Today In History, 2 January: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (2 January): Birthday of Isaac Asimov and Tommy Morrison, the demise of Guccio Gucci, reclamation of Granada by Spain, recapture of Calcutta by Robert Clive, establishment of the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan awards in India, and more.
This day in history (2 Jan): Birth of Isaac Asimov and Recapture of Calcutta by Robert Clive
This day in history (2 Jan): Birth of Isaac Asimov and Recapture of Calcutta by Robert Clive

Today in History, 2 January: 2023 is here, and with a new year come new resolutions. Whether it’s working out, learning a new language, or pursuing your dreams, most people have made their New Year’s resolutions by now. Hopefully, they also include expanding one’s general knowledge.

Today is January 2nd. The date doesn’t evoke any memorable happenings, but January 2 is an important day in world history.

From the births of one of the most prolific science fiction writers and a heavyweight boxing legend to the demise of the founder of Gucci, the surrender of Granada to Spain, and the establishment of the highest civilian awards in India, many important events took place on 2 January.

Dive in to learn what happened on this day (Jan. 2) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1492, Granada was reclaimed by Ferdinand II of Aragorn and Isabel I of Castile from Muhammad XII after centuries of Muslim rule.
  • In 1570, Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible’s march to Novgorod began.
  • In 1757, Robert Clive recaptured the Indian city of Calcutta from Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah.
  • In 1906, American engineer Willis Carrier obtained the patent for the world’s first air conditioner.
  • In 1935, the "Trial of the Century" began in New Jersey involving Bruno Hauptmann, accused of kidnapping and murdering the infant son of American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh.
  • In 1954, India’s highest civilian awards, the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan were established.
  • In 1967, American actor-turned-Republican politician Ronald Reagan was sworn in as governor of California.
  • In 1981, one of the UK’s largest manhunts came to an end with the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper."
  • In 2004, NASA’s spacecraft Stardust collected dust grains from the comet Wild 2, which was later identified to contain the essential amino acid glycine.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1957, Gene Fullmer defeated Sugar Ray Robinson in a 15-round unanimous decision to win the world middleweight boxing title.
  • In 1992, Australian cricket legend Shane Warne made his test debut in a match against India.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1843, German composer Richard Wagner’s iconic opera, "The Flying Dutchman," premiered in Dresden.
  • In 1983, American jazz icon Duke Ellington’s musical "Sophisticated Ladies" closed at Lunt-Fontanne, New York City, after 767 performances.

Important Days

  • World Introvert Day: January 2nd is celebrated as World Introvert Day to understand and appreciate the people who are introverts.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Emil Jannings, German actor who became the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor for his roles in the classic films The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh



Guccio Gucci, Italian businessman and fashion designer who founded the luxury wear brand Gucci



Patrick O’Brian, English author and translator known for writing sea adventure novels like “Master and Commander”



Pete Postlethwaite, English actor best known for starring in the films In the Name of the Father and The Usual Suspects

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Mehmed IV, second longest reigning Sultan (1648-87) in Ottoman history



Isaac Asimov, American author and biochemist who is one of the best known and prolific writers of science fiction and wrote or edited over 500 books in his lifetime such as I, Robot and Foundation



Jim Bakker, American televangelist and convicted fraudster



Todd Haynes, American filmmaker known for depicting dysfunctional societies, fame, sexuality in his movies



Cuba Gooding Jr. American actor and Academy Award winner best known for starring in acclaimed films like Boyz n the Hood and Jerry Maguire



Christy Turlington, one of the most popular American fashion models of the century who appeared on over 500 magazine covers and became the face of Maybelline and Calvin Klein



Tommy Morrison, American boxer and former WBO heavyweight champion who is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of the 1990s alongside Mike Tyson



Kate Bosworth, American actress best known for playing Lois Lane in Superman Returns (2006)

Also Read | Today in History (1 January)

Also Read | Today in History (31 December)


What happened today in history (2 January)?

India’s highest civilian awards, the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan were established on this day (2 Jan).

Which famous personality was born on this day, 2 January?

American actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and boxer Tommy Morrison were born today on 2nd January.

What major sports events took place on 2 January?

Australian cricket legend and spin bowler Shane Warne made his test cricket debut on this day (2 January).
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