On this day: Significant events that happened on 2 January

Representational image. News18

The world has witnessed a number of major events on 2 January over the years. On this day in 1920, the most famous of the Palmer Raids saw the arrest of hundreds of people in more than 30 locations across the United States. On the same day in 1937, the trial of one of the most infamous crimes in history- the murder of Lindbergh Jr.- started in New Jersey. A carpenter named Bruno Hauptmann was found guilty and received the death sentence for the same. In 1967, American actor-cum-politician Ronald Reagan was elected the governor of California. On 2 January 2004, NASA spacecraft Stardust discovered the amino acid glycine from the tail of comet Wild 2.

2 January- Historic Events

Palmer Raids

The Palmer Raids, also known as Palmer Red Raids, were raids carried out by the US Department of Justice in 1919-20 in an effort to capture foreign anarchists, communists, and radical leftists. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer oversaw the raids. The most significant of The Palmer Raids took place on 2 January 1920. It resulted in the arrest of thousands of people in more than 30 locations. The next day, additional raids were conducted by federal, state, and local authorities.

All of the Palmer Raids ended in considerably more arrests than court-issued warrants. The raids are regarded as the pinnacle of the so-called Red Scare of that time period and were influenced by social instability after World War I. Many of those imprisoned were only nabbed for speaking with a foreign accent.

Bruno Hauptmann trial

On 2 January 1935, the highly reported Bruno Hauptmann trial started in New Jersey. The carpenter was accused of kidnapping and murdering the son of renowned American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh. On 1 March 1932, 20-month-old Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped from his cot on the top floor of the Lindberghs’ house. A truck driver found the child’s body on 12 May by the side of a neighbouring road.

Hauptmann received a death sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder during the trial, which lasted until 13 February. He proclaimed his innocence despite being found guilty, but all appeals were denied. On 3 April, he was put to death in the electric chair at the New Jersey State Prison. The Federal Kidnapping Act, often known as the Little Lindbergh Law, was enacted by Congress as a consequence of the crime.

Ronald Reagan became governor of California

On 2 January 1967, American politician Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California and served two terms. Later in 1980, he beat incumbent President Jimmy Carter to become the 40th President of the United States. Soon after taking office, he was injured during an attempted assassination. His administration implemented supply-side economics-based measures in a bid to encourage rapid economic growth and lower the federal deficit. Prior to this, Reagan also had a decorated career in Hollywood and appeared in more than 50 films. He served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild twice- from 1947 to 1952 and from 1959 to 1960.

NASA’s Stardust discovered the amino acid glycine from comet Wild 2

On 2 January 2004, the amino acid glycine, a crucial component of protein, was discovered for the first time in a comet, supporting the idea that the basic components of life initially came to Earth from another planet. The NASA spacecraft Stardust, which was then 242 million miles from Earth, recovered a sample of particles from the tail of comet Wild 2 and detected microscopic evidence of glycine there. Two years later, a canister that had detached from the spaceship and had landed in the Utah desert contained samples of gas and dust that had been gathered on a small plate lined with a super-fluffy substance called aerogel.

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