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This Day in Pop Culture for January 2

Time's Men of the Year

1928: Time Crown the First ‘Man of the Year’

While considered a tradition today, Time magazine’s first “Man of the Year” was a bit of a fluke. It is said that during a slow news week in 1927, the publishers were wrestling about how to remedy their embarrassment by not featuring Charles Lindbergh on its cover after he completed his trans-Atlantic flight. They came up with creating the honorable cover and story featuring Linbergh which was featured on the January 2, 1928 issue. (Images: Wikimedia)

Speed Limit 55

1974: I Can’t Drive 55

On this day in 1974, President Nixon signed the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, which set a new national maximum speed limit of 55 mph. Up until that point, Americans enjoyed inexpensive Middle Eastern oil. However, in 1973, Arab members of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) protested the West’s support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War by stopping oil shipments to the United States, Japan and Western Europe and raising oil prices four times the original price. The president had hoped that by forcing Americans to drive at more “fuel-efficient” limits, it would help them to not have to depend on foreign oil so much. The act wasn’t fully repealed until November 28, 1995.


Johnny Cash plays first of many free concerts behind bars.


Sharon Pratt Kelly becomes the first African American woman mayor in a major city.


Movie actor Ronald Reagan becomes the Governor of California.


  • 1940: Jim Bakker (televangelist)
  • 1947: Jack Hanna (zoologist)
  • 1968: Cuba Gooding, Jr. (actor)
  • 1971: Taye Diggs (actor)
  • 1975: Dax Shephard (actor)
  • 1983: Kate Bosworth (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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