Events - January 18
1778 - Captain James Cook of the British Navy thought he was the first to find a group of islands in the Pacific. He named them the Sandwich Islands in honor of England’s Earl of Sandwich, the first lord of the British Admiralty. Little did he know that the islands already had a name. The people who lived on them called the islands Hawaii (known to us now as the 50th of the United States). Actually, these islands had been discovered long before this day by the Polynesians. Other explorers before Cook probably stopped at the Hawaiian Islands as early as the 1500s. However, it was Cook who spread the word of the existence of this group of tropical isles to the rest of the world.
1886 - The Hockey Association was formed in England. This date is celebrated as the birthday of modern field hockey ... not the kind of hockey played on ice. That came later.
1896 - The x-ray machine was exhibited (in New York City) for the first time. To see the machine, one had to pay a 25¢ admission charge. To see an x-ray machine at your friendly neighborhood doctor’s or dentist’s office will set you back at least $65 today. See the nurse at the desk, please...
1937 - CBS radio introduced listeners to "Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories" for the first time. A complete story was told in five, 15-minute episodes which aired Monday thru Friday each week. Aunt Jenny was played by Edith Spencer and later, by Agnes Young. The show continued on radio until 1956 and was sponsored over the years by Spry shortening and Lux soap. Aunt Jenny’s whistling canary, for those of you ready to inquire, was played by animal imitator, Henry Boyd.
1939 - Louis Armstrong and his orchestra recorded "Jeepers Creepers" on Decca Records. Satchmo lent his vocal talents to this classic jump tune.
1941 - One of the greatest race horses of his time, Epinard, was stolen during the German occupation of France. On this day, newspaper accounts disclosed that the famous equine was being used as a delivery wagon horse.
1943 - U.S. commercial bakers stopped selling sliced bread. Only whole loaves were sold until the end of World War II.
1944 - The first jazz concert was held at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The stars of the concert were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden. What a ticket!
1948 - Ted Mack came to television as "The Original Amateur Hour" debuted on the DuMont network. The program continued on different networks for a 22-year run on the tube. We remember it being sponsored by Geritol. The original, "Original Amateur Hour", on radio, was hosted by Major Bowes. In the TV version, Mack presented many up-and-coming stars who later claimed great fame in show biz. Teresa Brewer and Pat Boone are just a couple.
1950 - The federal tax on oleomargarine was repealed! Oh Happy Parkay!
1951 - Joan Blondell made her debut on TV in the "Pot of Gold" episode of "Airflyte Theatre" on CBS-TV. Twenty-one years earlier she had made her film debut in "Sinner’s Holiday" with James Cagney. They were both stage performers before Al Jolson discovered them for Warner Brothers.
1957 - The first, non-stop, ’round-the-world jet flight came to an end at Riverside, CA. The plane, in case you are wondering, was refueled in mid-flight by huge aerial tankers. We don’t know about how they changed the oil or rang up the credit card...
1968 - Singer Eartha Kitt made headlines, as she got into a now-famous confrontation with Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson -- wife of the President of the United States -- at a White House luncheon to discuss urban crime. Ms. Kitt told Lady Bird (the First Lady) that American youth were rebelling against the war in Vietnam, linking the crime rate with the war escalation. She had a lot to say and it definitely was not, "C’est Si Bon".
1973 - Pink Floyd began recording "Dark Side of the Moon", which would become the longest-charting record in "Billboard" magazine’s history. It remained on the album chart for more than 14 years - until mid-1988 - selling over five-million copies.
1975 - "The Jeffersons" was seen for the first time on CBS-TV. The show was a spin-off; based on the black family that moved next door to the bigoted Archie Bunker in "All in the Family". The show lasted for several seasons and is still seen in syndicated reruns. Sherman Hemsley plays the part of George Jefferson, Isabelle Sanford is in the role of Weezie.
1976 - Super Bowl X (at Miami): Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17. Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann and the Steel Curtain made the difference. MVP: Steelers’ WR Swann. Tickets: $20.00.
1982 - Four Thunderbirds pilots died when their T-38 Talon jets crashed at Indian Springs Auxiliary Airfield, NV. It was the worst accident in the history of the Thunderbirds.
1983 - The International Olympic Committee restored Jim Thorpe’s Olympic medals 70 years after they were taken from him for being paid $25 in semipro baseball.
1985 - Running in competition for the first time since her famed collision with Zola Budd during the 1984 Olympics, Mary Decker broke a world indoor record. She ran the women’s 2,000-meter race in just 5 minutes, 34.2 seconds. The indoor track meet was held in Los Angeles.
1986 - Dionne Warwick’s single for AID’s research, "That’s What Friends are For", became her second #1 song on the music charts. Although Dionne had many hits in the 1960s, singing Burt Bacharach tunes like, "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose"; she first hit the top spot when she added an ‘e’ to Warwick and joined the Spinners in the 1974 hit, "Then Came You". She changed her name back to Warwick (without the ‘e’) after making a couple of hits produced by Barry Manilow in the early ’80s. That’ll do it. Remember, "I’ll Never Love This Way Again"?
1996 - Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson filed for divorce from Michael Jackson. They were married May 18, 1994.
1997 - Oscar De La Hoya defended his World Boxing Council super lightweight title in Las Vegas. He won a 12-round unanimous decision over Miguel Angel Gonzalez.
1997 - Norwegian Borge Ousland completed the first solo crossing of Antarctica via the South Pole. Ousland travelled 1,675 miles and was the first to traverse the continent alone.
1997 - Former U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas (D-Massachusetts), who rebounded from cancer to briefly become the Democratic front-runner for president in 1992, died in Boston of pneumonia. He was 55 years old.
1998 - The annual Golden Globes were passed out in Beverly Hills. Titanic won for best drama, best director (James Cameron), best score and best original song. As Good as it Gets won best film comedy/musical, best actor for Jack Nicholson, and best actress for Helen Hunt. Ally McBeal was voted best TV comedy.
2000 - A U.S. test missile fired from the Marshall Islands failed to shoot down a mock warhead fired from a California air base. It was a blow to the Pentagon’s push to develop a national missile defense.
2001 - U.S. President Bill Clinton, in a farewell from the Oval Office, told the nation that America had done well during his presidency, with record-breaking prosperity and a cleaner environment.
2002 - Films debuting in U.S. theatres: Black Hawk Down, starring Josh Hartnett, Ewan Mcgregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Ewen Bremner, Sam Shepard, Gabriel Casseus, Kim Coates, Hugh Dancy, Ron Eldard, Ioan Gruffudd and Thomas Guiry; and Snow Dogs, with Cuba Gooding, Jr., James Coburn, Joanna Bacalso, Nichelle Nichols, Sisqo, M. Emmet Walsh, Graham Greene and Brian Doyle-Murray.
2003 - Michelle Kwan won her sixth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships title (her seventh overall); Michael Weiss won his third U.S. men’s title.
2004 - London billionaire twins Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay (69) announced their plan to buy a controlling interest in Hollinger Inc., the Toronto-based parent of Hollinger International, publisher of London’s Daily Telegraph.
2004 - The New England Patriots earned their second trip to the Super Bowl in three seasons by defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 in the AFC championship game; the Carolina Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3, in the NFC championship game.
2005 - Cuba published a resolution by its commerce ministry that smoking would be prohibited in theaters, stores, buses, taxis and other enclosed public areas -- effective Feb 7, 2005.
2005 - Airbus unveiled the 840-passenger A380, the world’s biggest passenger jet, in a glitzy ceremony in Toulouse, France. The leaders of France, Britain, Germany and Spain hailed the aircraft as the new king of the commercial skies.
2006 - China recorded its sixth death from the avian flu virus, according to a report on the Chinese Health Ministry’s Web site.
2006 - The couple who conspired to extort money from Wendy’s restaurants by planting a severed finger in a bowl of chili and then suing the restaurant was sentenced to prison. Anna Ayala, 40, who said she bit into the digit, was sentenced to nine years. Her husband, Jaime Plascencia, 44, who obtained the finger from a co-worker who lost it in a workplace accident, was sentenced to more than 12 years.
2007 - Venezuelan lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill granting President Hugo Chávez the power to rule by decree for 18 months so that he could impose sweeping economic, social and political change.
2008 - New movies in the U.S.: 27 Dresses, starring Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, Ed Burns, Melora Hardin and Judy Greer; Cloverfield, with Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman, Lizzy Caplan, JessicaLucas and T. J. Miller Mad Money, starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson, Roger Cross, Adam Rothenberg and Finesse Mitchell.
2008 - Russian President Vladimir Putin completed a pipeline deal with Bulgaria that strengthened Moscow’s grip on European gas markets.
Birthdays - January 18
1779 - Peter Roget (lexicographer: the man behind the thesaurus; inventor: log-log slide rule; died Sep 12, 1869)
1782 - Daniel Webster (statesman: “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.”; subject of Benet’s The Devil and Daniel Webster; died Oct 24, 1852)
1882 - A.A. (Alan Alexander) Milne (author: Winnie the Pooh, When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six, The House at Pooh Corner; died Jan 31, 1956)
1892 - Oliver (Norvell) Hardy (comedian: vaudeville team with Stan Laurel: over 200 Laurel and Hardy feature films, most from the early 1930s; died Aug 7, 1957)
1904 - Cary Grant (Archibald Alexander Leach) (actor: Hollywood heartthrob for 30+ years: She Done Him Wrong, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Arsenic and Old Lace, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest; never said, “Judy, Judy, Judy.”; died Nov 29, 1986)
1911 - Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminski) (comedian, dancer, singer, actor: Up In Arms, Hans Christian Anderson, White Christmas, The Danny Kaye Show; UNICEF ambassador; broadcaster: partner in Kaye/Smith Broadcasting: KJR AM/FM, Seattle, KJRB, Spokane; died Mar 3, 1987)
1915 - Syl Apps (Hockey Hall of Famer: Toronto Maple Leafs: won three Stanley Cups, Calder and Lady Byng Trophies, averaged 20 goals per season; died Dec 24, 1998)
1938 - Curt (Curtis Charles) Flood (baseball: Cincinnati Redlegs, SL Cardinals [World Series: 1964, 1967, 1968/all-star: 1964, 1966, 1968], Washington Senators; died Jan 20, 1997)
1941 - Bobby Goldsboro (singer: Honey, See the Funny Little Clown, Summer: The First Time, Watching Scotty Grow)
1941 - David Ruffin (Davis Eli Ruffin) (lead singer: group: The Temptations; solo: My Whole World Ended [The Moment You Left Me], Walk Away from Love, Stand By Me [w/brother, Jimmy]; died June 1, 1991)
1944 - Carl (Wendle) Morton (baseball: pitcher: Montreal Expos [National League Rookie of the Year: 1970], Atlanta Braves; died Apr 12, 1983)
1944 - ‘Legs’ Larry Smith (musician: drums: group: The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band: I’m the Urban Spaceman; group: Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band)
1945 - Jimmy Caruthers (auto racer: USAC National Midget Championship ; died Oct 26, 1975)
1950 - Bud Stallworth (basketball: Univ. of Kansas, Seattle SuperSonics)
1950 - Pete Laframboise (hockey: Oshawa Generals, Ottawa 67s, Providence Reds, Baltimore Clippers, California Golden Seals, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Hershey Bears, Springfield Indians, Edmonton Oilers, Binghamton Dusters)
1950 - Pat Sullivan (football: Atlanta Falcons quarterback; Auburn: Heisman Trophy winner )
1953 - Brett Hudson (singer, comedian: Hudson Brothers)
1954 - Scott McGregor (baseball: pitcher: Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1979, 1983])
1955 - Kevin Costner (actor: Field of Dreams, JFK, The Bodyguard, The Untouchables, Waterworld, The Postman, Thirteen Days; Academy Award- winning director: Dances with Wolves ; builder of controversial entertainment complex on sacred Lakota Indian land in Black Hills of South Dakota)
1969 - Jesse L. Martin (actor: Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Rent, A Christmas Carol, Season of Youth, Burning House of Love, Deep in My Heart, Restaurant)
1969 - Larry Webster (football [defensive tackle]: Univ of Maryland; NFL: Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets)
1970 - Scott Thomas (hockey: Buffalo Sabres, LA Kings)
1972 - Dwayne Carswell (football: Liberty Univ; NFL: Denver Broncos)
1972 - Ryan Kuehl (football: Univ of Virginia; NFL: Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, NY Giants)
1974 - Shane Burton (football: Univ of Tennessee; NFL: Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, NY Jets, Carolina Panthers)
1980 - Jason Segel (actor: How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You Man, LolliLove, Certainly Not a Fairytale, Slackers, SLC Punk!, Dead Man on Campus, Can’t Hardly Wait)
1983 - Samantha Mumba (singer: Gotta Tell You, You Raise Me Up, Samantha Sings Christmas, I’m Right Here; actress: The Time Machine, Loose Women, Dancing on Ice)
Chart Toppers - January 18
Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
It Might as Well Be Spring - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Billy Williams)
I Can’t Begin to Tell You - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
You Will Have to Pay - Tex Ritter
Oh! My Pa-Pa - Eddie Fisher
Changing Partners - Patti Page
Secret Love - Doris Day
Bimbo - Jim Reeves
The Twist - Chubby Checker
Peppermint Twist - Joey Dee & The Starliters
Can’t Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
Raindrop Keep Fallin’ on My Head - B.J. Thomas
Venus - The Shocking Blue
I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady) - David Houston
Baby Come Back - Player
Here You Come Again - Dolly Parton
You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim) - Rod Stewart
Take This Job and Shove It - Johnny Paycheck
That’s What Friends are For - Dionne & Friends
Talk to Me - Stevie Nicks
Burning Heart - Survivor
Bop - Dan Seals
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.