Events - January 25
1799 - Eliakim Spooner patented the seeding machine. The device, like so many that we found while Christmas shopping, proved to be... impractical.
1858 - Mendelssohn’s "Wedding March" was presented for the first time, as the daughter of Queen Victoria married the Crown Prince of Prussia.
1870 - G.D. Dows patented the ornamental soda fountain. The marble fountain featured a double stream draft arm and sold for $225! Make that a strawberry soda with two scoops of vanilla, please!
1915 - Alexander Graham Bell in New York spoke to his assistant (Thomas Watson) in San Francisco, inaugurating the first transcontinental telephone service.
1927 - Jack Benny married Sadye Marks on this day. You thought he married Mary Livingstone, didn’t you? You are right. Sadye changed her name after she married the timeless comedian.
1937 - NBC radio presented the first broadcast of "The Guiding Light". The program became the longest-running story line in daytime drama. The radio show remained until 1956. "The Guiding Light" began its long run on CBS-TV in 1952.
1940 - Mary Martin recorded "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" -- for Decca Records. The song was her signature song until she starred in "South Pacific" in 1949. Then, Larry Hagman’s mother had a new trademark: “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair...”
1944 - The character, a black maid named Beulah and played by a white man, Marlin Hunt, aired on radio for the first time on "Fibber McGee and Molly". The spinoff, "Beulah", became a radio series in 1945.
1945 - Richard Tucker debuted at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City in the production of "La Gioconda".
1949 - The first Emmys, the awards presented each year in recognition of excellence in television performance and production, were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club. The event was the 1st Annual Los Angeles Emmy Awards (for programming which appeared in 1948) and was presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Academy was also an infant, having formed just three years earlier. Mike Sotkey’s "Pantomime Quiz Time" was selected as the year’s top television show. Shirley Dinsdale and her puppet, Judy Splinters took honors as Most Outstanding Television Personality.
1949 - The first Israeli election resulted in a win for David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party.
1952 - The >Autronic Eye was introduced by General Motors. It was an automatic car headlight dimmer.
1956 - The record 24-hour rainfall in the U.S. was 38 inches. The deluge happened on Jan 24-25, 1956 at Kilauea Plantation on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
1959 - American Airlines opened the jet age in the United States with the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707 for $301.
1961 - John F. Kennedy presented the first live presidential news conference from Washington, DC. Kennedy’s quick wit made him “an immediate sensation,” according to reporters gathered at the scene.
1964 - The Beatles reached the #1 spot on the music charts, as their hit single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand", grabbed the top position in "Cash Box" magazine, as well as on the list of hits on scores of radio stations. It was the first #1 hit for the Beatles. "Billboard" listed the song as #1 on February 1. The group’s second #1 hit song, "She Loves You", was also released this day -- but not on Capitol Records. It was on Swan Records (#4152). Other songs by The Beatles were released on Vee Jay ("Please, Please Me"), M-G-M ("My Bonnie" with Tony Sheridan), Tollie ("Twist and Shout"), Atco ("Ain’t She Sweet") and the group’s own label, Apple Records, as well as Capitol.
1974 - Ray Kroc, fast-food entrepreneur of McDonald’s, bought the San Diego Padres baseball team for $12 million.
1978 - Muriel Humphrey was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of her husband, Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota. She served until Nov 7, 1978.
1981 - Super Bowl XV (at New Orleans): Oakland Raiders 27, Philadelphia Eagles 10. The second Super Bowl win for the Raiders (they won Super Bowl XI), this one belonged to Oakland all the way. They led 14-0 after one quarter, 14-3 at the half and 24-3 after three quarters. MVP: Raiders’ QB Jim Plunkett. Tickets: $40.00.
1985 - Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie of Boston College signed a $7-million, five-year contract. Flutie would play with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League. The deal made him the highest paid football player and the best paid rookie ever -- in any sport. The USFL would soon fold and players like Flutie joined the CFL; and some went to the NFL.
1987 - Super Bowl XXI (at Pasadena): New York Giants 39, Denver Broncos 20. MVP: Giants’ QB Phil Simms. It was all Phil Simms. He completed 22 of 25 passes (88%) for 268 yards and three touchdowns and he brought the Giants back from a first-half 10-9 deficit. The 30 second half points were a Super Bowl half-game record. Tickets: $75.00. The game featured TV commercials that cost $550,000 for 30 seconds of NBC’s most prime time.
1998 - Super Bowl XXXII (at San Diego): Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24. The dream finally came true for John Elway and the Broncos. They broke a 4-game Super Bowl losing streak with 1:45 to go in the game. The Broncos’ MVP RB Terrell Davis ran for a 1-yard TD run up the middle and put Denver in the Super Bowl win column at last. Tickets: $275.00.
1999 - A powerful earthquake of a magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter scale rocked el Eje Cafetero, in the coffee growing region. In 32 seconds 150 buildings collapsed and 1,500 houses were destroyed. Other facts & figures: 1,052 dead; 4,500 injured; 205,000 homeless; 138,000 in improvised shelters; 51,600 houses destroyed or damaged; 80% of schools destroyed.
2002 - A judge in Cambridge, MA sentenced Thomas Junta to six to ten years in prison for beating another man to death at their sons’ hockey practice.
2004 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final installment of the epic fantasy trilogy won the best dramatic film award and three other trophies at the Golden Globes.
2004 - NASA’s Opportunity rover transmitted its first pictures of Mars to Earth, delighting and puzzling scientists just hours after the spacecraft bounced to a landing on the opposite side of the red planet from its twin rover, Spirit.
2005 - Lawmakers in San Francisco, CA voted to ban smoking in public parks. It was the first major American city to embrace such an expansive ban on the use of tobacco.
2006 - Google’s launch of a new, self-censored search engine in China was a “black day” for freedom of expression, says leading international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.
2007 - Ford Motor Co. reported a $5.8 billion loss in the fourth quarter amid slumping sales and huge restructuring costs. All in all, the automaker's deficit for 2006 was $12.7 billion, the largest in its 103-year history.
2008 - Movies debuting in the U.S.: How She Move, starring Tracey Armstrong, Clé Bennett, Nina Dobrey, Romina D'Ugo, Kevin Duhaney, Shawn Fernandez, Brennan Gademans, Jason Harrow, Jai Jai Jones, Tristan D. Lalla, Daniel Morrison, Dwain Murphy, Mya and Rutina Wesley; Meet the Spartans, with Diedrich Bader, Kevin Sorbo, Method Man, Ken Davitian, Jim Piddock, Sean Maguire, Greg Ellis, Crista Flanagan, Nicole Parker and Emily Wilson; Rambo, starring Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Rey Gallegos, Tim Kang, Jake LaBotz, Maung Maung Khin and Ken Howard; and Untraceable, starring Diane Lane, Colin Hanks and Erin Carufel.
2008 - India and France announced their intentions to push their military ties beyond weapons sales and open up nuclear power cooperation.
Birthdays - January 25
1759 - Robert Burns (poet: “Oh wad some power the giftie gie us / To see oursels as others see us!”; wrote Auld Lang Syne; died July 21, 1796)
1860 - Charles Curtis (31st U.S. Vice President under Herbert Hoover [1929-1933]; died Feb 8, 1936)
1874 - W. (William) Somerset Maugham (author: Of Human Bondage, The Razor’s Edge; died Dec 16, 1965)
1919 - Edwin Newman (journalist: NBC News, PBS; author: Comet, A Civil Tongue; died Aug 13, 2010)
1924 - Lou Groza (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Cleveland Browns; Ohio State; sports broadcaster: ABC Radio; died Nov 29, 2000)
1925 - Barbara Carroll (jazz pianist, arranger, occasional vocalist: LPs: Everything I Love, This Heart of Mine, Live at the Carlyle, Old Friends; died Feb 12, 2017)
1929 - Elizabeth Allen (actress, singer: The Paul Lynde Show, C.P.O. Sharkey, Bracken’s World; died Sep 19, 2006)
1931 - Dean Jones (actor: The Love Bug, Tea and Sympathy, Beethoven; died Sep 1, 2015)
1933 - Corazon Aquino (President of the Philippines; died Aug 1, 2009)
1935 - Don Maynard (Pro Football Hall of Famer: New York Jets wide receiver: Super Bowl III)
1936 - Diana Hyland (Gentner) (Emmy Award-winning actress: The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, The ABC Friday Night Movie [11/12/76], One Man’s Way, Eight is Enough, Peyton Place; died Mar 27, 1977)
1938 - Etta James (singer: Wallflower, Good Rockin’ Daddy, All I Could Do Was Cry, Tell Me Mama, I’ve Found a Love; died Jan 20, 2012)
1941 - Buddy Baker (International Motorsports Hall of Famer: fastest win ever in the Daytona 500: 177.602mph ; died Aug 10, 2015)
1942 - Carl Eller (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Minnesota Vikings Defensive end: Super Bowl IV, VIII, IX, XI; one of the ‘Purple People Eaters’)
1944 - Eugene Washington (football: wide receiver: Univ of Minnesota, Minnesota Vikings (1967-1972): Super Bowl IV, Pittsburgh Steelers (1972-1973), Denver Broncos (1973), New England Patriots (1974-1976)
1944 - Bob Dickson (golf: won British & U.S. amateurs ; left job as Tournament Director of Nike Tour to join Senior Tour )
1945 - Wally (Wallace Edward) Bunker (baseball: pitcher: Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1966], KC Royals)
1945 - Leigh Taylor-Young (actress: I Love You Alice B. Toklas, Soylent Green, Can’t Stop the Music, Honeymoon Academy, Peyton Place, Dallas)
1951 - Vern (Vernon Gerald) Ruhle (baseball: pitcher: Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, California Angels; died Jan 20, 2007)
1952 - Ken Grandberry (football: Washington State Univ., Chicago Bears)
1954 - Richard Finch (songwriter, musician: bass: group: KC and the Sunshine Band: Blow Your Whistle, Do It Good, Queen of Hearts, Rock Your Baby, Get Down Tonight, That’s the Way [I Like It], [Shake, Shake, Shake] Shake Your Booty, I’m Your Boogie Man, Keep It Comin’ Love, I like to Do It, Boogie Shoes, It’s the Same Old Song, Please Don’t Go)
1956 - Andy Cox (musician: guitar: groups: Fine Young Cannibals: Johnny Come Home; The Beat: Stand Down Margaret, Wha’appen, Can’t Get Used to Losing You)
1958 - Dinah Manoff (Tony Award-winning actress: I Ought to be in Pictures ; Soap, Empty Nest)
1971 - Kevin Williams (football [wide receiver]: Univ of Miami; NFL: Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Bufflalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers)
1974 - Erika Wicoff (golf: consecutive medalist honors at 1994, 1995 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships)
1975 - Mia Kirshner (actress: The L Word, 24, 388 Arletta Avenue, The Barrens, The Surrogacy Trap, I Think I Do, The Black Dahlia)
1975 - John Wade (football [center]: Marshall Univ; NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders)
1978 - Gordie Dwyer (hockey: TB Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, NY Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes)
1979 - Christine Lakin (actress: Step by Step, Big Monster on Campus, Finding Kelly, Whatever It Takes, Boston Public, Opposite Sex)
1981 - Alicia Keys (singer: You Don’t Know My Name, Fallin’, Gangsta Lovin’, Brotha, Jane Doe, Why Do I Fell So Sad, Rear View Mirror)
Chart Toppers - January 25
Don’t Fence Me In - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
There Goes that Song Again - Russ Morgan
I’m Making Believe - Ella Fitzgerald & The Ink Spots
I’m Wastin’ My Tears on You - Tex Ritter
Why Don’t You Believe Me - Joni James
Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Perry Como
Keep It a Secret - Jo Stafford
I’ll Go On Alone - Marty Robbins
Wonderland by Night - Bert Kaempfert
Exodus - Ferrante & Teicher
Calcutta - Lawrence Welk
North to Alaska - Johnny Horton
I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
Crimson and Clover - Tommy James & The Shondells
Everyday People - Sly & The Family Stone
Daddy Sang Bass - Johnny Cash
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
Car Wash - Rose Royce
Dazz - Brick
I Can’t Believe She Give It All to Me - Conway Twitty
Like a Virgin - Madonna
All I Need - Jack Wagner
You’re the Inspiration - Chicago
How Blue - Reba McEntire
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.