updated 1/2/2007 12:58:17 AM ET 2007-01-02T05:58:17

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 2, 1900, Secretary of State John Hay announced the “Open Door Policy” to facilitate trade with China.

On this date:

In 1492, Muhammad XI, 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 1921, religious services were broadcast on radio for the first time as KDKA in Pittsburgh aired the regular Sunday service of the city’s Calvary Episcopal Church.

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 for a reported $400,000.

In 1974, President Nixon signed legislation requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 mph (however, federal speed limits were abolished in 1995).

In 1986, former baseball owner Bill Veeck, remembered for his well-publicized stunts and promotional gimmicks, including an exploding scoreboard and a midget pinch-hitter, died in Chicago at age 71.

Ten years ago: Rain and melting snow swamped the West, trapping visitors in Yosemite National Park, closing casinos in Reno, Nev., and forcing the evacuation of 50,000 Californians.

Five years ago: The new Afghan government confirmed that American bombs had killed the Taliban’s intelligence chief (Qari Ahmadullah). Eduardo Duhalde was sworn in as Argentina’s president. The No. 5 Florida Gators crushed No. 6 Maryland 56-23 in the Orange Bowl.

One year ago: A methane gas explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia claimed the lives of 12 miners, but one miner, Randal McCloy Jr., was eventually rescued. The roof of a skating rink collapsed in the German town of Bad Reichenhall, killing 15 people. No. 4 Ohio State beat No. 5 Notre Dame 34-20 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Harold Bradley is 81. Former television evangelist Jim Bakker is 68. Actress Wendy Phillips is

55. Actress Gabrielle Carteris is 46. Movie director Todd Haynes is

46. Actress Tia Carrere is 40. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 39. Model Christy Turlington is 38. Actor Taye Diggs is 36. Rock musician Scott Underwood (Train) is 36. Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 32. Actor Dax Shepard is 32. Actress Paz Vega is 31. Country musician Chris Hartman is 29. Actress Kate Bosworth is 24.

Thought for Today: “I am prejudiced in favor of him who, without impudence, can ask boldly. He has faith in humanity, and faith in himself. No one who is not accustomed to give grandly can ask nobly and with boldness.” — Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss theologian (1741-1801).

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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