On This Day January 2
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1968 – Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. (“Boyz ‘N the Hood,” “A Few Good Men,” “Jerry Maguire,” “As Good As It Gets,” “American Gangster,” “The Butler,” “Selma,” “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story”)
1959 – The Space Race intensifies as the Soviet Union launches Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the moon and orbit the sun. It was originally called Cosmic Rocket, but renamed Luna 1 to reflect the Soviets’ planned series of Luna missions to the moon.
1971 – Known as the “Ibrox Disaster,” 66 football (soccer) fans die in a stampede at a stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, as they attempt to leave a game after a late goal by the home team. Nearly 200 other fans are injured.
1974 – President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the speed limit across the U.S. to 55 miles per hour in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo. The measure, known as the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, remains in effect until Congress repeals it in 1995.
1980 – Angered by Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter requests that the Senate postpone action on the SALT II nuclear weapons treaty and recalls the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union.
1980 – Sherry Lansing is named the head of Fox Productions, becoming the first woman in charge of production at a major movie studio as well as one of the highest-paid female executives in any industry.
2009 – Shortly after the death of British surgeon Harold Carr, his family discovers the rare, unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe that he owned — sitting in a garage, undriven for some 50 years. One month later, the car sells at a Paris auction for $4.4 million.
1965 – The Beatles’ eighth single, “I Feel Fine,” is in the middle of three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. It is reported to be the first recorded song to incorporate guitar feedback (the opening note).
1971 – George Harrison’s first solo album, “All Things Must Pass,” featuring the hits “My Sweet Lord” and “What is Life,” begins a seven-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. In January 2014, the album is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
1979 – The murder trial of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious begins, with the punk rocker accused of stabbing his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to death in a New York City hotel three months earlier. On February 2, 1979, before the trial is over, Vicious is found dead of a heroin overdose at the age of 21.