Events - January 12
1773 - The first public museum was organized -- in Charleston, South Carolina.
1926 - "Sam ’n’ Henry" debuted on WGN radio in Chicago, Illinois. The show’s name was soon changed to "Amos ’n’ Andy" and the voices of its creators, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll played to Depression-era audiences; portraying two characters who were constantly looking for extra income. Although the players were white, the characters were supposed to be black. The popular radio show would attract over forty million fans during its radio tenure which ended in 1948. (Gosden and Correll returned to radio with the "Amos ’n’ Andy Music Hall" [1954-1960]).
1928 - Vladimir Horowitz debuted as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the very same night that Sir Thomas Beecham gave his first public performance in the United States.
1932 - Ed Sullivan joined CBS radio in a program of gossip and interviews.
1939 - The Ink Spots gained national attention after five years together, as they recorded "If I Didn’t Care", Decca record number 2286. Many other standards by the group soon followed.
1943 - Oh my gosh! It’s frankfurter day! The Office of Price Administration announced that the standard frankfurter/hot dog/wiener would be replaced by ‘Victory Sausage’; made of meat and soybean meal. Yum! Yum!
1949 - "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends" was first seen on CBS-TV this day. The program stayed on the network for seven years.
1949 - The Chicago-based children’s show, "Kukla, Fran and Ollie", made its national debut on NBC-TV. Fran Allison was hostess. The show was phenomenally successful.
1950 - A Swedish tanker ship struck the English submarine HMS Truculent during the sub’s trials in the River Thames. Fifty-five of the seventy men aboard the sub died.
1955 - The beginning of Rod Serling’s stellar career began with the TV production of "Patterns", an original, hour-long drama. Within two weeks, the then struggling author had 23 other TV assignments.
1960 - Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals became the first pro basketball player in the NBA to score more than 15,000 points in his career.
1963 - Songwriter Bob Dylan sang "Blowin’ in the Wind" on the BBC radio presentation of "The Madhouse on Castle Street". The song soon became one of the classics of the 1960s protest movement.
1965 - The NBC-TV pop-music show "Hullabaloo" made its debut. A competitor of ABC’s successful "Shindig" show, "Hullabaloo" tried to attract a wider audience by featuring both rock music and Las Vegas-type acts. Guests on the first show included the New Christy Minstrels, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Zombies and Woody Allen. "Hullabaloo" lasted on the air through Aug 29, 1966.
1966 - "Batman" debuted -- on ABC-TV. Adam West starred as Batman and Burt Ward was the Bat-Boy, Robin. Pow! Zork! Crunch! Holy hot cakes, Batman!
1967 - “This is the city...” One of broadcasting’s greatest hits, "Dragnet", returned to NBC-TV after being off the network schedule for eight years. Harry Morgan was Jack Webb’s sidekick in the renewed series. “Just the facts, ma’am.”
1969 - Super Bowl III (at Miami): NY Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7. Joe Namath and his Cinderella Jets snuck up on the heavily-favored Colts. MVP: Jets’ QB Namath. Tickets: $12.00.
1971 - "All In the Family" debuted on CBS-TV. Carroll O’Connor starred as Archie Bunker, Rob Reiner as Meathead, Sally Struthers as Gloria and Jean Stapleton as Edith, ‘The Dingbat’. “Stifle yourself!” Originally, ABC had plans to broadcast the series under the title, "Those Were the Days".
1975 - Super Bowl IX (at New Orleans): Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6. The Steelers draft picks (spring, 1974) were Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and free agent Donnie Shell. Between them, 28 Pro Bowl appearances, 20 Super Bowl rings, and probably five Pro Football Hall of Fame selections. MVP: Steelers’ RB Franco Harris. Tickets: $20.00.
1985 - After a record 24 weeks as the #1 album in the nation, Prince slipped to the #2 spot with "Purple Rain". Replacing Prince at the top spot: ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen’s "Born In the USA", which had spent 24 weeks waiting for "Purple Rain" to fall.
1987 - Europe was snowed-in with a pounding of white stuff and frigid temperatures as a ‘Siberian Express’ spread across the continent.
1991 - Janet Jackson’s "Rhythm Nation 1814" became the first album to generate seven top-five singles on the "Billboard" "Hot 100" (four went to number one). "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" reached #4 this day and it hit #1 the following week.
1996 - These films debuted in U.S. theatres: "Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace" (“God made him simple. Science made him a god. Now, he wants revenge.”), with Patrick Bergin and Matt Frewer; and "Two If By Sea" (“A new comedy about love, laughter, and larceny.”), starring Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary.
1999 - Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball was sold at auction in New York for $3 million to an anonymous bidder. It was the most money ever paid for a sports artifact. McGwire’s ball was retrieved Sep 27, 1998 by 26-year-old research scientist Philip Ozersky, who had been attending the game with a group of office friends from Washington University in St. Louis when the ball came flying at him.
2001 - Movies premiering in the U.S.: "Antitrust", with Ryan Phillippe and Rachael Leigh Cook; "Before Night Falls", starring Javier Bardem, Olivier Martinez, Andrea Di Stefano and Johnny Depp; "Double Take", with Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones; "Finding Forrester", starring Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham and Anna Paquin; "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", featuring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Charles Durning and John Goodman; and "Thirteen Days", starring Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood and Steven Culp.
2001 - William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co., died in Palo Alto, CA. He was 87 years old. The engineer founded HP in a garage with friend David Packard and watch it grow into one of the high-tech industry’s great successes.
2002 - Michelle Kwan won her fifth successive U.S. Figure Skating Championship -- her sixth win in all.
2002 - Cyrus R. Vance, former U.S. Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter, died in New York. He was 84 years old.
2003 - It was reported that the $250 billion-a-year U.S. Medicare program was riddled with conflicts of interest and fraud estimated at between $50 and $75 billion.
2003 - Steve Case revealed that he was stepping down as chairman of the conglomerate he had helped to create. Shareholders blamed Case for AOL Time Warner’s sharp fall in fortunes.
2003 - Maurice Gibb, 53, member of the Bee Gees musical group, died in Miami following surgery for a blocked intestine.
2004 - The $780-million Queen Mary 2 ‘set sail’ from Southampton, England on her maiden voyage. The ship, built by Chantieres de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France, was headed for Fort Lauderdale, FL.
2005 - U.S. government Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease, 60 minutes to maintain a healthy weight, and 90 minutes to lose weight.
2005 - Firefighters brought Australia’s deadliest bushfires in twenty years under control -- after nine people died in the blazes in the Eyre Peninsula.
2006 - A stampede during the Stoning the Devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, killed some 350 Muslim pilgrims.
2007 - New in U.S. movie houses: Alpha Dog, starring Ben Foster, Shawn Hatosy, Emile Hirsch, Christopher Marquette, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin and Bruce Willis; and Stomp the Yard, starring Columbus Short, Meagan Good, Darrin DeWitt Henson, Ne-Yo and Brian J. White.
2007 - President George Bush (II) signed a bill into law that made it a crime in the U.S. to lie to obtain telephone records of private citizens. The procedure, known as pretexting, is the practice of getting someone’s personal information under false pretenses. Pretexters then sell the information to people who may use it to get credit in someone else’s name or steal their assets, etc.
2007 - 28-year-old Jennifer Lea Strange of Rancho Cordova, CA died after guzzling a large quantity of water as part of Sacramento radio station KDND-FM’s contest.
2008 - The U.S. formally opened its new $174-million base at the south Pole. It had taken some twenty years to design and build the place.
Birthdays - January 12
1729 - Edmund Burke (statesman, philosopher: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”; died July 9, 1797)
1856 - John Singer Sargent (American painter/portraitist: Girl in a Pink Dress, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, Mrs. Fiske Warren and Her Daughter; died Apr 15, 1925)
1876 - Jack London (John Griffith Chaney) (author: The Sea Wolf, The Call of the Wild, White Fang; died Nov 22, 1916)
1902 - Joe E. Lewis (Klewan) (comedian, actor: Lady in Cement, Private Buckaroo; died June 4, 1971)
1905 - Tex (Woodward Maurice) Ritter (country singer: High Noon, Blood on the Saddle; actor, John Ritter’s father; died Jan 2, 1974)
1910 - Luise Rainer (Academy Award-winning actress: The Great Ziegfeld , The Good Earth ; died Dec 30, 2014)
1915 - Martin (Zama) Agronsky (journalist, TV moderator: Face the Nation [1965-1969]; TV host: At Issue; died July 25, 1999)
1926 - Ray Price (singer: Crazy Arms, Make the World Go Away, For the Good Times, I Won’t Mention it Again, Nightlife; died Dec 16, 2013)
1928 - Lloyd Ruby (auto racer: 18 Indianapolis 500 races, completed all 200 laps in the Indy 500 five times; died Mar 23, 2009)
1930 - Tim Horton (hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, NY Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres; killed in car crash Feb 21, 1974)
1930 - Glenn Yarbrough (singer: group: The Limeliters; solo: Baby the Rain Must Fall; died Aug 11, 2016)
1936 - Ron Harper (actor: Wendy and Me, The Planet of the Apes, The Jean Arthur Show, Garrison’s Gorillas, 87th Precinct)
1939 - William Lee Golden (singer: group: The Oak Ridge Boys)
1943 - Tucker (Ivan) Frederickson (football: Auburn Univ., New York Giants [Pro Bowl: 1965] RB)
1944 - Joe Frazier (boxer: ‘Smokin’ Joe’: World Heavyweight Champion [1970-1973]; died Nov 7, 2011)
1945 - Maggie Bell (rock artist: Group: Stone the Crows)
1946 - Cynthia Robinson (singer, musician: trumpet; groups: Sly and the Family Stone: Dance to the Music, Everyday People, [I Want to Take You] Higher, Hot Fun in the Summertime, Thank You [Falettinme be Mice Elf Agin]; The Stoners; died Nov 23, 2015)
1948 - Anthony Andrews (actor: Haunted, Hands of a Murderer, Hanna’s War, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ivanhoe, Brideshead Revisited)
1950 - Randy (Randall Leo) Jones (baseball: pitcher: San Diego Padres [all-star: 1975, 1976/Cy Young Award: 1976], NY Mets)
1951 - Kirstie Alley (Emmy Award-winning actress: Cheers ; Look Who’s Talking)
1951 - Rush Limbaugh (Rush Hudson Limbaugh III) (right-wing radio talk show host: The Rush Limbaugh Show)
1951 - Drew Pearson (football: Dallas Cowboys WR; Super Bowl X, XII, XIII)
1954 - Howard Stern (syndicated/satellite radio talk-show host, TV host: The Howard Stern Show; actor: Private Parts)
1959 - Per Gessle (musician: guitar, singer: group: Roxette)
1960 - Oliver Platt (actor: Huff, Bulworth, Married to the Mob, Crusoe, Flatliners, Indecent Proposal, The Three Musketeers, Doctor Dolittle, Simon Birch, Bicentennial Man, Gun Shy, Ash Wednesday)
1964 - Jeff Bezos (founder/CEO of Amazon.com; owner of The Washington Post)
1967 - Vendela Kirsebom (fashion model)
1974 - Melanie Chisholm (singer: group: Spice Girls: LPs: Forever, Spice, Goodbye, Spiceworld)
1968 - Rachael Harris (comedian, actress: Lucifer, Star Trek: Voyager, Sister, Sister, The Daily Show, The Sarah Silverman Program, Reno 911!, The West Wing, The Good Guys, Friends, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Monk, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Desperate Housewives, Fat Actress, Notes from the Underbelly, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, Kicking & Screaming, Daddy Day Care, The Hangover, Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
1968 - Lee Stone (actor [1999-2012]: X-rated films: Sorority Shower Cam, Three on a Honeymoon, Trailer Trash Nurses 6, Outlaw Nymphets, Open Up and Say Ahhh, Tails from the Hollywood Hills, Sodom: The Beginning, Farmer’s Daughters Make You Go Yee-Haw!, More Than a Handful 16, Bedside Manners, Barely Legal 125)
1979 - Marian Hossa (hockey [winger]: NHL: Ottawa Senators [1997-2004]; Atlanta Thrashers [2005-2007], Pittsburgh Penguins [2007-2008], Detroit Red Wings [2008-2009], Chicago Blackhawks [2009- ]: 2010, 2013, 2015 Stanley Cup champs)
1980 - Bobby Crosby (baseball: Cal State-Long Beach; Oakland Athletics)
1984 - Chaunté Lowe (star high jumper: U.S. record holder in women’s high jump: outdoors [2.05 m], indoors [2.02 m])
1985 - Issa Rae (writer, director, actress: Insecure, I Hate L.A. Dudes, Awkward Black Girl [YouTube web series], The Hate U Give; more)
1986 - Gemma Arterton (actress: St Trinian’s, Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Byzantium, Runner, Runner; more)
1987 - Naya Rivera (actress: Glee, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, Frankenhood, The Bernie Mac Show, Pajama Rama, The Royal Family)
Chart Toppers - January 12
Ballerina - Vaughn Monroe
Civilization - The Louis Prima Orchestra
I’ll Dance at Your Wedding - Buddy Clark with the Ray Noble Orchestra
I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) - Eddy Arnold
Memories are Made of This - Dean Martin
The Great Pretender - The Platters
Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle
Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford
There! I’ve Said It Again - Bobby Vinton
Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
Popsicles and Icicles - The Murmaids
Love’s Gonna Live Here - Buck Owens
Brand New Key - Melanie
American Pie - Don McLean
Let’s Stay Together - Al Green
Would You Take Another Chance on Me - Jerry Lee Lewis
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes
Rock with You - Michael Jackson
Do that to Me One More Time - The Captain & Tennille
Coward of the County - Kenny Rogers
So Emotional - Whitney Houston
Got My Mind Set on You - George Harrison
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
I Can’t Get Close Enough - Exile
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.