On January 2:
1492 Reconquista: the emirate of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, surrendered.
1860 The discovery of the planet Vulcan
was announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.
1871 Amadeus I became King of Spain.
1873 Thérèse de Lisieux, French Roman-Catholic nun, was born.
1938 The first official New Zealand airmail to the United States departed Auckland for San Francisco aboard Pan American Airline’s Samoan Clipper, a Sikorsky S-42B flying boat was piloted by Captain Ed Musick.
1947 David Shapiro
, American poet, literary critic, and art historian, was born.
1955 Panamanian president Jose Antonio Remon was assassinated.
1959 Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, was launched by the U.S.S.R.
1967 Francois Pienaar, South African rugby player, Sprinbok, was born.
1974 President Richard Nixon signed a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo.
1975 Reuben Thorne, New Zealand All Black, was born.
1999 A brutal snowstorm hit the Midwestern United States, causing 14 inches (359 mm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 19 inches (487 mm) in Chicago, where temperatures plunged to -13°F (-25°C); 68 deaths were reported
2001 Sila Calderón became the first female Governor of Puerto Rico.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.