Events - January 3
1825 - The first engineering college in the U.S., Rensselaer School, opened in Troy, New York. It’s still there; now known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Rah!
1871 - A Binghamton, NY chap named Henry W. Bradley patented oleomargarine this day. How many of you want to reveal your age by saying you remember when oleomargarine was white and was sold in plastic bags with a color tab inside the bag? What fun it was to break that tab and squish the yellow color through the oleomargarine! Let the good times roll!
1888 - Marvin C. Stone of Washington, DC patented the drinking straw. Slurp something yummy in celebration today.
1912 - In the 10th Davis Cup, Australasia beat the U.S. in the lawn tennis championship in Christchurch, New Zealand (5-0). It was the third straight time that the Aussies had beaten the Americans for the title.
1938 - The first broadcast of "Woman in White" was presented on the NBC Red network. The program remained on radio for 10 years and was one of the first to feature real, honest-to-goodness doctors and nurses in leading roles.
1938 - The March of Dimes was established -- by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- to fight poliomyelitis (Roosevelt himself was afflicted with polio). The organization was originally called the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (as the disease was commonly known). The March of Dimes accomplished its mission within 20 years. Research led by Dr. Jonas Salk and supported by funds (those marching little dimes) raised annually by thousands of volunteers, resulted in the announcement in April 1955 that the Salk polio vaccine was “safe, potent and effective.” The foundation also supported the research that led to the Sabin oral vaccine; another safe, effective polio preventative discovered by Dr. Albert B. Sabin.
1939 - Tennis legend Don Budge played a pro tennis match, his first in Madison Square Garden, NY, before 16,725 spectators. Budge was touring the country as the top U.S. tennis player, having won the grand slam of tennis (Australian, French and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon) the year before.
1940 - The "Southland Shuffle" was recorded on Bluebird Records by Charlie Barnet and his orchestra. A young trumpet player named Billy May was featured.
1944 - More than 500 people were killed when three trains collided inside a tunnel near the village of Torre del Bierzo in the El Bierzo region of Spain’s León province. It was only many years later that the scale of the accident was revealed and there is still some dispute over its actual magnitude. A film about the crash(es) entitled Tunnel number 20 won a Goya Award in 2002 for best short documentary film.
1947 - Congressional proceedings were televised for the first time in the U.S. as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York City saw some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress. Proceedings of the Congress are now regularly broadcast on cable-TV’s C-SPAN.
1953 - Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, became the first mother-son combination to serve at the same time in the United States Congress.
1957 - The Hamilton Watch Company was the first to introduce an electric watch; now a standard in the watch world.
1959 - Alaska (49th state) entered the United States of America; capital: Juneau; bird: willow ptarmigan; flower: forget-me-not; nickname: The Last Frontier.
1961 - The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro announced he was a communist. Tensions between the two governments peaked during the October 1962 missile crisis.
1964 - Barry Goldwater announced that he was a candidate for the U.S. Presidency. Later that year he lost ... big time! Lyndon B. Johnson: 43,126,506; Goldwater: 27,176,799.
1967 - Jack Ruby died in a Dallas hospital. It was Ruby who had shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald before he could be tried for the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
1969 - 30,000 copies of the John Lennon, Yoko Ono album, "Two Virgins", were confiscated by police in Newark, New Jersey. The nude photo of John and Yoko on the cover violated pornography laws in the state.
1972 - Don McLean received a gold record for his 8-minute-plus (8:32) hit, "American Pie".
1973 - The Columbia Broadcasting System or CBS, as it’s known, got out of the baseball business this day by selling the New York Yankees to a 17-person syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner. The price tag: $10 million.
1974 - Following eight years of inactivity, Bob Dylan toured for 39 dates in 25 cities. His first stop was in Chicago, IL. The tour was recorded and later released as a double-LP set titled, "Before the Flood".
1981 - John Lennon’s "(Just Like) Starting Over" and the album "Double Fantasy" topped the pop music charts just weeks after the death of the former Beatle.
1985 - Soprano Leontyne Price bid adieu to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She sang the title role of "Aida". Price had been part of the Met since 1961.
1986 - Capital Cities acquired ABC-TV for $3.5 billion. (In 1991, Capital Cities/ABC Inc. was purchased by Disney for a then-record $19 billion).
1987 - The first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was ‘Lady Soul’: Aretha Franklin. Bill Haley was among the 14 others inducted on this day.
1988 - Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century. Thatcher served in the P.M. post from 1979 to 1990. Her premiership was the longest since Lord Liverpool’s tenure between 1812 and 1827.
1991 - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan bought MCA Inc. for $6.9 billion.
1999 - Chicagoans dug out from their biggest snowstorm in more than 30 years. Diggers measured 22 inches at O’Hare International Airport when the last of the flakes had settled.
2000 - The last new daily Peanuts strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.
2001 - The 107th U.S. Congress opened with the Senate split evenly down the middle. Because of the 50-50 divide, the Democrats were initially in control, since Vice President Al Gore could break ties. But the Republicans took over on Inauguration Day when Dick Cheney became vice president. However, the Senate reverted to Democratic control when Vermont Senator James Jeffords switched his affiliation from Republican to Independent in May.
2002 - The conviction of Juan Melendez for a 1983 murder was overturned in Florida after he had spent 17 years on death row.
2002 - Alfred ‘Freddy’ Henry Heineken, builder of the global beer brand, died in the Netherlands. He was 78 years old.
2003 - The Pianist opened in U.S. theatres. The musical drama stars Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox, Ed Stoppard, Julia Rayner, Jessica Kate Meyer and Ruth Platt.
2004 - A Flash Airlines charter Boeing 737, carrying 148 people, most of them French tourists on New Year family holidays, crashed into the Red Sea off the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. All on board were killed.
2004 - The NASA spacecraft Spirit landed on Mars at the Gusev Crater. It was the fourth successful U.S. landing on Mars.
2004 - Rescuers in Iran pulled Sharbanou Mazandarani (97) alive from the rubble at Bam, nine days after its massive earthquake.
2005 - Comic book pioneer Will Eisner died in Florida. He was 87 years old. Over his seven-decade career, Eisner created such memorable comic strips as Hawk of the Seas, The Flame, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Muss em Up, Uncle Sam, Wonder Man, Lady Luck, Black Hawk. His most famous comic was The Spirit. Eisner also authored A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories and Comics and Sequential Art.
2005 - Jewish settlers clashed with Israeli troops who came to tear down two structures at an unauthorized West Bank outpost. One soldier was arrested for encouraging comrades to refuse to evacuate. And settlement leaders warned that thousands of additional soldiers might refuse to carry out orders to enforce evictions from the Gaza Strip.
2006 - Parts of Oklahoma City were being evacuated as a grass fire reached the northeastern edge of the city of half a million people.
2007 - Bob Nardelli resigned from his post as chairman of The Home Depot Inc. The home improvement store chain posted big profits during Nardelli’s watch, but left investors disheartened by poor stock performance. Now before you cry to hard for Mr. Nardelli, note that he left with a severance package of $210 million.
2007 - 14-year-old Mike Perham became the youngest person to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean, reaching the Caribbean island of Antigua after a six-week voyage. The British teenager had been followed by his father in another boat.
2008 - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses as the candidates moved on to New Hampshire.
Birthdays - January 3
106 B.C. - Cicero (Roman statesman; died Dec 7, 43 B.C.) 1793 - Lucretia Mott (women’s rights activist: one of the founders of the movement; teacher, minister, antislavery leader; died Nov 11, 1880)
1879 - Grace Coolidge (Goodhue) (First Lady: wife of 30th U.S. President Calvin Coolidge [1923-29]; died July 8, 1957)
1883 - Clement Attlee (Britain’s prime minister [1945-1951]; head of Labour Party; died Oct 8, 1967)
1892 - J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien (writer: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit; died Sep 2, 1973)
1894 - Zasu Pitts (actress: Busby Berkeley’s 1934 musical: Dames; died June 7, 1963)
1897 - Marion (Cecilia Douras) Davies (actress: Runaway Romany, When Knighthood Was in Flower, The Patsy, Show People, Going Hollywood; died Sep 22, 1961)
1907 - Ray Milland (Reginald Truscott-Jones) (Academy Award-winning actor: The Lost Weekend , We’re Not Dressing, Star-Spangled Rhythm, Lady in the Dark, Let’s Do It Again, X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes; died Mar 10, 1986)
1909 - Victor Borge (Borge Rosenbaum) (pianist, comedian: phonetic punctuation: "bpft"; died Dec 23, 2000)
1911 - Joseph Rauh (civil rights activist: cofounded Americans for Democratic Action; member: executive board of NAACP; general counsel: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; died Sep 4, 1992)
1911 - John Sturges (director: Bad Day at Black Rock, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Ice Station Zebra, The Eagle Has Landed; died Aug 18, 1992)
1916 - Maxene (Angelyn) Andrews (singer [w/sisters LaVerne and Patty: group: The Andrews Sisters: Why Talk About Love?, A Simple Melody, Bei Mir Bist Du Schön, Rum and Coca Cola; solo: I Suppose; on Broadway with Patty: Over Here; died Oct 21, 1995)
1916 - Betty (Elizabeth Mary) Furness (actress: Renegades of the West, Flying Down to Rio, Magnificent Obsession; TV host: Penthouse Party, News Gal/Byline, Meet Betty Furness; consumer advocate, TV spokesperson for refrigerators: Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse; died Apr 2, 1994)
1921 - John (William Lawrence) Russell (actor: Forever Amber, Rio Bravo, Pale Rider; died Jan 19, 1991)
1922 - Bill Travers (producer, director, actor: Born Free; died Mar 29, 1994)
1923 - Hank Stram (football: coach: Kansas City Chiefs: Super Bowls I, IV; sportscaster: CBS radio; died July 4, 2005)
1926 - Joan Walsh Anglund (author: Bedtime Book, Crocus in the Snow; illustrator of children’s books)
1926 - Sir George Martin (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame record producer, arranger, keyboard: group: The Beatles; AIR Studios; died Mar 8, 2016)
1930 - Robert Loggia (actor: Independence Day, Wild Palms, Big, Armed and Dangerous, Prizzi’s Honor, Scarface, Psycho 2, Pink Panther series, A Woman Called Golda, Speedtrap, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Mancuso FBI; died Dec 4, 2015)
1932 - Dabney Coleman (actor: Judicial Consent, The Beverly Hillbillies, Amos and Andrew, Clifford, Never Forget, Short Time, Dragnet, The Man with One Red Shoe, Tootsie, On Golden Pond, 9 to 5, North Dallas Forty, The Other Side of the Mountain, Cinderella Liberty, The President’s Plane is Missing, Buffalo Bill)
1932 - Clifton ‘Coo Coo’ Marlin (auto racer: Winston Cup star; died Aug 14, 2005)
1939 - Bobby Hull (‘The Golden Jet’: Hockey Hall of Famer: Chicago Blackhawks left wing: Hart Memorial Trophy, NHL’s MVP award [1965, 1966]; Lady Byng Trophy for good sportsmanship ; 1st pro hockey player to score more than 50 goals in one season [54: 1965])
1945 - Stephen Stills (singer, songwriter, guitarist: group: Buffalo Springfield: For What It’s Worth; group: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
1946 - John Paul Jones (Baldwin) (musician: bass: film score: Scream for Help; group: Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love, Moby Dick, Ramble On, Immigrant Song, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Rock & Roll, The Battle of Evermore, Stairway to Heaven)
1946 - Don May (basketball: Univ. of Dayton, Indiana Pacers)
1949 - Gary (Robert) Lavelle (baseball: pitcher: SF Giants, [all-star: 1977, 1983], Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics)
1950 - Bart (Clair Barth) Johnson (baseball: pitcher: Chicago White Sox)
1950 - Rick MacLeish (hockey: London Nationals, Oklahoma City Blazers, Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings)
1950 - Victoria Principal (actress: Dallas, Fantasy Island, Scott Turow’s The Burden of Proof, Naked Lie, Blind Witness, Mistress, Pleasure Palace, Earthquake, Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean)
1956 - Mel (Columcille) Gibson (Academy Award-winning director: Braveheart ; The Passion of the Christ; actor: Braveheart, Maverick, The Man Without a Face, Lethal Weapon series, Forever Young, Hamlet, Bird on a Wire, Tequila Sunrise, Mad Max series, Mrs. Soffel, The Road Warrior, The Year of Living Dangerously, Summer City, Conspiracy Theory, The Patriot, What Women Want)
1963 - Jim Everett III (football: quarterback: Purdue Univ., LA Rams [Pro Bowl: 1990], New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers)
1981 - Eli Manning( football: QB: Univ of Mississppi; NFL: NY Giants: MVP of Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI]; brother of Peyton Manning; more)
Chart Toppers - January 3
Ole Buttermilk Sky - The Kay Kyser Orchestra (vocal: Mike Douglas & The Campus Kids)
The Old Lamplighter - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Billy Williams)
For Sentimental Reasons - Nat King Cole
Divorce Me C.O.D. - Merle Travis
Mr. Sandman - The Chordettes
Let Me Go, Lover - Joan Weber
The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane - The Ames Brothers
More and More - Webb Pierce
Telstar - The Tornadoes
Bobby’s Girl - Marcie Blane
Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence
Don’t Let Me Cross Over - Carl Butler & Pearl (Dee Jones)
My Sweet Lord/Isn’t It a Pity - George Harrison
Knock Three Times - Dawn
Black Magic Woman - Santana
Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson
Le Freak - Chic
Too Much Heaven - Bee Gees
My Life - Billy Joel
The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
Walk Like an Egyptian - Bangles
Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung
Notorious - Duran Duran
Mind Your Own Business - Hank Williams, Jr.
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...
Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams
Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.