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TODAY IN HISTORY

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2018. There are 363 days left in the year.

HIGHLIGHT IN HISTORY

On Jan. 2, 1893, the U.S. Postal Service issued its first-ever set of commemorative stamps to honor the upcoming World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago as well as the quadricentennial of Christopher Columbus' voyage.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

• Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is 76. • TV host Jack Hanna is 71. • Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 50. • Ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff (TV: "Dancing with the Stars") is 40.

ON THIS DATE

In 1900, U.S. Secretary of State John Hay announced the "Open Door Policy" to facilitate trade with China.

In 1967, Republican Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as the new governor of California in a ceremony that took place in Sacramento shortly after midnight.

In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed legislation requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 mph as a way of conserving gasoline in the face of an OPEC oil embargo. The 55 mph limit was effectively phased out in 1987; federal speed limits were abolished in 1995.

In 2006, 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.

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