On This Day in History: January 2

January 2 saw a British serial killer apprehended after just over five years. What else happened today in history?

Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain1492: The Fall of Granada

The last Muslim kingdom of Spain fell to Christian forces. King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile joined the country as one. Granada had been a Moorish fortress since the 11th century, after Spanish Muslims were forced south. It took 10 years for all Muslims to convert to Christianity forcibly, and persecutions started over the next 100 years. For those who recognize the name of the king and queen, they were the parents of Queen Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife.

1776: The “Tory Act” Published By Congress

On this day in history, Congress published the “Tory Act” in the United States. The Act called for all colonial committees to indoctrinate the honest but uninformed people of the nation–those who meant well but sided with King George and the British. The aim was to enlighten those who had made a mistake. Those who took part with the “oppressors” were deemed “unworthy.” The colonials were encourages to gather them and allow the “councils of safety” to determine their fate. The most dangerous were to be kept in custody for safety.


1788: Georgia Joins the Union

The state of Georgia, named after King George II, became the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Georgia hadn’t become a settlement by the Europeans until 1733, but was now part of the modern United States. The state had been one of the most prosperous for the British and now would be for the Americans. However, the state had been one of the most heavily divided between Patriots and Loyalists. It was the four years of occupancy by the British during the Revolutionary War that led to the majority switching to support the Patriots.

1897: The Sinking of The Commodore

Just off Florida’s coast, The Commodore sunk. It belonged to an American writer called Stephen Crane, and he happened to survive the incident. He would later turn his experience into a short story called The Open Boat. Crane had made a name for himself with The Red Badge of Courage in the previous year. He died three years later after contracting tuberculosis and exhausting himself trying to pay all his debts.

1981: The Yorkshire Ripper Is ApprehendedGilbert Murray

The Yorkshire Ripper had terrorized the northern county of West Yorkshire from October 20, 1975 after killing Wilma McCann. It took until this day in 1981 to catch Peter Sutcliffe, a man who mostly killed prostitutes, similarly to Jack the Ripper; that was where his name came from. He had killed 13 women by the time he was captured, some of them college students. He pleaded insanity but lost his case and was sentenced to life in prison. He remains behind bars today.

Famous Birthdays on January 2

Army officer James Wolfe–1727

League of Nations chairman Gilbert Murray—1866

Actress Florence Lawrence–1886

I, Robot author Isaac Asimov—1920

King of the Road singer and songwriter Roger Miller—1936

The New York Times journalist Judith Miller—1948

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr.—1968

Boxer Tommy Morrison–1969

Actor Dax Shepherd–1975

Actress Suranne Jones–1979

Actress Kate Bosworth–1983



Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and OnThisDay.com

Image of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_I_of_Castile#/media/File:Fernando_e_Isabel.jpg)

Image of Gilbert Murray in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_Murray#/media/File:Gilbert_Murray.jpg)

Share with your friends

Follow Us

Enter your email address to get updated when we have new posts on the site and never miss a thing:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *