Events - January 8
1790 - U.S. President George Washington delivered the first annual presidential State of the Union Address.
1853 - A bronze statue of Andrew Jackson on a horse was unveiled in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. The statue was the work of Clark Mills.
1856 - Borax (hydrated sodium borate) was discovered by Dr. John Veatch near Red Bluff, California. It became a multiuse product that was popularized during the era of TV’s "Death Valley Days". Remember 20 Mule Team Borax?
1889 - The tabulating machine was patented this day by Dr. Herman Hollerith. Wonder what Dr. Hollerith would think of Excel?
1901 - The first tournament sanctioned by the American Bowling Congress was held in Chicago, Illinois.
1906 - Arthur Rubinstein made his debut at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. The Polish American classical pianist went on to receive international acclaim for his performances of the music written by a variety of composers, but many regarded him as the greatest Chopin interpreter of his time.
1925 - Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, appeared in his first American concert, as he conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of his own compositions.
1940 - Vincent Lopez and his orchestra recorded the third version of Lopez’ theme song titled "Nola". This version, recorded in Hollywood on Bluebird Records, is recognized as his best rendition of the classic song.
1947 - General George Marshall was commissioned to become Secretary of State in President Harry S Truman’s Cabinet. Marshall started his new job on Jan 21, 1947, and served until Jan 20, 1949.
1952 - Marie Wilson came to TV as "My Friend Irma". The show, popular for years on radio, lasted two seasons on television.
1955 - After 130 home basketball wins, Georgia Tech defeated Kentucky 59-58. It was the first Kentucky loss at home since January 2, 1943.
1957 - In an article appearing in "LOOK" magazine, Jackie Robinson announced his retirement from baseball.
1958 - Bobby Fischer won the United States Chess Championship for the first time. Interesting note: Fischer was all of 14 years of age.
1960 - The NCAA met in New York and voted against reviving the unlimited substitution rule for college football.
1961 - Robert Goulet made his national TV debut this night on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on CBS.
1966 - The Beatles LP, "Rubber Soul", began a 6-week reign at the top of the album chart. This was the seventh Beatles LP to reach the #1 position since February 1964. "Rubber Soul" stayed on the charts for 56 weeks. The other #1 albums for the Fab Four to that date were: "Meet the Beatles", "The Beatles Second Album", "A Hard Day’s Night", "Beatles ’65", "Beatles VI" and "Help!".
1969 - Looking through his crystal ball, Joseph DeLouise announced on radio and TV and in newspapers that Ho Chi Minh would soon die. Ho Chi Minh died that year.
1973 - Carly Simon received a gold record for the single, "You’re So Vain".
1975 - Ella Grasso became the governor of Connecticut. She was the first woman to become a governor of a state without a husband preceding her in the governor’s chair.
1984 - The Washington Redskins defeated San Francisco 24-21 after the 49ers staged a comeback with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. With this victory for the NFC Championship, Washington earned its trip to Super Bowl XVIII.
1987 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over the 2000 mark for the first time ever.
1992 - From the Please Don’t Try This At Your Next State Dinner Department: U.S. President George Bush (I) fell suddenly ill at a state dinner in Japan. The Prez became pale, slumped in his chair and promptly vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister. What must have made this even more enjoyable for Mr. Bush is the fact that all of this was recorded on video tape for future generations to, er, digest.
1999 - The top two executives of Salt Lake City’s Olympic organizing committee resigned amid investigations into how far city boosters stooped to win the 2002 Winter Games. Investigators found boosters gave IOC members cash payments up to $70,000 and expensive gifts; and paid educational, travel, housing and medical costs of IOC members and their families. The possibility that prostitutes were hired for IOC members was also under investigation.
2001 - Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards was sentenced to ten years in prison. Edwards was also fined fined a quarter of a million dollars for a scheme to extort payoffs from businessmen who applied for riverboat casino licenses.
2002 - Fast-food chain founder Dave Thomas died. He was 69 years old. The well-known face behind the Wendy’s restaurant chain died after a long battle with cancer. Thomas, wearing a Wendy’s apron, was one of the most recognized TV spokesmen in the U.S. He appeared in almost every advertisement for the burger chain since 1989.
2002 - Ozzie Smith, regarded as the finest-fielding shortstop ever, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first try.
2003 - A US Airways Express Beech 1900 turboprop crashed on takeoff in Charlotte, NC. All21 people on board were killed.
2004 - The journal Science reported high levels of dangerous chemicals in farmed salmon; and that wild Pacific salmon had ten times less than the farmed ones.
2004 - Queen Elizabeth II offially named the world’s largest ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.
2005 - Hurricane-force winds swept across northern Europe, leaving at least 13 dead: three in Carlisle, England, four in Denmark and six in Sweden.
2006 - U.S. postage rates increased by 2 cents for a 1 ounce first-class letter -- to 39 cents. The U.S. Postal Service was quick to point out that the increase was the first since 2002.
2006 - A magnitude 6.8 earthquake occurred between the islands of Crete and Kythira in Southern Greece. Although residents were shaken up, there were only reports of minor damage at the island of Kythira, including 3 injuries.
2007 - Movie star Yvonne De Carlo died at 84 years of age. De Carlo is best remembered as Lily Munster in the TV series The Munsters. And she played Moses’ wife in the 1956 epic The Ten Commandments. In her 1987 autobiography, she listed 22 of her lovers, including Howard Hughes, Burt Lancaster, Robert Stack, Robert Taylor, Billy Wilder, Aly Khan and an Iranian prince.
2007 - A wildfire destroyed five multimillion-dollar homes in Malibu, CA. Among the homes lost was one belonging to actress Suzanne Somers.
2008 - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (39%) led Barack Obama (36%) in New Hampshire primary voting; John McCain (37%) led Mitt Romney (32%).
Birthdays - January 8
1912 - José Ferrer (Cintron) (Academy Award-winning actor: Cyrano de Bergerac ; Joan of Arc, Moulin Rouge, The Caine Mutiny, Deep in My Heart, Lawrence of Arabia, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Ship of Fools, Dune, The Evil That Men Do; Rosemary Clooney’s husband; died Jan 26, 1992)
1923 - Larry Storch (comedian, actor: F Troop, The Larry Storch Show, That Was the Week That Was, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Airport 1975, The Ghost Busters, S.O.B.)
1924 - Ron Moody (actor: Oliver!, Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It, Nobody’s Perfect, Tales of the Gold Monkey II, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court; died Jun 11, 2015)
1926 - Soupy Sales (Milton Supman) (comedian, entertainer: Lunch with Soupy Sales, The Soupy Sales Show, Sha Na Na; recording artist: The Mouse, Spy with a Pie; game show panelist: What’s My Line?; actor: Don’t Push, I’ll Charge When I’m Ready, Birds Do It; died Oct 22, 2009)
1927 - Wally (Walter) Hergesheimer (hockey: NHL: NY Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks; died Sep 27, 2014)
1928 - Sander Vanocur (newscaster: ABC News, NBC News; TV host: History Channel: Movies in Time)
1930 - Doreen Wilbur (archery: Olympic Gold Medalist [Munich: 1972]; died Oct 19, 2008)
1933 - Charles Osgood (TV journalist, correspondent: Universe; CBS News: CBS News Sunday Morning; author)
1934 - Gene (Eugene Lewis) ‘Augie’ Freese (baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates, SL Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1961], Houston Astros; died Jun 19, 2013)
1935 - Elvis (Aron) Presley (singer: That’s All Right, Mama, Mystery Train, All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, Suspicious Minds; 90 top-20 hits; actor: Jailhouse Rock, G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii; over 30 films; died Aug 16, 1977)
1937 - Shirley Bassey (singer: James Bond themes: Goldfinger, Diamond’s Are Forever)
1938 - Bob Eubanks (TV game show host: The Newlywed Game, Rhyme and Reason, Card Sharks, The New Newlywed Game)
1941 - Anthony Gourdine (singer: group: Little Anthony and The Imperials: Tears on My Pillow, Hurt So Bad)
1942 - Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author: A Brief History of Time; died Mar 14, 2018)
1942 - Yvette Mimieux (actress: The Time Machine, Where the Boys Are, Toys in the Attic, Three in the Attic, The Most Deadly Game, Skyjacked, The Neptune Factor, The Black Hole, Circle of Power, Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception)
1945 - Ron Ellis (hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs [1963-1975/1978-1981] : tied Frank Mahovlich with 23 goals a piece [1964-65])
1946 - Robbie Krieger (musician: guitar: The Doors: Light My Fire)
1947 - David Bowie (Jones) (singer: Space Oddity, Fame, Changes, Ziggy Stardust, Peace on Earth-Little Drummer Boy [w/Bing Crosby]; actor: The Man Who Fell to Earth, Just a Gigolo, The Last Temptation of Christ; died Jan 10, 2016)
1947 - Terry Sylvester (musician: groups: Swinging Blue Jeans: Hippy Hippy Shake, Hollies: He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother, Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress, The Air That I Breathe)
1948 - Joe Reed (football: Detroit Lions QB)
1949 - Wilbur (Leon) Howard (baseball: Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros)
1953 - Bruce Sutter (Baseball Hall of Famer: pitcher: Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves)
1955 - Harriet Sansom Harris (actress: Desperate Housewives, Frasier, It’s All Relative, Six Feet Under, Union Square, The Shakespeare Olympics)
1959 - Paul Hester (musician: drums: group: Crowded House: Weather with You, World Where You Live, Fall at Your Feet, Locked Out, Don’t Dream It’s Over, Into Temptation; died Mar 26, 2005)
1959 - Kathy Valentine (musician: bass guitar: group: The Go-Go’s: Our Lips Are Sealed, We Got the Beat, Lust to Love, Skidmarks on My Heart, This Town, Can’t Stop the World, Fading Fast)
1965 - Michelle Forbes (actress: Guiding Light, Escape from L.A., Kalifornia, Swimming with Sharks, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Homicide: Life on the Street, Battlestar Galactica, 24, In Treatment, Durham County, Prison Break, Unthinkable, Global Frequency, Messiah, Johnson County War, Bullfighter, True Blood, The Killing)
1966 - Maria Pitillo (actress: Godzilla, Wise Guys, Ryan’s Hope, Natural Born Killers, Between Love & Honor, After Sex)
1982 - Gaby Hoffman (actress: Field of Dreams, The Man Without a Face, This is My Life, Field of Dreams, Sleepless in Seattle, Transparent)
1983 - Kim Jong-un (North Korea dictator; son of Kim Jong-il [1941–2011]; grandson of Kim Il-sung [1912–1994])
Chart Toppers - January 8
My Heart Tells Me - The Glen Gray Orchestra (vocal: Eugenie Baird)
Paper Doll - The Mills Brothers
People Will Say We’re in Love - Bing Crosby
Pistol Packin’ Mama - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Sin (It’s No) - Eddy Howard
Undecided - The Ames Brothers
Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way - Carl Smith
Why - Frankie Avalon
Running Bear - Johnny Preston
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Freddie Cannon
El Paso - Marty Robbins
Hello Goodbye - The Beatles
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy Band
For Loving You - Bill Anderson & Jan Howard
Saturday Night - Bay City Rollers
I Write the Songs - Barry Manilow
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) - Diana Ross
Convoy - C.W. McCall
Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
Twist of Fate - Olivia Newton-John
You Look So Good in Love - 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.