This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
January 2 is the second day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 363 days remaining until the end of the year (364 in leap years).
On this day in 1962, the folk group The Weavers are banned by NBC after refusing to sign a loyalty oath.
The Weavers, one of the most significant popular-music groups of the postwar era, saw their career nearly destroyed during the Red Scare of the early 1950s. Even with anti-communist fervor in decline by the early 1960s, the Weavers’ leftist politics were used against them as late as January 2, 1962, when the group’s appearance on The Jack Paar Show was cancelled over their refusal to sign an oath of political loyalty.
The importance of the Weavers to the folk revival of the late 1950s cannot be overstated. Without the group that Pete Seeger founded with Lee Hays in Greenwich Village in 1948, there would likely be no Bob Dylan, not to mention no Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul and Mary. The Weavers helped spark a tremendous resurgence in interest in American folk traditions and folk songs when they burst onto the popular scene with “Goodnight Irene,” a #1 record for 13 weeks in the summer and fall of 1950. The Weavers sold millions of copies of innocent, beautiful and utterly apolitical records like “Midnight Special” and “On Top of Old Smoky” that year.
366 – The Alamanni cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire
533 – Mercurius becomes Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy
1492 – Reconquista: the emirate of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, surrenders
1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces under the command of George Washington repulsed a British attack at the Battle of the Assunpink Creek near Trenton, New Jersey
1788 – Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution
1791 – Big Bottom massacre in the Ohio Country, marking the beginning of the Northwest Indian War
1818 – The British Institution of Civil Engineers is founded
1833 – Re-establishment of British rule on the Falklands.
1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the Academie des Sciences in Paris
1871 – Amadeus I becomes King of Spain
1900 – John Hay announces the Open Door Policy to promote trade with China
1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Russian garrison surrenders at Port Arthur, China
1911 – A gun battle in the East End of London left two dead and sparked a political row over the involvement of then-Home Secretary Winston Churchill
1920 – The second Palmer Raid takes place with another 6,000 suspected communists and anarchists arrested and held without trial. These raids take place in several U.S. cities.
1927 – Angered by the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, Catholic rebels in Mexico rebelled against the government.
1935 – Bruno Hauptmann goes on trial for the murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh
1941 – World War II: German bombing severely damages the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales
1942 – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) convicts 33 members of a German spy ring headed by Fritz Joubert Duquesne in the largest espionage case in United States history-the Duquesne Spy Ring
1942 – World War II: Manila is captured by Japanese forces
1945 – World War II: Nuremberg (in German, Nürnberg) is severely bombed by Allied forces
1949 – Luis Munoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico
1955 – Panamanian president Jose Antonio Remon is assassinated.
1959 – Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, is launched by the U.S.S.R.
1971 – The second Ibrox disaster kills 66 fans at a Rangers-Celtic football match
– President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo
1999 – A brutal snowstorm smashes into the Midwestern United States, causing 14 inches (359 mm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 19 inches (487 mm) in Chicago, where temperatures plunge to
13 F (25 C); 68 deaths are reported
2001 – Sila Calderon becomes the first female Governor of Puerto Rico
2002 – Eduardo Duhalde is appointed interim President of Argentina by the Legislative Assembly.
2004 – Stardust successfully flies past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that are returned to Earth.
2006 – An explosion in a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia traps and kills 12 miners, while leaving one miner in critical condition.
Ancestry Day (Haiti)
Berchtold’s Day (Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Alsace)
Christian Feast Day:
Basil the Great (Roman Catholic and Anglican Church)
Gregory of Nazianzus (Roman Catholic Church)
Seraphim of Sarov (repose)
The first day of Blacks and Whites’ Carnival, celebrated until January 7. (southern Colombia)
The first day of Riosucio´s Carnival, celebrated until January 8 every 2 years. (Riosucio)
The ninth day of Christmas (Western Christianity)
The second day of New Year (A holiday in Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine):
Bank Holiday, if it is a Sunday, the day moves to January 3 (Scotland)
Kaapse Klopse (Capetown)