritz Duquesne, was one of the largest in US history. Ring members were placed in strategic jobs in the US to learn secrets and pass on information to Germany. The FBI spent nearly two years engaged in counter-espionage before finally capturing the group.

  • US President Nixon created a national speed limit. (1974) In the face of an OPEC embargo, and mounting concerns about the environment, Nixon set the national speed limit at 55 mph (88 kph).

  • Famous soprano Maria Callas walked out of a performance. (1958) Known for her volatile and dramatic personal life as much as her singing, Callas walked out after the first act of Norma in Rome, claiming illness. Most of Rome's high society was there at the performance, as well as the president of Italy.

  • More than 6,000 US citizens were arrested on the suspicion of being Communists. (1920) This was part of a series of raids by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer to try to root out communism and anarchy from America. The 6,000 people arrested were held without trial before Palmer was replaced with a more lenient Attorney General.

  • The first female White House staff member began work. (1890) Alice Sanger was hired as a stenographer for President Benjamin Harrison. Sanger was the first woman to work a non-domestic service job in the White House, and her appointment was thought to be an olive branch to the growing suffragist movement.

  • The last Moorish stronghold in Spain fell. (1492) Known as the Reconquista, this marked the first time in about 700 years that Spain had been entirely under the control of the Spanish.

  • The Yorkshire Ripper was caught. (1981) One of the most famous serial killers in Britain, Peter Sutcliffe killed at least 13 women. The search for the Yorkshire Ripper went on for five years before Sutcliffe was finally arrested. Police had actually interviewed him nine times during the investigation, but he had convinced them that he wasn't involved.

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