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BellaOnline's MidWest USA Editor

January in Midwest History

Every state has as contributed something to United States history. Here is a list of some noteworthy dates and events that occurred in January, either in the Midwest region, or by people with ties to the Midwest.

January 2, 1904 –Fan dancer and silent film star Sally Rand was born in Hickory County Missouri. Her real name was Harriet Helen Gould Beck. Famed director Cecil B. DeMille gave her the name Sally Rand.

January 3, 1969 - Bob Dole was sworn into office as a US Senator from Kansas. Dole is from the small town of Russell Kansas.

January 4, 1843 – a New Madrid Missouri earthquake cracked walls and chimneys in Memphis TN.

January 4, 1885 – the first known appendectomy was performed in Davenport Iowa by Dr. William Grant.

January 7, 1906 – An earthquake was felt over 10,000 square miles in Kansas, Missouri & Nebraska. It was strongest in Manhattan Kansas.

January 7, 1953 – President Truman announced development of the hydrogen bomb.

January 8, 1935 – Memphis Tennessee’s most famous resident, Elvis Presley, was born in Tupelo Mississippi.

January 11, 1865 – Slavery was abolished in Missouri.

January 11, 1935 – Amelia Earhart, from Atchison Kansas, became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.

January 11, 1970 – The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV, 23 – 7. Super Bowl IV was played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans Louisiana. Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson was named MVP.

January 12, 1951 – radio personality Rush Limbaugh was born in Cape Girardeau Missouri.

January 15, 1967 – The Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs met in Super Bowl 1 at the Los Angeles Colesium. Kansas City lost to Green Bay, 10 – 35.

January 17, 1942 – Cassius Clay was born in Louisville Kentucky. Cassius Clay later became heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.

January 23, 1812 – the second tremor of one of the most violent series of earthquakes in US history occurred in New Madrid MO. The first tremor occurred on December 16, 1811; and the 3rd on February 7, 1812.

January 27, 1921 – Actress Donna Reed was born in Denison, Iowa. Reed is best known for television’s The Donna Reed Show; and for her portrayal of Mary Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1954 for From Here To Eternity. She was born as Donna Belle Mullenger.

January 29, 1861 – while several southern states were seceding from the union at the start of the Civil War, Kansas was admitted as a free state.

January 31, 1874 – The small town of Gads Hill Missouri was the site of the first Missouri train robbery by the James Gang. Reports indicate that 5 masked men, led by Jesse James, robbed the Little Rock Express as it stopped in Gads Hill, south of St. Louis, on its way to Little Rock. Reportedly, between 20,000-22,000 dollars was taken from the passengers.

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