It’s History…

The older I get, the more often I look back on my “Today in History” file and find significant events I actually remember happening.  But there are always plenty I don’t recall at all.   So let’s shake-up the old memory banks and revisit some events of January 22nd gone by….

95 years ago – In 1929, the New York Yankees announced they would put numbers on the backs of their uniforms, becoming the first baseball team to do so.  The first numbers were based on positions in the batting order, hence Babe Ruth was #3 and Lou Gehrig was #4.

56 years ago – In 1968, “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”, hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, premiered on NBC. “Laugh-In” launched the careers of Ruth BuzziArte JohnsonJudy Carne, Goldie HawnSteve MartinRob ReinerHenry GibsonBob “Super Dave Osbourne” EinsteinGary OwensLily Tomlin, and JoAnne Worley.   I think it was on right after I Dream of Jeannie….Veeeery interesting…..

51 years ago – In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision.  This legalized abortions in the first six months of pregnancy.  States could not prohibit abortions during the first trimester, but COULD regulate the procedure during the second trimester to protect a woman’s health. Roe v. Wade was essentially OVERRULED in 2022 with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned some of the power to regulate abortion back to the individual states.

40 years ago – In 1984, a Ridley Scott directed commercial introduced the Apple Macintosh Computer during Super Bowl 18.  The Los Angeles Raiders beat the Washington Redskins 38-9.  Barry Manilow sang the National Anthem, and Marcus Allen was the MVP.

35 years ago – In 1989, Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers to a last-minute victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 23.  Billy Joel did the National Anthem, and 49ers receiver Jerry Rice was the MVP . . . setting a Super Bowl record of 215 receiving yards on 11 catches.

31 years ago – In 1993, on the 20th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, President Clinton lifted a series of abortion restrictions on U.S. funding to any non-governmental organizations that had been imposed by his Republican predecessors.  Exactly eight years later, President Bush the Second reinstated the policies that Clinton lifted.  Obama lifted them again in 2009.  Then Trump reinstated them in 2017 and Biden repealed them again in 2021.

30 years ago – In 1994, “Schindler’s List” won Golden Globes for Best Dramatic Picture and Best Director for Steven Spielberg. The other winners included Tom Hanks winning Best Actor in a Drama for “Philadelphia”Robin Williams winning Best Actor in a Comedy for “Mrs. Doubtfire”, and Best Support Actor Tommy Lee Jones for “The Fugitive”.

30 years ago – In 1994, Telly Savalas died in Universal City, California, a day after turning 70 . . . leaving Jennifer Aniston without a godfather.

27 years ago – In 1997, the Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the nation’s First Female Secretary of State.

26 years ago – In 1998, Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny Bonoannounced that SHE would run for the congressional seat held by her late terrible-skier-of-a-husband.  For some reason, she WON.

26 years ago – In 1998, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski pleaded guilty to all of his heinous crimes in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole, instead of the death penalty.  He’s in a supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

19 years ago – In 2005, Donald Trump married his third wife, Melania Knauss.  He was 58 to her 34 at the time.  Now they’re 77 and 53.

16 years ago – In 2008, Heath Ledger died of an accidental prescription drug overdose.  He was only 28.

14 years ago – In 2010, Conan O’Brien accepted NBC’s $45 million buyout and made his final appearance as the host of the “The Tonight Show”.

And, if you’re not pressed for time, here are the celebrity B-days on this date:

Sami Gayle is 28.  Nicky Reagan on “Blue Bloods” and leader of the mean girls in “Vampire Academy”.

Orianthi is 39.  Australian guitarist.  Her last name is Panagaris. She tours with her ex-boyfriend Richie Sambora.  They met back when she was slinging her axe for Alice Cooper.  She was also the guitarist for Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” concert series that never happened.

Willa Ford is 43.  Actress / singer who played the lead in “The Anna Nicole Smith Story”, posed for the March 2006 issue of “Playboy”, and competed on the third season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

Ben Moody is 43.  Former Evanescence guitarist.

Christopher Masterson is 44.  Francis on “Malcolm in the Middle”.

Gabriel Macht is 52.  Harvey Specter on “Suits”.

Olivia d’Abo is 55.  Fred Savage’s older sister Karen on “The Wonder Years”.

Guy Fieri is 56.  Celebrity chef.

DJ Jazzy Jeff is 59.  Parents Just Don’t UnderstandGirls Ain’t Nothing But TroubleSummertime.

Diane Lane is 59.  “Unfaithful”“The Perfect Storm”“Rumble Fish”“The Outsiders”, AND “Judge Dredd”.  Most recently she was Superman’s mom in “Man of Steel”“Batman v. Superman”, and “Justice League”.  She was once married to both Josh Brolin and “Highlander” superstar Christopher Lambert.

Steven Adler is 59.  Former Guns N’ Roses drummer.

Linda Blair is 65.  Superstar of “The Exorcist”.

John Wesley Shipp is 69.  Old school speedster on The Flash.  He’s a version of the Flash’s dad from a parallel universe.  Older comic book fans would also know John as the star of the original TV series back in the ’90s.

Teddy Gentry from Alabama is 72.

Steve Perry is 75.  Original Journey singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Piper Laurie would have been 92.  (1932 – 2023)  Sissy Spacek’s crazy mom in 1976’s “Carrie”.

John Hurt  (1940 – 2017)  Wandmaker Garrick Ollivander in the “Harry Potter” movies.  He was also the voice of the Dragon on “Merlin”, John Merrick in “The Elephant Man” . . . AND the guy in the “chest-burster” scene in “Alien”.

Michael Hutchence  (1960 – 1997)  INXS lead singer.  Cause of Death:  Autoerotic-asphyxiation.  David Carradine went out the same way.  They should’ve followed Jonah Hill’s advice in “Knocked Up”, and used SPOTTERS.

Bill Bixby  (1934 – 1993)  “My Favorite Martian”“The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”, and “The Incredible Hulk”.  Cause of death:  Prostate cancer.

Sam Cooke  (1931 – 1964)  His hits:  You Send MeChain GangCupidTwistin’ the Night Away and Another Saturday Night.  Cause of death:  Three gunshot wounds . . . after allegedly raping a 22-year-old woman in an L.A. motel.


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