10 years ago
Jan. 2, 2011: Eleven babies born on New Year’s Day in the north country helped kick off 2011 in a special way for their families. Saturday represented the most babies born on New Year’s Day in recent memory. The only year that seems to come close is 2005, when 10 babies were born in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The 2011 batch have a “pretty cool birthday,” as one new mother put it: 1-1-11.
25 years ago
Jan. 2, 1996: Kinney Drugs Inc. received unanimous approval from the City Planning Board Tuesday afternoon for its plans to construct an 8,000-square-foot store at Coffeen Street and Bellew Avenue. The planning board previously denied two of Kinney’s requests for changes in zoning on three parcels of property where the store will be constructed. However, the council ignored the planning board’s recommendations and approved the zoning changes in both cases.
50 years ago
Jan. 2, 1971: Something new will be added to Watertown taxicab transportation starting a week from today — meters. It will be a revolutionary experience for local cab users and it is possible there may be fewer taxis on the streets. The ultra-modern meters reportedly cost about $300 each. The City Council officially decreed the use of meters when it approved the meter legislation at a stormy meeting in September.
75 years ago
Jan. 2, 1946: Watertown joined the rest of the nation Monday night — New Year’s Eve — to bid farewell to momentous 1945, which was crowded with historic events, and to usher in 1946 with revelry and good cheer. It was the first post-war New Year’s observance and unlike the previous three — dimmed by the war — unchecked hilarity reigned throughout the city.
100 years ago
Jan. 2, 1921: Of the 85 throat cultures of the children in the Jefferson county orphans’ home, 80 have been returned as negative and five as unsatisfactory. It is expected that the diphtheria quarantine will soon be lifted which was placed on the home during Christmas week.
125 years ago
Jan. 2, 1896: S. R. Smith, superintendent of the Watertown street railway, was presented with a silver water jug and tray by the employees of the electric road on New Year’s day. He was taken by surprise, as he was not aware that such a friendly feeling existed between himself and the employees, and he was glad, especially under the trying difficulties that they have had to contend with.
150 years ago
Jan. 2, 1871: Miss Susan Anthony’s lecture at Lowville on the 27th inst., was poorly attended.
1492: Catholic forces under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella take the town of Granada, the last Muslim kingdom in Spain.
1839: Photography pioneer Louis Daguerre takes the first photograph of the moon.
1863: In the second day of hard fighting at Stone’s River, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., Union troops defeat the Confederates.
1903: President Theodore Roosevelt closes a post office in Indianola, Mississippi, for refusing to hire a Black postmistress.
1904: U.S. Marines are sent to Santo Domingo to aid the government against rebel forces.
1905: After a six-month siege, Russians surrender Port Arthur to the Japanese.
1918: Russian Bolsheviks threaten to re-enter the war unless Germany returns occupied territory.
1932: Japanese forces in Manchuria set up a puppet government known as Manchukuo.
1936: In Berlin, Nazi officials claim that their treatment of Jews is not the business of the League of Nations.
1942: In the Philippines, the city of Manila and the U.S. Naval base at Cavite fall to Japanese forces.
1943: The Allies capture Buna in New Guinea.
1963: In Vietnam, the Viet Cong down five U.S. helicopters in the Mekong Delta. 30 Americans are reported dead.
1966: American G.I.s move into the Mekong Delta for the first time.
1973: The United States admits the accidental bombing of a Hanoi hospital.
1980: President Jimmy Carter asks the Senate to delay the arms treaty ratification in response to Soviet action in Afghanistan.
1981: British police arrest the “Yorkshire Ripper” serial killer, Peter Sutcliffe.
1999: A severe winter storm hits the Midwestern US; in Chicago temperatures plunge to -13 ºF and19 inches of snow fell; 68 deaths are blamed on the storm.
2006: A coal mine explosion in Sago, West Virginia, kills 12 miners and critically injures another. This accident and another within weeks lead to the first changes in federal mining laws in decades.
Love local history? Listen to the Watertown Daily Times audio podcast at wdt.me/secondlook to hear us discuss pieces of our past.