Daily Almanac for Sunday, January 2, 2022

On this date in 1965, The NY Jets signed quarterback Joe Namath for $427,000. At the time he was the highest paid player in pro football. Here is Namath during his rookie season with the Jets in 1965. By New York Jets, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Joseph William Namath (/ˈneɪməθ/NAY-meth; born May 31, 1943) is a former American football quarterback who played in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons, primarily with the New York Jets. He played college football at Alabama, where he led the team to a national championship title, and was selected by the Jets first overall in the 1965 AFL Draft. During his five AFL seasons, he was a two-time MVP and twice led the league in passing yards while guiding the Jets to victory in one AFL championship and one Super Bowl. Both victories remain the Jets’ only championships. Namath joined the NFL with the Jets in 1970 following the AFL–NFL merger, where he was the league’s passing yards and touchdowns leader during the 1972 season. He played in New York for seven more seasons, with his final year spent as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

Namath cemented his legacy in 1969 when he boldly guaranteed his heavy underdog Jets would win Super Bowl III before defeating the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in one of the greatest sports upsets of all time. The Super Bowl victory was the first for an AFL franchise, helping dismiss notions that its teams were inferior to the NFL’s, and demonstrating that they would enter the merger as equals. Namath received Super Bowl MVP honors in the game while becoming the first quarterback to win both a college national championship and a major professional championship.

Nicknamed “Broadway Joe“, Namath became a media icon whose on-field success, fashion sense, lighthearted personality, and sex symbol status attracted mainstream popularity outside of sports. Although his statistics and win–loss record are unimpressive from a contemporary standpoint, Namath remains one of the league’s most iconic and popular figures. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.



  • Nathaniel Bacon (colonial leader) – 1647
  • Justin Winsor (historian) – 1831
  • Frederick Varley (Canadian artist) – 1881
  • Count Folke Bernadotte (Red Cross official) – 1895
  • Isaac Asimov (author) – 1920
  • Renata Tebaldi (opera singer) – 1922
  • Julius LaRosa (singer) – 1930
  • Roger Dean Miller (singer) – 1936
  • Jim Bakker (evangelist) – 1939
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. (actor) – 1968
  • Taye Diggs (actor) – 1972
  • Kate Bosworth (actress) – 1983


  • Bill Veeck (baseball player) – 1986
  • Pete Postlethwaite (actor) – 2011


  • Georgia ratified the U.S. Constitution– 1788
  • Alice Sanger became the first female staffer for the White House– 1890
  • Elara, a Moon of Jupiter, discovered– 1905
  • Willis H. Carrier patented an air conditioner– 1906
  • Japanese invaded and occupied Manila and the Philipines after a successful attack on Pearl Harbor– 1942
  • USSR’s Luna I was launched, becoming the first spacecraft to leave Earth’s gravity. Later, it became the first to reach the Moon’s vicinity and the first to orbit the Sun.– 1959
  • Fidel Castro and his followers captured Santiago, Cuba; Fulgencio Batista went into exile– 1959
  • The U.S. Federal Trade Commision charged seven record companies and eight distribution firms with paying disc-jockeys to play certain songs (Payola Incident)– 1960
  • General Lyman L. Lemnitzer became the supreme commander of NATO– 1963
  • The NY Jets signed quarterback Joe Namath for $427,000. At the time he was the highest paid player in pro football– 1965
  • Robert Clark was seated as the first African American legislator in Mississippi in 74 years– 1968
  • Kenneth Brugger and Cathy Aguado discovered first winter refuge of monarch butterflies, in Mexico– 1975
  • President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the final version of the U.S.-Canadian trade accord. The pact provided for the elimination of tariffs on most goods within 10 years and created a series of binational groups to regulate the agreement– 1988
  • Explosion in a West Virginia coal mine that led to the death of 12 of 13 miners—Sago Mine disaster– 2006
  • On this date a numerically rare event occurred: 01-02-2010 expressed backwards as a date is precisely 01-02-2010– 2010


  • Fourteen degrees F on Haleakala summit, Hawaii– 1876
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, received 13 inches of snow in 24 hours– 1893
  • A severe snowstorm began in New England. The Blue Hill observatory in Milton, Massachusetts, had 19 inches of snow in 24 hours.– 1904
  • Hawaii experienced one of its lowest temperatures on record, 14 degrees F, on Haleakala summit– 1961
  • Nor’easter flooded the East Coast– 1987

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