This Day in American History
1675 - In the United States, the first corporation was charted: the New York Fishing Company.
1735 – John Carroll (d. 1815) was born in Upper Marlboro, MD. The first Bishop and Archbishop in the US, he served as the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Carroll is also known as the founder of Georgetown University, the oldest Roman Catholic university in the United States.
1786 - Birthday of Nicholas Biddle (d. 1844) at Philadelphia, PA. American lawyer, diplomat, statesman and financier who served as president of the Second Bank of the United States.
1798 - The 11th Amendment of the United States Constitution, modifying the power of the Supreme Court, was ratified.
1802 - As mandated by Jay's Treaty, a specially appointed commission finds that in settlement of the war claims of British citizens, both Loyalists and English merchants, the US owes $2,664,000.
1806 - Lewis & Clark find skeleton of 105' blue whale in Oregon
1811 – An unsuccessful slave revolt was led by Charles Deslondes in St. Charles and St. James, LA.
1815 - The greatest battle of the War of 1812 and its finest American victory came on Jan. 8, 1815, two weeks after the war had been ended officially by the Treaty of Client. The Battle of New Orleans was fought on the British side by 7500 veterans under the command of Gen. Sir Edward Pakenham. The U.S. force, under the command of Gen. Andrew Jackson, comprised about 4500 troops, many of them expert marksmen from Kentucky and Tennessee armed with exceedingly accurate long rifles. The U.S. troops were strongly entrenched when, on the morning of Jan. 8, the British, in close ranks, made two assaults on their lines. In half an hour, the British were driven back, Pakenham was killed, and 2036 of his men were killed or wounded. U.S. forces suffered 8 killed and 13 wounded. Although the battle had no bearing on the outcome of the war, it was a stimulus to U.S. pride which had suffered from several embarrassing defeats during the conflict. The battle made a military hero of Gen. Jackson, whose political career was advanced.
1821 - Birthday of Confederate General James Longstreet (d. 1904), near Edgefield, South Carolina. Longstreet became one of the most successful generals in the Confederate Army, but after the war was a target of some of his comrades, who were searching for a scapegoat. Longstreet grew up in Georgia and attended West Point, graduating 54th in a class of 62 in 1842. He was a close friend of Ulysses S. Grant, and served as best man in Grant's 1848 wedding to Julia Dent, Longstreet's fourth cousin. Longstreet fought in the Mexican War and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec. He served in the army until he resigned at the beginning of the Civil War, when he was named brigadier general in the Confederate Army. Longstreet fought at the First Battle of Bull Run and within a year was commander of corps in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. Upon the death of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, Longstreet was considered the most effective corps commander in Lee's army. He served with Lee for the rest of the war, except for the fall of 1863, when he took his force to aid the Confederate effort in Tennessee. Longstreet was severely wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, and he did not return to service for six months. He resumed service and fought with Lee until the surrender at Appomattox in April, 1865. After the war, Longstreet engaged in a number of businesses and held several governmental posts, most notably U.S. Minister to Turkey. Although successful, he made two moves that greatly tarnished his reputation among his fellow southerners. He joined the despised Republican Party and publicly questioned Lee's strategy at the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg. His fellow officers considered these sins to be unforgivable, and former comrades such as Generals Jubal Early and John Gordon attacked Longstreet as a traitor. They asserted that, in fact, Longstreet was responsible for the errors that lost Gettysburg. There is a controversy regarding JEB Stuart and other actions, attributed to both the confusion of the battle, communication problems, and “battle decisions” rather than plans.
1833 - Boston Academy of Music, the first U.S. music school, was established
1835 – For the only time in our history, the US debt was zero.
1856 - Dr. John Veatch discovered Borax, hydrated sodium borate, in Tuscan Springs, California. It would become a multiuse product popularized during the time of television’s "Death Valley Days".
1859 - This is the only day New York City's temperature stayed below zero the entire day.
1867 - A law granting African-American men the right to vote was the congressional act of January 8, 1867. It amended voting practices in Washington, DC, permitting male citizens of the city 21 years of age or over to vote, except paupers, those under guardianship, men convicted of infamous crimes, and men who gave voluntary comfort to the rebels during the Civil War. The bill was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson on January 5, 1867. He had been chosen President after the election was decided by the Electoral College by promising Southern Democrats to vote against any reformation measures. His veto was overridden in the Senate by a vote of 29 to 10 and in the House by a vote of 112 to 28.
1870 - U.S. mint at Carson City, Nevada began issuing coins.
1877 - Outnumbered, low on ammunition, and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves, Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana. Six months earlier, Crazy Horse (Tashunca-uitco) and his ally, Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake), led their combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne to a stunning victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and his men near the Little Bighorn River of Montana. Outraged by the killing of the flamboyant Custer and more than 200 soldiers, the American people demanded speedy revenge. The U.S. Army responded by commanding General Nelson Miles to mount a winter campaign in 1876-77 against the remaining hostile Indians on the Northern Plains. Combining military force with diplomatic overtures, Nelson succeeded in convincing many Indians to surrender and return to their reservations. Much to Nelson's frustration, though, Sitting Bull refused to give in and fled across the border to Canada, where he and his people remained for four years before finally returning to the U.S. to surrender in 1881. Meanwhile, Crazy Horse and his band also refused to surrender, though they were suffering badly from sickness and starvation. His followers later reported that Crazy Horse, who had always been slightly odd, began to grow even stranger during this difficult time, disappearing for days into the wilderness by himself and walking about the camp with his eyes to the ground. On January 8, 1877, General Miles found Crazy Horse's camp along Montana's Tongue River. The soldiers opened fire with their big wagon-mounted guns, driving the Indians from their warm tents out into a raging blizzard. Crazy Horse and his warriors managed to regroup on a ridge and return fire, but most of their ammunition was gone, and they were reduced to fighting with bows and arrows. They managed to hold off the soldiers long enough for the women and children to escape under cover of the blinding blizzard before they turned to follow them. Though he had escaped decisive defeat, Crazy Horse realized that Miles and his well-equipped cavalry troops would eventually hunt down and destroy his cold and hungry people. On May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse led 1,100 Indians to the Red Cloud reservation near Fort Robinson. The mighty warrior surrendered in the face of insurmountable obstacles. Five months later, after he tried to escape, two guards led him back to the guardhouse, and he did not want to go. One of the guards put a bayonet in his stomach and Crazy Horse died.
1880 - San Francisco Emperor Norton drops dead on California St. Between 10,000 and 30,000 people were reported to have attended his funeral.
1889 - Dr. Herman Hollerith patented the tabulating machine. The machine tallied numbers fed to it on punch cards. The system was first used extensively to compile statistics for the eleventh federal census in 1890. In 1896, Hollerith organized the Tabulating Machine Company, which later grew into the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
1898 – National League president Nick Young announced that the more experienced umpire will stay behind the plate when the new two-umpire system is instituted. Previously, the single umpire stood behind the pitcher only with men on base.
1901 - In Chicago, Illinois, the first bowling tournament sanctioned by the American Bowling Congress was held.
1904 - Birthday of songwriter/guitarist Tampa Red (d. 1981), born Hudson Woodbridge but known from childhood as Hudson Whittaker, in Smithville, GA.
1911 – Gypsy Rose Lee (d. 1970) was born Rose Louise Hovick in Seattle.
1918 - Mississippi ratified the Prohibition Amendment. On January 16, 1919, Nebraska became the 36th state, making the 75% of the state’s requirement for the prohibition of alcohol which went into effect on January 16, 1920. In 1933, it became the first constitutional amendment to be repealed.
1918 - In a speech before a hastily convened joint session of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson presented Fourteen Points for a just peace. The proposal called for reduction of armaments to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety, “open covenants openly arrived at,” self-determination of governments and the creation of a League of Nations to preserve peace. Wilson was unable to obtain Allied agreement to his proposals.
1923 - Birthday of pianist Bobby Tucker (d. 2007), Morristown, NJ. He is most famous for being Billie Holiday’s accompanist from 1946 to 1949. http://www.partymusicfactory.com/bobby_tucker.htm
1923 - The all-time January record high temperature reading was reached at Los Angeles when the mercury climbed to 90 degrees.
1923 – Larry Storch, Cpl Agarn on “F Troop” was born in NYC.
1925 – The first all-female U.S. state Supreme Court was appointed, in Texas.
1926 - Birthday of one of my favorite comedians, Soupy Sales, born Morton Supman (d. 2009), Franklinton, NC.
1928 - SCHILT, CHRISTIAN FRANK, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps. Place and date: Quilali, Nicaragua, 6, 7 and 8 January 1928. Entered service at: Illinois. Born: 1 March 1895, Richland County, Ill. Other Navy awards: Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 gold star. Citation: During the progress of an insurrection at Quilali, Nicaragua, 6, 7, and 8 January 1928, 1st Lt. Schilt, then a member of a marine expedition which had suffered severe losses in killed and wounded, volunteered under almost impossible conditions to evacuate the wounded by air and transport a relief commanding officer to assume charge of a very serious situation. 1st Lt. Schilt bravely undertook this dangerous and important task and, by taking off a total of 10 times in the rough, rolling street of a partially burning village, under hostile infantry fire on each occasion, succeeded in accomplishing his mission, thereby actually saving 3 lives and bringing supplies and aid to others in desperate need.
1931 - Birthday of music producer/promoter Bill Graham (d. 1991), was born Wulf Wolodia Grajonca, Berlin, Germany
http://www.billgrahammenorah.com/ ( see biography of Graham)
1932 - Birthday of Mel Tillis, the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year in 1976, born in Dover, Florida. Equally talented as a singer and as a songwriter, Tillis began his hit-making career in 1958 with "The Violet and the Rose." His top-ten singles have included "Who's Julie," "The Arms of a Fool" and "Memory Maker”. Tillis has a speech impediment, but has made his stuttering a part of his act. On February 13, 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to country music
1935 - Birthday of Elvis Aaron Presley (d. 1977), American rock ‘n’ roll singer, at Tupelo, MS. Although his middle name was spelled incorrectly as “Aron” on his birth certificate, Elvis had it legally changed to “Aaron,” which is how it is spelled on his gravestone. His motto was “TCB”, taking care of business. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as “The King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, "The King". Presley is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century. Commercially successful in many genres, including pop, blues, and gospel, he is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music, with estimated record sales of around 600 million units worldwide. He won three Grammys, also receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Presley holds the records for most songs charting in Billboard 's top 40 and top 100: chart statistician Joel Whitburn calculates the respective totals as 104 and 15. In addition he made 33 films between 1956-72.
1937 – Record low temperature of -50ºF (-45.6ºC), San Jacinto, Nevada (state record)
1937 - American composer Robert Moran was born in Denver, Colorado. Studied 12 Tone Composition with Hans Erich Apostel in Vienna, 1957-58; completed his Master’s Degree in Composition with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud at Mills College, 1961-63.
1937 - Birthday of singer Shirley Bassey in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales. She is best known for recording the theme songs to the Bond films “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979). In 2000, Bassey was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the performing arts. In 1977 she received the Brit award for Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years.
1940 - Birthday of rock ‘n’ roller Little Anthony, born Anthony Gourdine, New York City. Signed by producer Richard Barrett, the group, Little Anthony and the Imperials, had a million-seller in 1958 with "Tears on My Pillow." Their other top-10 hits included "Goin' Out of My Head" and "Hurt So Bad”. Little Anthony and the Imperials received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award in 1993. On January 14, 2009, it was announced that Little Anthony and the Imperials had been inducted into the Rock and roll Hall of Fame. They still perform at rock ‘n’ roll revivals.
1941 - American mogul William Randolph Hearst, owner of the Hearst newspaper chain, forbids any of his newspapers from accepting ads for Orson Welles' “Citizen Kane”, slated for release later in the year. The film was generally interpreted as a psychological study of Hearst, portrayed as the fictional Charles Foster Kane. In March, 1941, Welles threatened to sue Hearst for trying to suppress the film, and RKO if it failed to release the film. The film premiered May 1, 1941, at the RKO Palace in New York and became one of the most highly regarded films of all time.
1941 - Harry James records “Music Makers” (Columbia 25932)
1942 - Birthday of drummer Bill Goodwin, Los Angeles
1944 - Top Hits
“My Heart Tells Me” - The Glen Gray Orchestra (vocal: Eugenie Baird)
“Paper Doll” - The Mills Brothers
“People Will Say We’re in Love” - Bing Crosby
“Pistol Packin’ Mama” - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters.
1945 - DUNHAM, RUSSELL E., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kayserberg, France, 8 January 1945. Entered service at: Brighton Ill. Born: 23 February 1920, East Carondelet, Ill. G.O. No.: 37, 11 May 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. At about 1430 hours on 8 January 1945, during an attack on Hill 616, near Kayserberg, France, T/Sgt. Dunham single-handedly assaulted 3 enemy machineguns. Wearing a white robe made of a mattress cover, carrying 12 carbine magazines and with a dozen hand grenades snagged in his belt, suspenders, and buttonholes, T/Sgt. Dunham advanced in the attack up a snow-covered hill under fire from 2 machineguns and supporting riflemen. His platoon 35 yards behind him, T/Sgt. Dunham crawled 75 yards under heavy direct fire toward the timbered emplacement shielding the left machinegun. As he jumped to his feet 10 yards from the gun and charged forward, machinegun fire tore through his camouflage robe and a rifle bullet seared a 10-inch gash across his back sending him spinning 15 yards downhill into the snow. When the indomitable sergeant sprang to his feet to renew his 1-man assault, a German egg grenade landed beside him. He kicked it aside, and as it exploded 5 yards away, shot and killed the German machine gunner and assistant gunner. His carbine empty, he jumped into the emplacement and hauled out the third member of the gun crew by the collar. Although his back wound was causing him excruciating pain and blood was seeping through his white coat, T/Sgt. Dunham proceeded 50 yards through a storm of automatic and rifle fire to attack the second machinegun. Twenty-five yards from the emplacement he hurled 2 grenades, destroying the gun and its crew; then fired down into the supporting foxholes with his carbine dispatching and dispersing the enemy riflemen. Although his coat was so thoroughly blood-soaked that he was a conspicuous target against the white landscape, T/Sgt. Dunham again advanced ahead of his platoon in an assault on enemy positions farther up the hill. Coming under machinegun fire from 65 yards to his front, while rifle grenades exploded 10 yards from his position, he hit the ground and crawled forward. At 15 yards range, he jumped to his feet, staggered a few paces toward the timbered machinegun emplacement and killed the crew with hand grenades. An enemy rifleman fired at pointblank range, but missed him. After killing the rifleman, T/Sgt. Dunham drove others from their foxholes with grenades and carbine fire. Killing 9 Germans - wounding 7 and capturing 2 - firing about 175 rounds of carbine ammunition, and expending 11 grenades, T/Sgt. Dunham, despite a painful wound, spearheaded a spectacular and successful diversionary attack.
1945 - TURNER, DAY G., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 319th Infantry, 80th Infantry Division. Place and date: At Dahl, Luxembourg, 8 January 1945. Entered service at. Nescopek, Pa. Birth: Berwick, Pa. G.O. No.: 49, 28 June 1945. Citation: He commanded a 9-man squad with the mission of holding a critical flank position. When overwhelming numbers of the enemy attacked under cover of withering artillery, mortar, and rocket fire, he withdrew his squad into a nearby house, determined to defend it to the last man. The enemy attacked again and again and was repulsed with heavy losses. Supported by direct tank fire, they finally gained entrance, but the intrepid sergeant refused to surrender although 5 of his men were wounded and 1 was killed. He boldly flung a can of flaming oil at the first wave of attackers, dispersing them, and fought doggedly from room to room, closing with the enemy in fierce hand-to-hand encounters. He hurled hand grenade for hand grenade, bayoneted 2 fanatical Germans who rushed a doorway he was defending and fought on with the enemy's weapons when his own ammunition was expended. The savage fight raged for 4 hours, and finally, when only 3 men of the defending squad were left unwounded, the enemy surrendered. Twenty-five prisoners were taken, 11 enemy dead and a great number of wounded were counted. Sgt. Turner's valiant stand will live on as a constant inspiration to his comrades His heroic, inspiring leadership, his determination and courageous devotion to duty exemplify the highest tradition of the military service.
1945 - Elvis Presley receives his first guitar for his tenth birthday.
1947 - Singer/Actor David Bowie was born David Robert Jones, Brixton, England.
1952 - Marie Wilson debuted on television as "My Friend Irma". The show spent years on radio, and was highly popular, but only lasted two seasons on television.
1952 - Top Hits
Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
“Sin (It’s No)” - Eddy Howard
“Undecided” - The Ames Brothers
“Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way” - Carl Smith
1953 - A severe ice storm in the northeastern U.S. produced up to four inches of ice in Pennsylvania, and two to three inches in southeastern New York State. In southern New England, the ice coated a layer of snow up to 20 inches deep. The storm resulted in 31 deaths and 2.5 million dollars damage.
1955 - Furman set the NCAA basketball single-game scoring record with 154 points. Georgia Tech ended Kentucky's 130-game home basketball win streak.
1956 - Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" single goes to #1 and stays #1 for a record 11 weeks (for a single.)
1957 - Elvis Presley passed his Army pre-induction exam in Memphis, Tennessee.
1957 - Birthday of former 49er wide out Dwight Edward Clark, Kinston, NC. He played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1987 and he was a member of two of their five Super Bowl championship teams. He is eternally remembered for “The Catch” that propelled the 49ers to the 1981 NFC Championship over the Dallas Cowboys. He caught the winning touchdown pass thrown by QB Joe Montana with 58 seconds remaining, reaching high above his head at the back of the end zone to snare a pass that many believed Montana was throwing away. It gave the Niners a 28-27 win and propelled them to Super Bowl XVI which they won over the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-20.
1957 - Bill Haley and His Comets played their first gig outside of the US, two sold-out shows in Newcastle, Australia. They were the first rock shows on the continent.
1958 - At age 14, Bobby Fisher won his first United States Chess Championship for the first time.
1958 - Cuban revolutionary forces captured Havana.
1960 - Top Hits
“Why” - Frankie Avalon
“Running Bear” - Johnny Preston
“Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” - Freddie Cannon
“El Paso” - Marty Robbins
1960 - The NCAA met in New York to vote against resurrecting the unlimited substitution rule in college football.
1961 - Robert Goulet made his national television debut in the United States on CBS's "The Ed Sullivan Show".
1962 – MLB Commissioner Ford Frick denied charges that Carl Furillo has been blacklisted by Major League Baseball because of a 1959 salary dispute with the Dodgers.
1963 – DaVinci’s “Mona Lisa” was exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
1964 - President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in his State of the Union address. He stressed improved education as one of the cornerstones of the program. The following Aug 20, he signed a $947.5 million anti-poverty bill designed to assist more than 30 million citizens. His fear of not being considered an anti-communist and too liberal kept us in the Viet Nam war as his diary and letters now reveal. His lack of foreign policy leadership overshadowed his domestic accomplishments.
1965 - Loma Elizabeth Lockwood of Douglas, AZ, was elected chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, the first woman to become a state Supreme Court justice. She served from 1965 to 1975. She had been elected an associate justice of the court in 1961.
1965 - On NBC, the television dance show "Hullabaloo" debuted. The show took a weekly trip into rock and roll with a group of girls in mini-skirts. ABC tried to compete with "Shindig".
1966 - The Beatles LP, "Rubber Soul", began its 6-week run at the top of the album chart. Since February, 1964, it was the seventh Beatles LP to hit #1 on the album charts. "Rubber Soul" lasted another 56 weeks on the charts. The other Beatles #1 albums to that date were: "Meet the Beatles", "The Beatles Second Album", "A Hard Day’s Night", "Beatles ’65", "Beatles VI" and "Help!" In 1969, photographer Iain Macmillan took six pictures of the Beatles crossing the street outside their Abbey Road studio in London. A police officer held up traffic while the band walked back and forth several times. Paul McCartney chose one of the pictures for the cover of the "Abbey Road" album.
1968 - Top Hits
“Hello Goodbye” - The Beatles
“Daydream Believer” - The Monkees
“Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” - John Fred & His Playboy Band
“For Loving You” - Bill Anderson & Jan Howard
1968 - WETZEL, GARY GEORGE, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class (then Pfc.), U.S. Army, 173d Assault Helicopter Company. Place and date: Near Ap Dong An, Republic of Vietnam, 8 January 1968. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 29 September 1947, South Milwaukee, Wis. Citation. Sp4c. Wetzel, 173d Assault Helicopter Company, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life. Above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Wetzel was serving as door gunner aboard a helicopter which was part of an insertion force trapped in a landing zone by intense and deadly hostile fire. Sp4c. Wetzel was going to the aid of his aircraft commander when he was blown into a rice paddy and critically wounded by 2 enemy rockets that exploded just inches from his location. Although bleeding profusely due to the loss of his left arm and severe wounds in his right arm, chest, and left leg, Sp4c. Wetzel staggered back to his original position in his gun-well and took the enemy forces under fire. His machinegun was the only weapon placing effective fire on the enemy at that time. Through a resolve that overcame the shock and intolerable pain of his injuries, Sp4c. Wetzel remained at his position until he had eliminated the automatic weapons emplacement that had been inflicting heavy casualties on the American troops and preventing them from moving against this strong enemy force. Refusing to attend his own extensive wounds, he attempted to return to the aid of his aircraft commander but passed out from loss of blood. Regaining consciousness, he persisted in his efforts to drag himself to the aid of his fellow crewman. After an agonizing effort, he came to the side of the crew chief who was attempting to drag the wounded aircraft commander to the safety of a nearby dike. Unswerving in his devotion to his fellow man, Sp4c. Wetzel assisted his crew chief even though he lost consciousness once again during this action. Sp4c. Wetzel displayed extraordinary heroism in his efforts to aid his fellow crewmen. His gallant actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
1969 - American composer Frank Lee Sprague was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. With over 1000 works to his credit, many of his compositions have been debuted and performed in Los Angeles by the best musicians in the world including Ernest Ehrheardt, Karen Elaine, Robert Korda, Brian Leonard, and more. Frank has spent his life studying, writing, and performing music. His main instrument is the guitar. He has many works for guitar and also guitar with various chamber ensembles.
1969 - At San Francisco State in California, 1,000 anti-Vietnam War students attempt to occupy administration building.
1969 - In San Jose, California, teachers join strike with students opposed to the Vietnam War.
1970 - Janis Joplin bought a tombstone for blues singer Bessie Smith's unmarked grave in a Philadelphia cemetery. Less than two months later, Joplin herself was dead of a drug overdose. Smith had died following an auto accident in 1942 at the age of 37.
1972 - The NCAA announced that freshman would be eligible to play varsity football and basketball starting in the fall of 1972.
1973 - Carly Simon was awarded a gold record for her single, "You’re So Vain".
1973 - National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Hanoi's Le Duc Tho resume peace negotiations in Paris. After the South Vietnamese had blunted the massive North Vietnamese invasion launched in the spring of 1972, Kissinger and the North Vietnamese had finally made some progress on reaching a negotiated end to the war. However, a recalcitrant South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu had inserted several demands into to the negotiations that caused the North Vietnamese negotiators to walk out of the talks on December 13. President Richard Nixon issued an ultimatum to Hanoi to send its representatives back to the conference table within 72 hours "or else." The North Vietnamese rejected Nixon's demand and the president ordered Operation Linebacker II, a full-scale air campaign against the Hanoi area. On December 28, after 11 days of round-the-clock bombing (with the exception of a 36-hour break for Christmas), North Vietnamese officials agreed to return to the peace negotiations in Paris. When the negotiators returned on January 8, the peace talks moved along quickly. On January 23, 1973, the United States, North Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam, and the Viet Cong signed a cease-fire agreement that took effect five days later.
1973 - A severe ice storm stuck Atlanta, GA. The storm paralyzed the city. Damage from the storm was estimated at $25 million. One to four inches of ice coated northern Georgia, leaving 300,000 people without electricity for up to a week.
1974 - Gold hits record $126.50 an ounce in London.
1974 - On his thirty-ninth birthday, "Elvis Presley Day" is declared in both the city and county of Memphis, followed by a parade down Elvis Presley Boulevard. Seven years later to the day, it will also officially be declared "Elvis Presley Day" in nine other US states.
1975 - Judge John Sirica ordered the release of Watergate's John W Dean III, Herbert W Kalmbach and Jeb Stuart Magruder from prison.
1975 - Ella Grasso became the first woman to become a governor of a state without her husband preceding her, when she was elected as governor of Connecticut.
1976 - Top Hits
“Saturday Night” - Bay City Rollers
“I Write the Songs” - Barry Manilow
“Theme from Mahogany” (“Do You Know Where You’re Going To?”) - Diana Ross
“Convoy” - C.W. McCall
1977 - Barbra Streisand's recording of “Evergreen” debuted on Billboard's popular record charts on this date, staying on the charts for 18 weeks, and was in the Number 1 spot for 3 weeks. The song, love theme from the movie “A Star is Born”, was later certified gold.
1979 - The United States advises the Shah to leave Iran.
1980 - San Francisco marked the 100th anniversary of the death of America's only monarch, Norton I, Dei Gratia Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, with lunch-hour ceremonies at Market and Montgomery streets. Best ruler the country ever had was the declaration.
1982 - Johnny Cash Parkway opens in Hendersonville Tennessee
1982 - In the most significant antitrust suit since the breakup of Standard Oil, American Telephone and Telegraph agreed to give up its 22 local Bell System companies (“Baby Bells”). These companies represented 80 percent of AT&T’s assets. This ended the corporation’s virtual monopoly on US telephone service. Many critics believe deregulation lead to higher prices and “baby bell” monopolies, plus others believe AT&T is stronger than ever.
1984 - The Seattle Seahawks reached the AFC title game for the first time in their history but were defeated by the Los Angeles Raiders, 30-14
1984 - Top Hits
“Say Say Say” - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
“Owner of a Lonely Heart” - Yes
“Twist of Fate” - Olivia Newton-John
“You Look So Good in Love” - George Strait
1987 - The Dow-Jones Index of 30 major industrial stocks topped the 2,000 mark for the first time.
1988 - A winter storm spread heavy snow across the northeastern U.S., with up to ten inches reported in southern New Jersey.
1989 - "42nd Street," the second longest-running musical in Broadway history, closed after eight years and 3,486 performances seen by 10 million people. The show is second only to "A Chorus Line" in Broadway longevity. "42nd Street" was based on the 1933 movie starring Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers. It told the tale of a chorus girl replacing an aging star who breaks her ankle just before opening night.
1989 - Strong northwesterly winds and bitterly cold temperatures prevailed in the north central U.S. Winds in the Great Lakes Region gusted to 58 mph at Chicago, IL, and reached 63 mph at Niagara Falls, NY. Squalls in western New York State produced 20 inches of snow at Barnes Corners and Lowville. Snow squalls in Upper Michigan produced 26 inches around Keweenaw.
1990 - High winds plagued the northwestern U.S., with the state of Oregon hardest hit. Two persons were killed in Oregon, and nine others were injured, and the high winds downed fifty-five million board feet of timber, valued at more than twenty million dollars. Winds gusted to 90 mph near Pinehurst, ID, and wind gusts reached 96 mph at Stevenson, WA.
1993 - Michael Jordan scored 35 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 120-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The points gave Jordan exactly 20,000 in the 620th game of his career and made him the second fastest NBA player to reach that mark behind Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in 499 games. On January 4, 2002, Jordan back after retirement, hit the 30,000 point mark.
1997 - Texaco took action against David Keough, one of the executives surreptitiously caught on tape making racist jokes and admitting to destroying potentially incriminating documents. An assistant treasurer at Texaco’s finance insurance subsidiary, Keough was fired after officials for the oil giant received the findings of independent counsel Michael Armstrong’s investigation into the tape scandal. Keough’s firing was just the latest chapter in Texaco’s tape saga: earlier in 1996, the discovery of the tape had helped a group of 1,400 employees win a $175 million settlement in a racial discrimination suit brought against the company. That same year Richard Lundwall and Robert Ulrich, two of the other executives captured on the tape, stood trial on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice; Ludwall and Ulrich were acquitted of those charges in 1998.
1998 - World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Ahmed Yousef sentenced to life
2000 - Trailing 16-15 with 16 seconds remaining, the Tennessee Titans stun the Buffalo Bills with a lateral pass on a kickoff return that turns into a 75-yard Kevin Dyson touchdown and a 22-16 wild-card victory that is called "The Music City Miracle.
2007 - Officials from the National Archives announced that their most requested document is a photo of cloaked and bejeweled Elvis Presley shaking hands with President Nixon at The White House on December 21, 1970.
2011 - The attempted assassination of Arizona Representative Gabriele Giffords and subsequent shootings in Casas Adobes, Arizona, killed six people, including Judge John Roll, and wounded 13, including Giffords. She was shot through her skull and miraculously recovered. Subsequently arrested was Jared Lee Loughner.
2015 - The U.S. fined American Honda Motor Company $70 million for neglecting to report, from mid-2003 to mid-2014, over 1,700 safety issues that resulted in deaths or injuries.
Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
1986 – Willie McCovey
1991 – Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins, Rod Carew
1995 – Mike Schmidt
2002 – Ozzie Smith
2003 - Eddie Murray, Gary Carter
2008 – Goose Gossage
2014 – Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas