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January 15th - Today In History

What events occurred on January 15th?

Today In …

1535 - King Henry VIII caused controversy when he announced that he was the head of the Church of England.

1559 - Henry VIII’s daughter, Elizabeth, was officially crowned. Queen Elizabeth I would reign for almost 45 years until her death in May 1603.

1759 – The British Museum, one of the largest in the world, officially opened its doors at Montagu House in Bloomsbury, England.

1777 – New Connecticut officially declared its independence from England. A few years later, the state would be renamed Vermont.

1870 – The symbol for the Democratic Party was first used in a political cartoon by Thomas Nast in “Harper’s Weekly”. The character? The donkey.

1943 – After nearly two years since construction commenced, the Pentagon was completed. Located in Arlington, VA, the Pentagon is one of the largest office buildings in the world.

1953 – President Harry S. Truman gives his farewell address to the nation and in so doing is the first president to broadcast his speech via radio and/or television.

1975 – A ride opens at Walt Disney’s Disneyworld in Orlando, FL. The ride is Space Mountain in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Sharing A Birthday Today…

Lloyd Bridges, the legendary actor of TV and motion pictures, including the “Airplane!” movies was born in 1913.

Colonel Archibald Gracie IV was born in 1858. Gracie is probably best known as being one of the survivors of the ill-fated Titanic voyage.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was born in 1929. His birthday is celebrated as a national holiday. Martin Luther King, Jr Day on the third Monday of every January

Philip Livingston, was not only from Albany, NY but was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was born in 1716.

Maria Martinez was born in 1951. This perky actress and singer is best known to fans as Charo.

Irving Mills, the famed jazz composer, was born in 1894.

Jean Baptiste Moliere, the famed French dramatist, was born in 1622.

Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping tycoon and former husband of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was born in 1906.

Ronnie Van Zant was born in 1948. As lead singer of Lynyrd Skynrd, the southern rock band gained notoriety for such hits as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Freebird”.

We Said Goodbye To…

Ray Bolger, the actor who portrayed the beloved Scarecrow in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz”, was 82 when he passed in 1987.

Eliza Johnson, former First Lady and wife of President Andrew Johnson, passed away in 1876 at the age of 65.

Bill Masterson was 29 when he passed away in 1968. On January 13th, 1968, Masterson, a player for the National Hockey League, fell, hitting his head on the ice. When he died on January 15th, he became the first NHL player whose fatality was contributed to the game.

Elizabeth Short was found brutally murdered in Los Angeles in 1949 and would be immortalized as the infamous Black Dahlia in the news and in film. Short was 22-years-old and the murder mystery remains unsolved.

Ruth Warrick appeared in notable films such as “Citizen Kane” but is probably best remembered for her role as Phoebe in the ABC daytime drama “All My Children”. The actress passed away at the age of 88 in 2005.

Top Of The Charts On This Day In…

1972 – “American Pie” by Don McLean
1983 - “Down Under” by Men At Work
2000 - “What A Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera


Musical Moments In…

1955 - Legendary musician Chet Atkins first debuted on the music charts with the song “Mr. Sandman”.

1961 - Motown Records signs Florence Ballard, Diana Ross and Mary Wilson, a.k.a. The Supremes.

1965 - Legendary rock band The Who releases “I Can’t Explain”, their very first album.

1967 - The Rolling Stones made their memorable performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. The band complied when asked to change the lyrics to their song “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together” which Mick Jagger sang complete with “eye rolling” during the performance.

TV Moments In…

1974 - The hit TV show “Happy Days” starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler premiers on ABC.

1981 - The critically acclaimed TV crime/cop drama “Hill Street Blues” debuts on NBC.

Memorable Sports Moments In…

1967 – Super Bowl I was played in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 35 to 10.

Special Observances

National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week begins today!
January 15th is Humanitarian Day!
Book Week kicks off on January 15th!

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