The second day of New Year (a holiday in Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine). New Year Holiday (Albania, Scotland), if it is a Sunday, the day moves to January 3
In 2018 physicists at Cornell University (Paul McEuen and Itai Cohen) report the creation of "muscle" for shape-changing, cell-sized robots. With postdoctoral researcher Marc Miskin at the helm, the team has made a robot exoskeleton that can rapidly change its shape upon sensing chemical or thermal changes in its environment.
2004 – Stardust successfully flies past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that are returned to Earth.
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.
1981 – One of the largest investigations by a British police force ends when serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper", is arrested in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
1976 – The Gale of January 1976 begins, which results in coastal flooding around the southern North Sea coasts, resulting in at least 82 deaths and US$1.3 billion in damage.
1974 – United States 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.
1967 – Ronald Reagan sworn in as Governor of California
1963 – Vietnam War: The Viet Cong wins its first major victory.
1959 – Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, is launched by the Soviet Union.
1949 – Luis Muñoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
1945 – World War II: Nuremberg, Germany is severely bombed by Allied forces.
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.
1941 – World War II: German bombing severely damages the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom.
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.
1900 – American statesman and diplomat John Hay announces the Open Door Policy to promote trade with China.
1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Stones River (a.k.a. Battle of Murfreesboro) resumes in central Tennessee after a day's respite, resulting in a significant Union victory.
1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France.
1818 – The British Institution of Civil Engineers is founded.
1791 – Big Bottom massacre in the Ohio Country, marking the beginning of the Northwest Indian War.
1788 – Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
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.
533 – Mercurius becomes Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy.
1993 – Bryson Tiller, American singer-songwriter. Bryson Djuan Tiller (born January 2, 1993) is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper.
1988 – Mandy Harvey, Deaf Jazz Musician, Singer, Songwriter. Profoundly deaf following an illness at the age of 18, she is most notable as a former contestant in the 12th season of America's Got Talent, where she performed original songs during the competition.
1986 – Trombone Shorty, American trumpet player and composer. Troy Andrews (born January 2, 1986), also known by the stage name Trombone Shorty, is an American musician, producer, actor and philanthropist from New Orleans, Louisiana.
1983 – Kate Bosworth, American actress. Following minor roles in the films The Horse Whisperer (1998) and Remember the Titans (2000), she rose to prominence with her role as a teenage surfer in the box-office hit Blue Crush (2002).
1981 – Kirk Hinrich, American basketball player. He has also been a member of the USA National Team.
1981 – Ryan Garko, American baseball player. Ryan Francis Garko (born January 2, 1981) is a former professional baseball outfielder, first baseman, and designated hitter.
1978 – Karina Smirnoff, Ukrainian-American dancer. R.
1977 – Brian Boucher, American ice hockey player and sportscaster. Brian "Boosh" Boucher (/buːˈʃeɪ/ boo-SHAY; born January 2, 1977) is an American former professional ice hockey goaltender who currently works as a game and studio analyst on national NBCSN (and NBC) games alongside the #1 team of Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk.
1975 – Dax Shepard, American actor. He portrayed Crosby Braverman in the NBC comedy-drama series Parenthood from 2010 to 2015.
1975 – Jeff Suppan, American baseball player. Jeffrey Scot Suppan (/ˈsuːpɑːn/; born January 2, 1975), known as Jeff Suppan, is an American retired professional baseball pitcher and current professional baseball coach who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB).
1971 – Lisa Harrison, American basketball player. Lisa Harrison (born January 2, 1971) is a former American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
1971 – Renée Elise Goldsberry, American actress. Renée Elise Goldsberry (born January 2, 1971) is an American actress, singer and songwriter, known for originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway musical Hamilton, for which she won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
1971 – Taye Diggs, American actor. Between 2014 and 2016 he starred as Inspector Terry English in Murder in the First.
1970 – Eric Whitacre, American composer and conductor. In March 2016, he was appointed as Los Angeles Master Chorale's first artist-in-residence at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
1969 – Christy Turlington, American model. Christy Nicole Turlington Burns (born January 2, 1969) is an American model, charity-founder and campaigner, and filmmaker.
1969 – Robby Gordon, American race car driver. He has raced in NASCAR, CART, IndyCar, Trans-Am, IMSA, IROC and Dakar Rally. He is still very actively racing in top tier off road motorsports such as BITD, NORRA, SCORE International
1967 – Tia Carrere, American actress. Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo (born January 2, 1967), known professionally as Tia Carrere (/kəˈrɛərə/), is an American actress, two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, and former model, who obtained her first big break as a regular on the daytime soap opera General Hospital.
1965 – Greg Swindell, American baseball player and coach. Forest Gregory "Greg" Swindell (born January 2, 1965) is an American former Major League Baseball player, who had a 17-year career as a left-handed pitcher from 1986 to 2002.
1964 – Pernell Whitaker, American boxer, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2001, and subsequently worked as a boxing trainer. He was a four-weight world champion, having won titles at lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight; the undisputed lightweight title; and the lineal lightweight and welterweight titles.
1963 – David Cone, American baseball player and sportscaster. David Brian Cone (born January 2, 1963) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher, and current color commentator for the New York Yankees on the YES Network and WPIX.
1963 – Edgar Martínez, American baseball player. Edgar Martínez (born January 2, 1963), nicknamed "Gar" and "Papi", is a Puerto Rican former professional baseball player and coach.
1961 – Gabrielle Carteris, American actress. Her best known acting role was as Andrea Zuckerman during the early seasons of the 1990s television series Beverly Hills, 90210.
1961 – Robert Wexler, American lawyer and politician. Robert Ira Wexler (born January 2, 1961) is the president of the Washington-based S.
1961 – Todd Haynes, American director and screenwriter. He is considered a pioneer of the New Queer Cinema movement of filmmaking that emerged in the early 1990s.
1956 – Lynda Barry, American cartoonist and author. Lynda Barry (born Linda Jean Barry, January 2, 1956) is an American cartoonist, author, and teacher.
1954 – Henry Bonilla, American broadcaster and politician. Henry Bonilla (born January 2, 1954) is a former congressman who represented Texas's 23rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
1953 – Vincent Racaniello, American virologist, author, and academic. Racaniello (born January 2, 1953 in Paterson, New Jersey) is a Higgins Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
1952 – Wendy Phillips, American actress. Wendy Phillips (born January 2, 1952) is an American actress, noted for playing David Selby's character's last wife, Lauren Daniels, during the final season of Falcon Crest and for playing Gerald McRaney's wife, Claire Greene, on both Touched by an Angel and Promised Land.
1951 – Alexander Pogrebinsky, Ukrainian-American painter and educator. He is known for his portraits.
1951 – Jim Essian, American baseball player and coach. James Sarkis Essian, Jr. (born January 2, 1951) is an American former professional baseball player, coach, and manager, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a catcher and occasional infielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Cleveland Indians.
1949 – Christopher Durang, American playwright and screenwriter. His play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013.
1949 – Iris Marion Young, American political scientist and academic (d. 2006), was an American political theorist and socialist feminist focused on the nature of justice and social difference. She served as Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and was affiliated with the Center for Gender Studies and the Human Rights program there.
1948 – Joyce Wadler, American journalist and author. Joyce Judith Wadler (born January 2, 1948) is a journalist and reporter for The New York Times, as well as a writer and humorist.
1948 – Judith Miller, American journalist and author, was later discovered to have been based on inaccurate information from the intelligence community. She worked in The New York Times' Washington bureau before joining Fox News in 2008.
1947 – Calvin Hill, American football player. He played running back in the National Football League for twelve seasons.
1947 – Jack Hanna, American zoologist and author. Jack Bushnell Hanna (born January 2, 1947) is an American zookeeper and a director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
1946 – Sonny Ruberto, American baseball player, coach, and manager (d. 2014). John Edward Ruberto (January 2, 1946 – March 25, 2014) was a backup catcher and pinch runner in Major League Baseball who played over parts of two seasons for the San Diego Padres (1969) and the Cincinnati Reds (1972).
1943 – Janet Akyüz Mattei, Turkish-American astronomer (d. 2004), was a Turkish-American astronomer who was the director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) from 1973 to 2004.
1942 – Dennis Hastert, American educator and politician, 59th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. John Dennis Hastert (/ˈhæstərt/; born January 2, 1942) is a serial child molester who represented Illinois's 14th congressional district from 1987 to 2007 and served as the 51st Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007, the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House in history.
1942 – Hugh Shelton, American general. He served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001.
1940 – Jim Bakker, American televangelist. He also developed Heritage USA, a now-defunct Christian theme park in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
1938 – Dana Ulery, American computer scientist. Over the course of her career, she has held positions as an applied science and technology researcher and manager in industry, academia, and government.
1938 – David Bailey, English photographer and painter. David Royston Bailey, CBE (2 January 1938) is an English fashion and portrait photographer.
1938 – Lynn Conway, American computer scientist and electrical engineer. Lynn Ann Conway (born January 2, 1938) is an American computer scientist, electrical engineer, inventor, and transgender activist.
1938 – Robert Smithson, American sculptor and photographer (d. 1973), was an American artist known for sculpture and land art who often used drawing and photography in relation to the spatial arts. His work has been internationally exhibited in galleries and museums and is held in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Solomon R.
1936 – Roger Miller, American singer-songwriter, musician, and actor (d. 1992), was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actor, widely known for his honky-tonk-influenced novelty songs and his chart-topping country and pop hits "King of the Road", "Dang Me", and "England Swings", all from the mid-1960s Nashville sound era.
1935 – David McKee, English author and illustrator. David John McKee (born 2 January 1935) is a British writer and illustrator, chiefly of children's books and animations.
1933 – Richard Riley, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 6th United States Secretary of Education. Riley is the only Democrat to serve two consecutive terms as governor in the time since the state constitution was amended to allow governors to serve consecutive terms.
1928 – Dan Rostenkowski, American Congressman (d. 2010), was a United States Representative from Chicago, serving from 1959 to 1995. He became one of the most powerful legislators in Washington, especially in matters of taxation, until he went to prison.
1928 – Robert Goralski, American journalist and author (d. 1988), was a United States news correspondent for NBC News for fifteen years in the 1960s and 1970s during a thirty-five-year career in communications.
1927 – Gino Marchetti, American football player, was an American professional football player who was a defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). He played in 1952 for the Dallas Texans and from 1953 to 1966 for the Baltimore Colts.
1925 – William J. Crowe, American admiral and diplomat, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (d. 2007), was a United States Navy admiral who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W.
1920 – Isaac Asimov, Russian-American chemist, author, and academic (d. 1992), was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science.
1918 – Beatrice Hicks, American engineer (d. 1979), was an American engineer, the first woman engineer to be hired by Western Electric, and both co-founder and first president of the Society of Women Engineers. Despite entering the field at a time where engineering was seen as an inappropriate career for a woman, Hicks held a variety of leadership positions and eventually became the owner of an engineering firm.
1916 – Zypora Spaisman, Polish-American midwife and actress and producer of the Yiddish stage (d. 2002). Zypora Spaisman (born January 2, 1916, Lublin, Poland – d.
1914 – Kenny Clarke, American drummer and composer (d. 1985), was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. A major innovator of the bebop style of drumming, he pioneered the use of the Ride cymbal to keep time rather than the hi-hat, along with the use of the bass drum for irregular accents ("dropping bombs").
1913 – Anna Lee, English-American actress (d. 2004), was a British-born American actress, labelled by studios "The British Bombshell".
1913 – Juanita Jackson Mitchell, American lawyer and activist (d. 1992), was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas and was the first African-American woman to practice law in Maryland. She was married to Clarence M.
1909 – Barry Goldwater, American general and politician (d. 1998), was an American politician, businessman, and author who was a five-term Senator from Arizona (1953–1965, 1969–1987) and the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States in 1964. Despite his loss of the 1964 presidential election in a landslide, Goldwater is the politician most often credited with having sparked the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s.
1900 – William Haines, American actor and interior designer (d. 1973), was an American film actor and interior designer.
1898 – Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, American economist and lawyer (d. 1989), was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States (1921), and the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She was the first African-American woman to practice law in Pennsylvania.
1897 – Jim Londos, Greek-American wrestler (d. 1975), was a Greek American professional wrestler.
1891 – Giovanni Michelucci, Italian architect and urban planner, designed the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station (d. 1990), was born in Pistoia, Tuscany, on 2 January 1891 and died on the night of 31 December 1990, two days before his 100th birthday, at his studio-home in Fiesole, in Florence's hills, now the headquarters of his Foundation. He had the good fortune to live a long life almost entirely within the span of the twentieth century, giving us a valuable witness through his work with innovative architectural vernaculars and proposals, from his understanding of the complexity of events, transformations, and ideas that animated the twentieth century.
1890 – Henrik Visnapuu, Estonian-American poet and playwright (d. 1951), was a well-known Estonian poet and dramatist.
1886 – Florence Lawrence, Canadian-American actress (d. 1938), was a Canadian-American stage performer and film actress. She is often referred to as the "first movie star," and was thought to be the first film actor to be named publicly until evidence published in 2019 indicated that the first named film star was French actor Max Linder.
1878 – Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai, Indian activist, founded the Nair Service Society (d. 1970), was an Indian social reformer and freedom fighter from the south-western state of Kerala. He is recognised as the founder of the Nair Service Society (NSS), which claims to represent the Nair community that constitutes 12.10% (From KMS 2011) of the population of the state.
1870 – Ernst Barlach, German sculptor and playwright (d. 1938), was a German expressionist sculptor, printmaker and writer. Although he was a supporter of the war in the years leading to World War I, his participation in the war made him change his position, and he is mostly known for his sculptures protesting against the war.
1870 – Tex Rickard, American boxing promoter and businessman (d. 1929), was an American boxing promoter, founder of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL), and builder of the third incarnation of Madison Square Garden in New York City. During the 1920s, Tex Rickard was the leading promoter of the day, and he has been compared to P.
1860 – William Corless Mills, American historian and curator (d. 1928), was a US museum curator.
1857 – M. Carey Thomas, American educator and activist (d. 1935), was an American educator, suffragist, and linguist. She was the second president of Bryn Mawr College, a women's liberal arts college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
1833 – Frederick A. Johnson, American banker and politician (d. 1893), was an American politician and banker who served a U.S. Representative from New York from 1883 to 1887.
1777 – Christian Daniel Rauch, German sculptor and educator (d. 1857). He founded the Berlin school of sculpture, and was the foremost German sculptor of the 19th century.
2017 – Albert Brewer, American politician, Governor of Alabama (1968–1971) (b. 1928)
2016 – Frances Cress Welsing, American psychiatrist and author (b. 1935)
2015 – Tihomir Novakov, Serbian-American physicist and academic (b. 1929)
2014 – Bernard Glasser, American director and producer (b. 1924)
2014 – Jay Traynor, American singer-songwriter (b. 1943)
2014 – Michael J. Matthews, American lawyer and politician; 34th Mayor of Atlantic City (b. 1934)