Events - January 7
1782 - The Bank of North America opened in Philadelphia, making it the first commercial bank in the United States.
1785 - French aeronaut/balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard successfully made the first air-crossing of the English Channel from the English coast to France. Mr. Blanchard and his American passenger, Dr. John Jeffries, had to shed all of their clothes as the wind died and the balloon’s airbag cooled too quickly over the sea. Blanchard also owns the one-trip record for the most consecutive number of times saying, “Gosh, I hope we make it.” trip.
1887 - This is one of those truer-than-true factoids that makes us wonder (as so much does). Thomas Stevens completed the first worldwide bicycle trip, after starting his trek in April 1884. Stevens and his trusty bike traveled 13,500 miles, arriving back in San Francisco, California almost three years later. Now, what we want to know is pretty obvious: How’d he cross the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a bike? Where’d he keep his food? Where’d he sleep? Was he for real?
1894 - W.(William) K.(Kennedy) L.(Laurie) Dickson received a patent for motion picture film. His demonstration included a 47-frame film. The demo ran about two seconds and showed comedian Fred Ott sneezing. Congratulations W.K.L., and bless you Fred!
1896 - Maybe you or someone you know received one for Christmas: a genuine "Fannie Farmer Cookbook". There really was a Fannie Farmer, you know. Her first and now famous, "Boston Cooking School Cookbook", was published this day. She became known as ‘the mother of level measurement’ and the cookbook became a best seller.
1904 - The distress signal, “CQD”, was established this day. It didn’t last long. Four years later, “SOS” became the radio distress signal because it was quicker to transmit by wireless radio and could not be misinterpreted.
1924 - George Gershwin began work on the incomparable score of "Rhapsody in Blue" (he completed it some three weeks later). Incidentally, George was only 26 years old at the time. And, George didn’t even have an interest in music until his family got him a piano when he was twelve. Nine years later he had his first hit, "Swanee", with lyrics written by Irving Caesar. No matter how you hear it, "Rhapsody in Blue" will remain the signature of one of the most influential of composers, songwriters and pianists in American music history.
1926 - A famous marriage that endured for many years is remembered. It’s the wedding anniversary of George Burns and Gracie Allen who were married by a Justice of the Peace in Cleveland, Ohio.
1927 - 31 calls were made on this, the first day of transatlantic telephone service. Service began between New York and London. The calls cost $75.00 (U.S.) each for five minutes.
1929 - The debut of "Buck Rogers 2429 A.D." took place in newspapers around the U.S. this day. The comic strip title was later changed to "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century".
1940 - The gate to "Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch" opened. The ‘singing cowboy’ would entertain on CBS radio for the next 16 years.
1941 - The NBC Blue radio network presented the first installment of "The Squeaky Door". You might not remember the show by its original title, but how about when it became known as "Inner Sanctum"?
1941 - "Good-for-Nothin’ Joe" was recorded by the sultry Lena Horne. She sang the classic song with Charlie Barnet and his orchestra on Bluebird Records.
1949 - The announcement of the first photograph of genes was presented at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
1950 - Ernest Tubb made his first appearance at "The Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville, TN. Ernest also did a 15-minute radio program each day that became very popular in West Texas. So popular, in fact, that he bought the radio station that had aired the program for years and years: KGKL in San Angelo, Texas.
1954 - The Duoscopic TV receiver was unveiled. The TV set allowed a person or group to watch two different shows at the same time. It was a primitive, picture-in-picture, split-screen that was tested in New York City and Chicago. The set was a product of DuMont Laboratories; which owned the DuMont Television Network.
1955 - The first black singer at the Metropolitan Opera was Marian Anderson, who appeared as Ulrica in Verdi’s "The Masked Ball".
1958 - The Flying V guitar, which is a favorite of rock musicians, was patented this day by the Gibson Guitar Company.
1968 - U.S. postage rates increased a penny; taking the cost of sending an ounce of mail up to six cents.
1970 - Neighbors of New York landowner Max Yasgur sued him for $35,000 for property damage caused by ‘flower children’ who attended the August 1969 Woodstock Festival. More than 450,000 people attended the three-day event.
1979 - In the AFC title game, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Houston Oilers 34-5 for a Super Bowl trip and their third AFC championship title. They played in a steady rain at Three Rivers Stadium. In the NFC championship game, the Dallas Cowboys shut out the Los Angeles Rams 28-0. (The Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII Jan 21.)
1985 - A big day for Dayton, Ohio’s Phil Donahue, who broadcast the first of his long-running talkfests from New York City, his new home base. Phil started his MultiMedia Productions show in 1967.
1985 - Yul Brynner returned to the Broadway stage this night as "The King and I" returned to where Yul first began his reign, 33 years before. Through his career to that date, Brynner appeared in 4,434 shows without missing a single performance. His performance as the King of Siam was regal!
1987 - Government sources said the combined local, state, and national debt had risen to $10,047 per person in the U.S.; the Federal debt, alone, amounting to $7,650 per person.
1990 - The Tower of Pisa was closed to the public after leaning too far. The closing of the monument allowed “the work of consolidation of the foundations and reduction of the inclination.” The tower reopened on Dec 15, 2001 to guided visits only (with a maximum of 30 people), accompanied by employed personnel (the visit takes about 35 minutes). The work, at a cost of more than 27,370,000 Euro, decreased the leaning of the tower by 40.6 centimeters. The tower began to lean at the beginning of its construction in 1173 because of the marshy ground on which it rests and the inclination had continued to increase each year up to the decision to intervene in 1990.
1996 - A blizzard paralyzed the Eastern U.S. The storm moved slowly, taking five days to reach New England from the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service called it a storm of “historic proportions” with more than two feet of snow in the Baltimore and Washington, DC area. The mountains of Virginia and West Virginia got up to three feet. More than 100 deaths were blamed on the storm -- the majority from heart attacks.
2000 - These movies opened in the U.S.: "Magnolia" (the study of nine lives in one day in San Fernando Valley, California), with Jeremy Blackman, Michael Bowen, Tom Cruise, Melinda Dillon and Henry Gibson; and "Snow Falling on Cedars" (“It's "Stand By Me" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" blended into one.”), starring Ethan Hawke, James Rebhorn, Sam Shepard, Max Von Sydow, Youki Kudoh, Rick Yune and Celia Weston.
Birthdays - January 7
1745 - Jacques Montgolfier (inventor [w/brother Joseph]: hot air balloon; died Aug 2, 1799)
1800 - Millard S. Fillmore (U.S. Vice-President [1849-1850]; 13th U.S. President [1850-1853], second Vice-President to inherit the office [became President when Zachary Taylor died]; died Mar 8, 1874)
1911 - (Thelma) Butterfly McQueen (actress: The Mosquito Coast, Duel in the Sun, Gone with the Wind; died Dec 22, 1995)
1912 - Charles Addams (cartoonist: The New Yorker; TV and films: The Addams Family; died Sep 29, 1988)
1913 - Johnny (John Robert) Mize (‘The Big Cat’: Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman: SL Cardinals [all-star: 1937, 1939-1941/1939 NL batting champ]; NY Giants [all-star: 1942, 1946-1949/NL record for left- handed batters: 51 home runs: 1947]; NY Yankees [World Series: 1949-1953]; hit a home run in every major league ballpark during career; died June 2, 1993)
1920 - Vincent Gardenia (Tony Award-winning actor: The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Emmy Award-winner : Age-Old Friends [HBO]; L.A. Law, Breaking Away, All in the Family, The Super, Skin Deep, Moonstruck, Little Shop of Horrors, Death Wish series, Bang the Drum Slowly, The Hustler; died Dec 9, 1992)
1921 - Charles Loloma (jeweler: designed American Indian jewelry; died June 9, 1991)
1922 - Alvin (Ralph) ‘Blackie’ Dark (baseball: Boston Braves [World Series: 1948/Rookie of the Year: 1948], NY Giants [World Series: 1951, 1954/all-star: 1951, 1952, 1954], SL Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Braves, Philadelphia Phillies; died Nov 13, 2014)
1922 - Jean-Pierre Rampal (musician: flutist: recitals world wide; played with New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Houston, Minnesota, San Francisco, San Diego and Cincinnati symphony orchestras; died May 20, 2000)
1928 - William Peter Blatty (screenwriter: The Exorcist, The Ninth Configuration, Darling Lili, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, Promise Her Anything, A Shot in the Dark; died Jan 12, 2017)
1929 - Terry Moore (Helen Koford) (actress: Beverly Hills Brats, Kill Factor, Peyton Place, Come Back, Little Sheba, Gaslight)
1930 - Jack Greene (The Green Giant: singer: CMA Male Vocalist, Album, Single and Song of the Year: There Goes My Everything ; died Mar 14, 2013)
1930 - Douglas Kiker (newscaster: NBC-TV News; journalist: NBC Magazine with David Brinkley; author: Death Below Deck; died Aug 14, 1991)
1938 - Lou Graham (golf: U.S. Open Champion )
1938 - Paul Revere (singer, musician: keyboards: group: Paul Revere and The Raiders: Hungry, Kicks, Him or Me-What’s it Gonna Be, Indian Reservation; died Oct 4, 2014)
1942 - Jim (James Kenneth) Lefebvre (baseball: LA Dodgers [NL Rookie of the Year: 1965/World Series: 1965, 1966/all-star: 1966]; manager: Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers)
1945 - Tony (Anthony Richard) Conigliaro (baseball: Boston Red Sox [all-star: 1967], California Angels; died Feb 24, 1990)
1946 - Jann Wenner (publisher: Rolling Stone)
1948 - Kenny Loggins (musician, singer: I’m Alright, This is It, Welcome to Heartlight, Danger Zone; Grammy Award-winning songwriter [w/Michael McDonald]: What a Fool Believes; duo: Loggins and Messina: Your Mama Don’t Dance)
1950 - Erin Gray (actress: Starman, Silver Spoons, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, T-Force, A Dangerous Place, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Breaking Home Ties, Six Pack, Born Beautiful, The Ultimate Imposter)
1953 - Morris Titantic (hockey: NHL: Buffalo Sabres)
1956 - David Caruso (actor: C.S.I.: Miami, N.Y.P.D. Blue, An Officer and a Gentleman, Mad Dog and Glory, Michael Hayes)
1957 - Katie Couric (Katherine Anne Couric) (TV news anchor: CBS Evening News with Katie Couric; TV host: Today Show)
1958 - Linda Kozlowski (actress: Crocodile Dundee series, Backstreet Justice, Village of the Damned, Shaughnessy; wife of actor Paul Hogan)
1962 - Jeff (Jeffrey Thomas) Montgomery (baseball: pitcher: Cincinnati Reds, KC Royals [all-star: 1992, 1993, 1996])
1963 - Craig (Barry) Shipley (baseball: LA Dodgers, NY Mets, SD Padres, Houston Astros)
1964 - Nicolas Cage (Nicholas Coppola) (actor: The Best of Times, The Rock, Leaving Las Vegas, Vampire’s Kiss, Raising Arizona, Racing with the Moon, Moonstruck, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Cotton Club, Birdy, Valley Girl, Con Air, Face/Off, The Family Man, Windtalkers; nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire)
1966 - Randy Burridge (hockey: NHL: Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, LA Kings, Buffalo Sabres)
1967 - Guy Hebert (hockey: NHL: SL Blues, Anaheim Mighty Ducks)
1969 - Erric Pegram (football: RB: Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, NY Giants, San Diego Chargers)
Chart Toppers - January 7
Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
The Thing - Phil Harris
Nevertheless - Jack Denny
I Love You a Thousand Ways - Lefty Frizzell
The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
Problems - The Everly Brothers
City Lights - Ray Price
I’m a Believer - The Monkees
Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
There Goes My Everything - Jack Greene
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - Elton John
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
The Door - George Jones
Maneater - Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson /Paul McCartney
Dirty Laundry - Don Henley
Wild and Blue - John Anderson
Justify My Love - Madonna
High Enough - Damn Yankees
Love Will Never Do (Without You) - Janet Jackson
I’ve Come to Expect It From You - George Strait
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.