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History Almanac - January (05)

Happy New Year!

What happened in January in days gone by? January history then and now. If someone asked you when the television show "The Simpsons" was first televised, could you tell them? Read on.



Jan. 1, 1959— Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, overthrowing the government of dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Jan. 2, 1870—Construction began on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

Jan. 3, 1977—The Apple Computer company was founded.

Jan. 7, 1714—The first typewriter was patented by English engineer Henry Mill. As far as is known, Mill never built the machine.

Jan. 8, 1889—Dr. Herman Hollerith of New York patented an electrically operated computer to process data. It employed cards with holes punched in them and was the forerunner of today’s high speed computers. The first extensive use of the electric tabulating system was in the 11th United States census in 1890.

Jan. 9, 1894—The first motion picture film was copyrighted. It had 47 successive frames showing Fred Ott, a longtime associate of inventor Thomas A. Edison, in the act of sneezing.

Jan. 10, 1776—British-born Thomas Paine published his famous pamphlet Common Sense which played a prominent role in inciting the American colonies to revolt against British rule.

Jan. 13, 1957—The famous Frisbee was launched by Wham-O.

Jan. 14, 1990—The popular animated television series The Simpsons premiered.

Jan. 16, 1991—The Allied forces launched a major air offensive against Iraq to begin the Gulf War.

Jan. 19, 1903—A new bicycle race was announced in Paris. The “Tour de France” covered more than 2,500 miles.

Jan. 20, 1885—La Marcus Thompson received a patent for what is generally considered to be the first roller coaster in the U.S. Located at Coney Island in New York City, it was called the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway. The ride reached a top speed of six miles per hour and it cost five cents for a ticket.

Jan. 24, 1984—Apple Computer Inc. introduced the Macintosh personal computer.

Jan. 26, 1875—The first electric dentist drill was patented by Dr. George F. Green of Kalamazoo, Mich.

Jan. 28, 1878—The first commercial telephone switchboard exchange in America opened in New Haven, Conn., serving 21 subscribers. Users reportedly used the term “Ahoy, Ahoy” rather than “Hello” to greet callers.

Jan. 30, 1996—The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that AIDS was the leading cause of death for Americans aged 25 to 44.

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