Events - January 27
1870 - Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women’s Greek letter society, or sorority, was founded at Indiana Asbury University -- now DePauw University -- in Greencastle, Indiana.
1880 - Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park, NJ patented the electric incandescent lamp. We’ve been turning it on ever since...
1888 - The National Geographic Society was incorporated -- in Washington, DC.
1910 - Thomas Crapper, said to be the inventor and developer of the flush toilet mechanism that most of us use, died on this day.
1931 - NBC radio introduced listeners to "Clara, Lu ’n’ Em" on its Blue network (later, ABC radio). The show became the first daytime radio serial when it was moved from its original nighttime slot.
1944 - Casey Stengel resigned as manager of the Boston Braves, a position he had held since 1938. He became manager of the New York Yankees in 1948. Here are some famous Stengelisms: “The Yankees don’t pay me to win every day -- just two out of three.”; “The secret of managing a club is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the five guys who are undecided.”; and “You have to draft a catcher, because if you don’t have one, the ball will roll all the way back to the screen.”
1945 - The advancing Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp. Prisoners capable of marching had been evacuated a few days earlier.
1948 - Wire Recording Corporation of America announced the first magnetic wire recorder. The ‘Wireway’ machine with a built-in oscillator sold for $149.50.
1950 - Ed Wynn took home the Emmy for Most Outstanding Live Personality and his show, "The Ed Wynn Show", received the award for Best Live Show. Coincidentally, this same night, Wynn’s comedian friend, Milton Berle, was awarded the Emmys for Most Outstanding Kinescope Personality for his performance on The Best Kinescope Show, "The Texaco Star Theater", on NBC television.
1951 - Operation Ranger started atomic testing in the Nevada desert. An Air Force plane dropped a 1-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1956 - The "CBS Radio Workshop" was heard for the first time. This first broadcast featured Aldous Huxley narrating his classic, "Brave New World".
1961 - Leontyne Price made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. She sang in the role of Leonora in "Il Trovatore". Price was only the seventh black singer to make a debut at the Met. Marian Anderson was the first (1955).
1967 - Tragedy struck on the launch pad of Apollo 204, scheduled to be the first Apollo manned mission. A flash fire in the command module during a preflight test killed astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee. After the disaster, the mission was officially designated Apollo 1.
1968 - The Bee Gees played their first American concert, as a group. They earned $50,000 to entertain at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This is identical to what the Beatles were paid to perform at the Hollywood Bowl a few years earlier.
1968 - Otis Redding’s "(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay" was released on this day, seven weeks after the singer’s death. It became #1 on March 16,
1968 and remained at the top spot for a month. Redding began his recording career in 1960 with Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers (on Confederate Records). He sang duet with Carla Thomas and had 11 chart hits. Redding of Dawson, GA was killed in a plane crash at Lake Monona near Madison, WI. Four members of the Bar-Kays were also killed in the crash. "The Dock of the Bay", his only number one song, was recorded just three days before his death.
1973 - The Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris, formally bringing to an end the longest foreign war in U.S. history. The agreement called for a cease-fire to begin the next day, the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and military advisers, and the release of all prisoners held by both sides. Diplomats held two separate ceremonies because South Vietnam refused to recognize the Viet Cong’s existence.
1976 - Laverne and Shirley, a spin-off from Happy Days, premiered on ABC TV. Penny Marshall starred as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams was Shirley Feeney. The show ran through May 10, 1983.
1984 - Carl Lewis bettered his own two-year-old record by 9-1/4 inches when he set a new, world indoor record with a long-jump mark of 28 feet, 10-1/4 inches. The track event was held in New York City.
1984 - Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in Los Angeles. Pyrotechnics did not operate on cue, injuring the singer. Jackson was hospitalized for a few days and fans from around the world sent messages of concern.
1984 - ‘The Great One’, Wayne Gretzky, set a National Hockey League record for consecutive game scoring, as his streak ended at 51 games. The streak began on October 5, 1983, ending with the L.A. Kings defeating the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2. Gretzky collected 153 points (61 goals and 92 assists) during the run. Gretzky left Edmonton to play for the Kings in 1988.
1991 - Super Bowl XXV (at Tampa): New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19. The Giants had the ball for 40 minutes, 33 seconds and the Bills hung on to the ball for less than 8 minutes in the second half. Talk about ball control. MVP: Giants’ RB Ottis Anderson. Tickets: $150.00.
1992 - Boxer >Mike Tyson went on trial for the rape of 1991 Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington. He was found guilty on February 10 and sentenced to three years in prison.
1993 - American Chad Rowan (Akebono) was awarded the highest rank in sumo wrestling, making him the first foreign Yokozuna. The 6-foot-9, 510-pound naturalized Japanese citizen born in Hawaii became the 64th person to hold the top rank in the Japanese sport’s 2,000-year history.
1996 - France detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb. The next day, President Chirac announced that France would no longer test nuclear weapons.
2004 - John Kerry won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary with 39% of the vote. Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, John Edwards and Joe Lieberman followed with 26, 12, 12, and 9%.
2005 - Consumer-goods manufacturing giant Procter & Gamble announced a $55 billion deal to buy the Gillette Corp.
2006 - Movies opening in U.S. theatres: Annapolis, with James Franco, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Donnie Wahlberg, Chi McBride and Vicellous Shannon; Big Momma’s House 2, starring Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Zachary Levi, Emily Procter, Mark Moses; Bubble, with Dustin James Ashley, Katherine Beaumier, Joyce Brookhart, Daniel R. Christian, Ross Clegg, Omar Cowan, Thomas R. Davis, M. Stephen Dee, Debbie Doebereiner, Leonora K. Hornbeck, Laurie Lee, Decker Moody, Scott Smeeks, K. Smith, Madison Wilkins, Misty Dawn Wilkins and Phyllis Workman; and Nanny McPhee, starring Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Kelly Macdonald and Thomas Sangster.
2007 - The $57 million Portland Aerial Tram began operations. Two 78-passenger cabins carried commuters from the Banks of the Willamette River to the campus of the Oregon Health and Sciences University on Marquam Hill.
2007 - The Sundance Film Festival’s grand-jury prize for best U.S. drama was won by Padre Nuestro, an immigrant saga about a Mexican teen’s heartbreaking search for his father in America. Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), a profile of lives in Brazil, took the Documentary Grand Jury Prize (along with the cinematography prize).
2008 - Former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov was barred from the Russian ballot by election authorities who said tens of thousands of signatures on his nominating petitions were faked. Kasyanov denounced the Central Election Commission’s ruling as politically motivated and described the election as a farce. “I have no doubt that Putin personally made the decision not to register my candidacy,” he said.
Birthdays - January 27
1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Theophilus) (composer: Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Symphony #41, Requiem, A Little Night Music; died Dec 5, 1791)
1832 - Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) (mathematician, writer: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, The Hunting of the Snark; died Jan 14, 1898)
1850 - Samuel Gompers (labor union leader: 1st president of the American Federation of Labor [AFL]; died Dec 13, 1924)
1885 - Jerome Kern (the father of the American musical: composer: Show Boat, Ol’ Man River, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lovely to Look At, The Way You Look Tonight, The Last Time I Saw Paris; died Nov 11, 1945)
1895 - Harry Ruby (Rubinstein) (musician: composer: Duck Soup; died Feb 23, 1974)
1900 - Hyman Rickover (‘Father of the Nuclear Navy’: U.S. Navy Admiral: directed development of the Nautilus, the first nuclear reactor- powered submarine; died July 8, 1986)
1901 - Art Rooney (Pro Football Hall of Fame founder, administrator: bought the Pittsburgh Pirates  and changed their name to the Steelers ; died Aug 25, 1988)
1908 - William Randolph Hearst Jr. (publishing and broadcasting mogul: newspapers: San Francisco Examiner, magazines: Cosmopolitan; Hearst Broadcasting, A&E Television Networks, The History Channel; died May 14, 1993)
1916 - Milt (Milton W.) Raskin (pianist, composer: Twenty Mule Train [Death Valley Days], Exotic Percussion [Kapu], Look Out Up There [w/Pete Rugolo], I Never Wanna Look Into Those Eyes [w/Johnny Mercer], Mileka; arranger: Naked City, The Fugitive, The Agony and the Ecstacy, Lawrence of Arabia; died Oct 16, 1977)
1918 - Skitch (Lyle) Henderson (bandleader: musical director of NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show with Steve Allen, Johnny Carson; conductor: Tulsa Symphony Orchestra; died Nov 1, 2005)
1921 - Donna Reed (Mullenger) (actress: From Here to Eternity, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Benny Goodman Story, The Donna Reed Show; died Jan 14, 1986)
1924 - Sabu (Dastagir) (actor: A Tiger Walks, The Treasure of Bengal, The Jungle Book, Arabian Nights, The Thief of Bagdad, The Elephant Boy; died Dec 2, 1963)
1930 - Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland (Robert Calvin Brooks) (Roll Hall of Fame singer: That’s the Way Love Is, Call on Me, Turn on Your Love Light, Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do; original group: The Beale Streeters with Johnny Ace; died Jun 23, 2013)
1934 - George Follmer (auto racer: Spanish Grand Prix [3rd place: 1973]; Trans-Am season win [tied w/Hurley Haywood, Carl Shafer: 1976])
1936 - Troy Donahue (Merle Johnson) (actor: Hawaiian Eye, Parrish, A Summer Place, Assault of the Party Nerds, The Godfather: Part 2, The Chilling; died Sep 2, 2001)
1944 - Nick Mason (musician: drums: group: Pink Floyd: Arnold Lane, Let There be More Light, Atom Heart Mother, Echoes, Wish You Were Here, Shine on You Crazy Diamond; LP: Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall)
1946 - Nedra Talley (singer: group: The Ronettes: Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, Do I Love You, Walking in the Rain, [The Best Part of] Breaking Up)
1948 - Mikhail Baryshnikov (Russian ballet dancer, choreographer, actor: defected from the U.S.S.R. to Canada in 1974, then went on to the U.S.; principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre [1974-1978], worked with New York City Ballet, with George Balanchine and as a regular guest artist with the Royal Ballet; several roles were created for him, including roles Opus 19: The Dreamer , by Jerome Robbins, Rhapsody , by Frederick Ashton, and Other Dances with Natalia Makarova by Jerome Robbins; he returned to ABT in 1980 as dancer and artistic director for ten years; became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. [July 3, 1986]; was artistic director of the White Oak Dance Project, a touring company he co-founded with Mark Morris [1990-2002]; won the Prix Benois de la Danse for lifetime achievement ; launched the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York )
1950 - Russell Lee (basketball: Milwaukee Bucks)
1951 - Brian Downey (musician: drums: group: Thin Lizzy: Still in Love with You, Killer on the Loose, Whiskey in the Jar, The Rocker, Little Girl in Bloom)
1951 - Seth Justman (musician: keyboard, singer, composer: group: The J. Geils Band: Give It to Me, Must Have Got Lost, One Last Kiss, Freeze-Frame, Centerfold, Angel in Blue, Land of 1000 Dances)
1952 - Brian Gottfried (tennis: Trinity University [Division I National Championship: 1972]; French Open [1975, 1977], Wimbledon [w/Raul Ramirez: 1976]; 25 singles titles, 54 doubles crowns; singles ranking No. 3 in world: 1977)
1956 - Mimi Rogers (actress: Full Body Massage, Monkey Trouble, Dark Horse, The Rousters, Desperate Hours, The Mighty Quinn, Someone To Watch Over Me, Blue Skies Again)
1959 - Cris Collinsworth (football: Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver: Super Bowl XVI, XXIII; TV sports analyst: HBO’s Inside the NFL, NFL Thursday Night Football, NBC Sunday Night Football)
1961 - Gillian Gilbert (musician: keyboards: group: New Order: Shellshock, Confusion, Blue Monday)
1964 - Bridget Fonda (actress: Point of No Return, The Godfather, Part 3, Aria, 21 Jump Street; daughter of actor, Peter Fonda and actress, Susan Brewer, granddaughter of actor, Henry Fonda, niece of actress, Jane Fonda)
1968 - Mike Patton (singer: group: Faith No More)
1971 - Guillermo Rodriguez (TV personality: Jimmy Kimmel Live!; began his career as the parking lot security guard at ABC’s Hollywood Blvd studios)
1972 - Bryant Young (football: Notre Dame Univ; NFL: San Francisco 49ers)
1979 - Rosamund Pike (actress: Pride & Prejudice , Die Another Day, An Education, Dagenham, Barney’s Version, Johnny English Reborn, Wrath of the Titans, Jack Reacher)
1980 - Marat Safin (tennis pro: won two grand slam tournaments [2000 U.S. Open, 2005 Australian Open]; helped lead Russia to Davis Cup victories [2002, 2006]; reached the World #1 ranking [Nov 20, 2000]; since his retirement in 2009, he became an elected member of parliament for President Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party)
Chart Toppers - January 27
For Sentimental Reasons - Nat King Cole
A Gal in Calico - Johnny Mercer
Ole Buttermilk Sky - The Kay Kyser Orchestra (vocal: Mike Douglas & The Campus Kids)
Rainbow at Midnight - Ernest Tubb
Mr. Sandman - The Chordettes
Let Me Go, Lover! - Teresa Brewer
Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) - The Penguins
Loose Talk - Carl Smith
Walk Right In - The Rooftop Singers
Hey Paula - Paul & Paula
Tell Him - The Exciters
The Ballad of Jed Clampett - Flatt & Scruggs
Knock Three Times - Dawn
Lonely Days - Bee Gees
Stoney End - Barbra Streisand
Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson
Le Freak - Chic
Y.M.C.A. - Village People
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? - Rod Stewart
Why Have You Left the One You Left Me For - Crystal Gayle
At This Moment - Billy Vera & The Beaters
Open Your Heart - Madonna
Control - Janet Jackson
Cry Myself to Sleep - The Judds
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.