Events - January 15
1870 - A cartoon by Thomas Nast, titled, "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion", appeared on this day in "Harper’s Weekly". The cartoon used the donkey to symbolize the Democratic Party. The symbol gave everyone such a such a ‘kick’ that it stuck to the Democrats... and it’s still stuck today. 1892 - YMCA Canada’s "Y Triangle" magazine published the story of a new game. James Naismith, a teacher at the YMCA International Training School in Massachusetts (later named Springfield College), had invented the game of basketball on December 21, 1891. Naismith attached peach baskets to the lower rail of a balcony, one at either end of the gym. There were eighteen men in Naismith’s class and he promised them that if this game proved to be a failure he would not try any more experiments on them. They went over the rules, divided the group into two teams of nine players each and tossed up the first basketball in history.
1899 - Edwin Markham’s poem, "The Man with a Hoe", was published for the first time. The California school teacher’s work was published by the "San Francisco Examiner".
1906 - Willie Hoppe, at the tender age of 18, won his first world billiard championship by defeating the renowned French champ, Maurice Vignaux in Paris. Hoppe was one of the greatest billiard players of all time (between 1936 and 1952, he held the Three-Cushion title 11 times).
1919 - Pianist and statesman Ignace Jan Paderewski became the first premier of the newly created republic of Poland.
1922 - The Irish Free State was formed; Michael Collins was the first premier.
1936 - The first all glass, windowless building was completed in Toledo, Ohio as the home of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company Laboratory.
1942 - Kenny Sargent, “one of the handsomest singers ever to grace a bandstand,” vocalized with the Glen Gray Orchestra on Decca Records’ "It’s the Talk of the Town".
1943 - The world’s largest office building was completed, just outside of Washington, DC, in Arlington, VA. The massive structure covers 34 acres of land and has 17 miles of corridors, plus, a whole lot of secret places that we’ll never know about. Why? Because it’s the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States defense effort.
1945 - Art Linkletter starred on the CBS radio debut of "House Party". The show continued on the air for 22 years, including a long stint on CBS television. Linkletter wrote books about experiences with kids on the show. Remember, "Kids Say the Darndest Things?" This segment of the show -- and Art’s resulting books -- were among the most popular of early daytime television.
1947 - The mutilated remains of 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, known as the ‘Black Dahlia’ (for the dark outfits she wore), were found dumped in a vacant lot in Los Angeles. The Black Dahlia murder case remains unsolved even though some 500 hundred men have confessed to the murder.
1949 - Chinese Communists occupied Tientsin after a 27-hour battle with Nationalist forces.
1951 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the ‘clear and present danger’ of incitement to riot is not protected speech and can be cause for arrest.
1953 - Harry S Truman became the first U.S. President to use radio and television to say farewell as he left office.
1965 - The soundtrack album of the musical, "The King and I", starring Rise Stevens and Darren McGavin, earned a gold record.
1967 - Super Bowl I (at Los Angeles): Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10. Most Valuable Player was Packers’ QB, Bart Starr. Max McGee scored the first touchdown. 61,946 fans attended the game at ten bucks a ticket.
1978 - Super Bowl XII (at New Orleans): Dallas Cowboys 27, Denver Broncos 10. The first Super Bowl played without a sky. This one opened the Louisiana Superdome. Tom Landry was the Cowboys’ coach, Roger Staubach was their quarterback. Co-MVPs: DT Randy White and DE Harvey Martin (only co-MVPs in Super Bowl history). Tickets: $30.00.
1985 - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored actress Myrna Loy at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The 79-year-old actress never received a nomination by the Academy -- though she appeared in 120 films.
1987 - Paramount Home Video reported that, for the first time, it would place a commercial at the front of one of its video releases: a 30-second Diet Pepsi ad at the beginning of "Top Gun". The idea was that Paramount would be able to reduce the price of the video to consumers by $3. The difference would be made up with Pepsi money and more consumers would buy the Tom Cruise flick rather than more expensive videos without the commercial.
1990 - ‘Big’ George Foreman, on the comeback-trail at 42 years of age, knocked out Gerry Cooney in the second round at Atlantic City, NJ. (Foreman became the oldest [age 45] ever to win the heavyweight title when he knocked out Michael Moorer on Nov 5, 1994.)
1995 - The San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-28 in the NFC championship game and the San Diego Chargers edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-13 in the AFC title game. (The 49ers beat the Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX.)
1999 - These movies debuted in U.S. theatres: "At First Sight" (“Science gave him sight. She gave him vision.”), with Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly Mcgillis and Nathan Lane; "In Dreams" (“You don’t have to sleep to dream.”), starring Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr., Stephen Rea and Aidan Quinn; "Varsity Blues" (“In a town where winning is everything, these guys have nothing to lose.”), with James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight and Paul Walker; and "Virus" (“Life on earth is in for a shock.”), starring Jamie Lee Curtis William Baldwin Donald Sutherland Joanna Pacula.
2000 - Masked gunmen opened fire in a hotel lobby in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, killing Serbian warlord Zeljko Raznatovic. Known as Arkan, Raznatovic had been indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia.
2001 - Wikipedia, the multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia project, was launched -- by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales.
2002 - Arthur Andersen LLP said it was firing senior auditor David B. Duncan, who had organized a “rushed disposal” of Enron documents after federal regulators requested information about the failing energy company.
2003 - The Walt Disney Company scored a big victory as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld longer copyright protections for cartoon characters, songs, books and other creations worth billions of dollars.
2004 - Author Olivia Goldsmith, 54, died in New York City of complications from plastic surgery. Her The First Wives Club became a revenge fantasy for wives tossed aside in favor of younger women. It became a hit film in 1996 (starring Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler).
2005 - The European space probe Huygens, having landed on Saturn’s moon Titan, sent back images of what scientists were calling the strangest landscape in the solar system. Pictures showed a pale orange surface covered by a thin haze of methane and what appeared to be a methane sea complete with islands and a mist-shrouded coastline.
2005 - Stage and screen actress Ruth Warrick died in New York at 88 years of age. Warrick played the inveterate busybody, All My Children, the TV soap opera that debuted in 1970.
2007 - The editor and a journalist at the Moroccan news weekly Nichane were convicted of publishing an article described as “harmful to Islam.” Casablanca First Instance Court presiding judge Noureddine Ghassin gave three-year suspended sentences to Driss Ksikes, editor of Nichane, and to journalist Sanaa al-Aji. Both were barred from journalistic activity with Nichane for two months and the independent Arab-language magazine was suspended for two months. Plus, Ksikes and al-Aji were fined $9,280 each.
2007 - The 64th Golden Globe Awards ceremony was aired on NBC-TV. The film Babel won for best dramatic film; Grey’s Anatomy won best dramatic TV series, while Ugly Betty won for best TV musical or comedy series. Forest Whitaker won the film actor award for The Last King of Scotland; Helen Mirren won the film actress award for The Queen. Dreamgirls won the most awards, with three (including Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy).
2007 - California’s top agricultural official said three days of freezing temperatures had ruined as much as 70% of the state’s citrus crop. California’s orange production was reduced by 20 percent as a direct result of the mid-January freeze.
2008 - Citigroup reported a $9.8-billion (sub-prime) loss in 2007’s 4th quarter. It was the largest quarterly deficit in the financial giant’s 196-year history.
2008 - The U.S. government sued the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas, to force the town to surrender 233 acres for the construction of a border fence by the Homeland Security Dept.
Birthdays - January 15
1622 - Jean Baptiste Moliere (Poquelin) (playwright: The Affected Young Ladies, The School for Wives, Tartuffe, Don Juan, The Misanthrope, The Miser, The Learned Ladies; died Feb 17, 1673)
1870 - Pierre Samuel du Pont II (industrialist: Chairman of the Board of the DuPont Company, board member of General Motors Corp. [at the same time]; humanitarian; died Apr 5, 1954)
1892 - Rex Ingram (Hitchcock) (writer, director: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; died July 21, 1950)
1908 - Edward Teller (physicist: ‘father of the hydrogen bomb’; died Sep 9, 2003)
1909 - Gene Krupa (drummer: Sing Sing Sing; bandleader: Let Me Off Uptown, Knock Me a Kiss, Chickery Chick, Boogie Blues; films: Some Like it Hot, Ball of Fire, The Gene Krupa Story; died Oct 6, 1973)
1913 - Lloyd Bridges (actor: Sea Hunt, Roots, High Noon, Airplane!, Airplane 2, The Grace Kelly Story, The Rainmaker, The Great Wallendas, Joe Versus the Volcano; Jeff & Beau’s dad; died Mar 10, 1998)
1920 - Steve (Stephen Joseph) Gromek (baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1945/World Series: 1948], Detroit Tigers; died Mar 12, 2002)
1926 - Maria Schell (Margarete Schell) (actress: Samson and Delilah, Voyage of the Damned, The Odessa File, The Hanging Tree, The Brothers Karamazov; died Apr 26, 2005)
1929 - Martin Luther King Jr. (civil rights activist: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.’”; author: Stride Toward Freedom, Strength to Love, Why We Can't Wait, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, The Trumpet of Conscience; assassinated Apr 4, 1968)
1937 - Margaret O’Brien (Angela Maxine O'Brien) (actress: Meet Me in St. Louis, Little Women , The Secret Garden , Amy)
1941 - Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) (singer: group: Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Diddy Wah Diddy, Hair Pie, Old Fart at Play; artist; died Dec 17, 2010)
1943 - Mike (Michael Grant) Marshall (baseball: pitcher: Detroit Tigers, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, LA Dodgers [World Series: 1974/all-star: 1974, 1975/NL Cy Young Award: 1974/record: most games pitched in one season (106, 1974)], Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, NY Mets)
1947 - Andrea Martin (Emmy Award-winning writer: The Energy Ball/Sweeps Week, SCTV Network , actress: Guitarman, Rude Awakening, Soup for One)
1948 - Ronnie Van Zandt (singer, songwriter: group: Lynyrd Skynyrd; killed in plane crash at Gillsburg MS Oct 20, 1977)
1951 - Martha Davis (singer: group: The Motels: Total Control, Only the Lonely, LP: Shock)
1951 - Ernie DiGregorio (basketball: Buffalo Braves, L.A. Clippers)
1957 - Mario Van Peebles (actor: Sonny Spoon, Jaws: The Revenge, Hot Shot, Exterminator 2; director, writer, actor: Posse, Panther, New Jack City)
1959 - Peter Trewavas (musician: bass: group: Marillion: Lavender, Heart of Lothian)
1968 - Chad Lowe (actor: Life Goes On, Siringo, An Inconvenient Woman, True Blood, Silence of the Heart; brother of actor, Rob Lowe)
1971 - Regina King (actress: Boyz N the Hood, Jerry Maguire, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Enemy of the State, Mighty Joe Young, Love and Action in Chicago, Leap of Faith)
Chart Toppers - January 15
Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
The Thing - Phil Harris
My Heart Cries for You - Guy Mitchell
The Golden Rocket - Hank Snow
The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
My Happiness - Connie Francis
City Lights - Ray Price
I’m a Believer - The Monkees
Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
Good Thing - Paul Revere & The Raiders
There Goes My Everything - Jack Greene
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - Elton John
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
Junior’s Farm/Sally G - Paul McCartney & Wings
Ruby, Baby - Billy "Crash" Craddock
Down Under - Men at Work
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson /Paul McCartney
Dirty Laundry - Don Henley
I Can’t Even Get the Blues - Reba McEntire
Justify My Love - Madonna
High Enough - Damn Yankees
Love Will Never Do (Without You) - Janet Jackson
Unanswered Prayers - Garth Brooks
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.