Events - January 3
1825 - The first engineering college in the U.S., Rensselaer School, opened in Troy, New York. It’s still there; now known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Rah!
1871 - A Binghamton, NY chap named Henry W. Bradley patented oleomargarine this day. How many of you want to reveal your age by saying you remember when oleomargarine was white and was sold in plastic bags with a color tab inside the bag? What fun it was to break that tab and squish the yellow color through the oleomargarine! Let the good times roll!
1888 - Marvin C. Stone of Washington, DC patented the drinking straw. Slurp something yummy in celebration today.
1938 - The first broadcast of "Woman in White" was presented on the NBC Red network. The program remained on radio for 10 years and was one of the first to feature real, honest-to-goodness doctors and nurses in leading roles.
1938 - The March of Dimes was established -- by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- to fight poliomyelitis (Roosevelt himself was afflicted with polio). The organization was originally called the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (as the disease was commonly known). The March of Dimes accomplished its mission within 20 years. Research led by Dr. Jonas Salk and supported by funds (those marching little dimes) raised annually by thousands of volunteers, resulted in the announcement in April 1955 that the Salk polio vaccine was “safe, potent and effective.” The foundation also supported the research that led to the Sabin oral vaccine; another safe, effective polio preventative discovered by Dr. Albert B. Sabin.
1939 - Tennis legend Don Budge played a pro tennis match, his first in Madison Square Garden, NY, before 16,725 spectators. Budge was touring the country as the top U.S. tennis player, having won the grand slam of tennis (Australian, French and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon) the year before.
1940 - The "Southland Shuffle" was recorded on Bluebird Records by Charlie Barnet and his orchestra. A young trumpet player named Billy May was featured.
1953 - Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, became the first mother-son combination to serve at the same time in the United States Congress.
1957 - The Hamilton Watch Company was the first to introduce an electric watch; now a standard in the watch world.
1959 - Alaska (49th state) entered the United States of America; capital: Juneau; bird: willow ptarmigan; flower: forget-me-not; nickname: The Last Frontier.
1964 - Barry Goldwater announced that he was a candidate for the U.S. Presidency. Later that year he lost ... big time! Lyndon B. Johnson: 43,126,506; Goldwater: 27,176,799.
1969 - 30,000 copies of the John Lennon, Yoko Ono album, "Two Virgins", were confiscated by police in Newark, New Jersey. The nude photo of John and Yoko on the cover violated pornography laws in the state.
1972 - Don McLean received a gold record for his 8-minute-plus (8:32) hit, "American Pie".
1973 - The Columbia Broadcasting System or CBS, as it’s known, got out of the baseball business this day by selling the New York Yankees to a 17-person syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner. The price tag: $10 million.
1974 - Following eight years of inactivity, Bob Dylan toured for 39 dates in 25 cities. His first stop was in Chicago, IL. The tour was recorded and later released as a double-LP set titled, "Before the Flood".
1981 - John Lennon’s "(Just Like) Starting Over" and the album "Double Fantasy" topped the pop music charts just weeks after the death of the former Beatle.
1985 - Soprano Leontyne Price bid adieu to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She sang the title role of "Aida". Price had been part of the Met since 1961.
1986 - Capital Cities acquired ABC-TV for $3.5 billion. (In 1991, Capital Cities/ABC Inc. was purchased by Disney for a then-record $19 billion).
1987 - The first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was ‘Lady Soul’: Aretha Franklin. Bill Haley was among the 14 others inducted on this day.
1991 - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan bought MCA Inc. for $6.9 billion.
1999 - Chicagoans dug out from their biggest snowstorm in more than 30 years. Diggers measured 22 inches at O’Hare International Airport when the last of the flakes had settled.
Birthdays - January 3
106 B.C. - Cicero (Roman statesman; died Dec 7, 43 B.C.) 1793 - Lucretia Mott (women’s rights activist: one of the founders of the movement; teacher, minister, antislavery leader; died Nov 11, 1880)
1879 - Grace Coolidge (Goodhue) (First Lady: wife of 30th U.S. President Calvin Coolidge [1923-29]; died July 8, 1957)
1883 - Clement Attlee (Britain’s prime minister [1945-1951]; head of Labour Party; died Oct 8, 1967)
1892 - J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien (writer: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit; died Sep 2, 1973)
1894 - Zasu Pitts (actress: Busby Berkeley’s 1934 musical: Dames; died June 7, 1963)
1897 - Marion (Cecilia Douras) Davies (actress: Runaway Romany, When Knighthood Was in Flower, The Patsy, Show People, Going Hollywood; died Sep 22, 1961)
1907 - Ray Milland (Reginald Truscott-Jones) (Academy Award-winning actor: The Lost Weekend , We’re Not Dressing, Star-Spangled Rhythm, Lady in the Dark, Let’s Do It Again, X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes; died Mar 10, 1986)
1909 - Victor Borge (Borge Rosenbaum) (pianist, comedian: phonetic punctuation: "bpft"; died Dec 23, 2000)
1911 - Joseph Rauh (civil rights activist: cofounded Americans for Democratic Action; member: executive board of NAACP; general counsel: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; died Sep 4, 1992)
1911 - John Sturges (director: Bad Day at Black Rock, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Ice Station Zebra, The Eagle Has Landed; died Aug 18, 1992)
1916 - Maxene (Angelyn) Andrews (singer [w/sisters LaVerne and Patty: group: The Andrews Sisters: Why Talk About Love?, A Simple Melody, Bei Mir Bist Du Schön, Rum and Coca Cola; solo: I Suppose; on Broadway with Patty: Over Here; died Oct 21, 1995)
1916 - Betty (Elizabeth Mary) Furness (actress: Renegades of the West, Flying Down to Rio, Magnificent Obsession; TV host: Penthouse Party, News Gal/Byline, Meet Betty Furness; consumer advocate, TV spokesperson for refrigerators: Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse; died Apr 2, 1994)
1921 - John (William Lawrence) Russell (actor: Forever Amber, Rio Bravo, Pale Rider; died Jan 19, 1991)
1922 - Bill Travers (producer, director, actor: Born Free; died Mar 29, 1994)
1923 - Hank Stram (football: coach: Kansas City Chiefs: Super Bowls I, IV; sportscaster: CBS radio; died July 4, 2005)
1926 - Joan Walsh Anglund (author: Bedtime Book, Crocus in the Snow; illustrator of children’s books)
1926 - Sir George Martin (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame record producer, arranger, keyboard: group: The Beatles; AIR Studios; died Mar 8, 2016)
1930 - Robert Loggia (actor: Independence Day, Wild Palms, Big, Armed and Dangerous, Prizzi’s Honor, Scarface, Psycho 2, Pink Panther series, A Woman Called Golda, Speedtrap, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Mancuso FBI; died Dec 4, 2015)
1932 - Dabney Coleman (actor: Judicial Consent, The Beverly Hillbillies, Amos and Andrew, Clifford, Never Forget, Short Time, Dragnet, The Man with One Red Shoe, Tootsie, On Golden Pond, 9 to 5, North Dallas Forty, The Other Side of the Mountain, Cinderella Liberty, The President’s Plane is Missing, Buffalo Bill)
1932 - Clifton ‘Coo Coo’ Marlin (auto racer: Winston Cup star; died Aug 14, 2005)
1939 - Bobby Hull (‘The Golden Jet’: Hockey Hall of Famer: Chicago Blackhawks left wing: Hart Memorial Trophy, NHL’s MVP award [1965, 1966]; Lady Byng Trophy for good sportsmanship ; 1st pro hockey player to score more than 50 goals in one season [54: 1965])
1945 - Stephen Stills (singer, songwriter, guitarist: group: Buffalo Springfield: For What It’s Worth; group: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
1946 - John Paul Jones (Baldwin) (musician: bass: film score: Scream for Help; group: Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love, Moby Dick, Ramble On, Immigrant Song, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Rock & Roll, The Battle of Evermore, Stairway to Heaven)
1946 - Don May (basketball: Univ. of Dayton, Indiana Pacers)
1949 - Gary (Robert) Lavelle (baseball: pitcher: SF Giants, [all-star: 1977, 1983], Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics)
1950 - Bart (Clair Barth) Johnson (baseball: pitcher: Chicago White Sox)
1950 - Rick MacLeish (hockey: London Nationals, Oklahoma City Blazers, Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings)
1950 - Victoria Principal (actress: Dallas, Fantasy Island, Scott Turow’s The Burden of Proof, Naked Lie, Blind Witness, Mistress, Pleasure Palace, Earthquake, Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean)
1956 - Mel (Columcille) Gibson (Academy Award-winning director: Braveheart ; The Passion of the Christ; actor: Braveheart, Maverick, The Man Without a Face, Lethal Weapon series, Forever Young, Hamlet, Bird on a Wire, Tequila Sunrise, Mad Max series, Mrs. Soffel, The Road Warrior, The Year of Living Dangerously, Summer City, Conspiracy Theory, The Patriot, What Women Want)
1963 - Jim Everett III (football: quarterback: Purdue Univ., LA Rams [Pro Bowl: 1990], New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers)
Chart Toppers - January 3
Ole Buttermilk Sky - The Kay Kyser Orchestra (vocal: Mike Douglas & The Campus Kids)
The Old Lamplighter - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Billy Williams)
For Sentimental Reasons - Nat King Cole
Divorce Me C.O.D. - Merle Travis
Mr. Sandman - The Chordettes
Let Me Go, Lover - Joan Weber
The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane - The Ames Brothers
More and More - Webb Pierce
Telstar - The Tornadoes
Bobby’s Girl - Marcie Blane
Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence
Don’t Let Me Cross Over - Carl Butler & Pearl (Dee Jones)
My Sweet Lord/Isn’t It a Pity - George Harrison
Knock Three Times - Dawn
Black Magic Woman - Santana
Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson
Le Freak - Chic
Too Much Heaven - Bee Gees
My Life - Billy Joel
The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
Walk Like an Egyptian - Bangles
Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung
Notorious - Duran Duran
Mind Your Own Business - Hank Williams, Jr.
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.