This Day In History January 11
11th day of 2011 - 354 remaining
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Texans are always ready to boast about their native sons. Well, on this date in 1952, another soon-to-be-famous Texan was born. Ben D. Crenshaw came into the world at Austin, Texas. As he grew up, he took naturally to the game of golf, winning the NCAA golf championship in 1971 and 1973 while a student at the University of Texas. What happened to 1972, you wonder? Ben won that, too; but he had to share the title with his classmate, Tom Kite. They tied. (Ben Crenshaw was the first to hold three individual titles in amateur golf. He has shared that honor since 1992.)

Following graduation, Crenshaw qualified for the PGA Tour. He didn’t just qualify; he won the competition by 12 strokes, and shot a 30 on the last nine holes! And he won his first venture into professional golf -- the Texas Open.

Ben Crenshaw was on his way to a spectacular career -- or was he? The critics didn’t think so. Although Ben was winning tournaments and big money, he hadn’t won a major event. In the 1975 U.S. Open, at the 71st hole, he hit his tee shot into the water and lost his chance at the title. In 1978, the 71st hole was his downfall once again when he took a double bogey in the British Open. The following year, the PGA championship eluded Crenshaw, too. He was tied with David Graham for the title but lost on the third hole of the playoff. Just bad luck? Crenshaw called the critics bluff.

In 1984 Ben took home the Masters Championship title. The champion golfer, a truly gentle man and a gentleman said, “This is really a sweet, sweet win. I don’t think there will ever be a sweeter moment.”

Events January 11

1770 - The first shipment of rhubarb was sent to the United States from London. Benjamin Franklin sent the plant to his buddy, John Bartram in Philadelphia. So, get some rhubarb pie, or if you’re in the vicinity of Knott’s Berry Farm, and you’re going to have their famous chicken dinner, you’ll get stewed rhubarb whether you want it or not! Of course, you can just get into a rhubarb today to celebrate!

1878 - For the first time, milk was delivered in glass bottles -- by one Alexander Campbell, in New York. Up to that time, moo juice had been ladled out of a container by the milkman, right into the customer’s own container. Why, we remember, the milkman would ladle milk into our pockets so we’d have something to drink for lunch. But it never lasted till then for some reason.

1902 - Popular Mechanics magazine was published for the first time. Initially, there were only five paying subscribers and a few hundred others who paid a nickel at newsstands. In September, 1903, the magazine became a monthly.

1913 - The first sedan-type car was unveiled at the National Automobile Show in New York City. The car was manufactured by the Hudson Motor Company.

1928 - Ol’ Man River was recorded on Victor Records this day by Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. Bing Crosby crooned as the song’s featured vocalist. The tune came from the Broadway musical, Showboat.

1935 - Amelia Earhart Putnam became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California. She had also been the first woman to solo across the Atlantic three years earlier.

1943 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt flew from Miami, FL to Trinidad on his way to meet with Winston Churchill in Casablanca. Roosevelt thus became the first U.S. president to visit a foreign country during wartime.

1947 - Baseball great Honus Wagner signed his 36th professional contract by agreeing to coach the Pittsburgh Pirates. His claim to the Baseball Hall of Fame was a .329 21-year career batting average. He also wore the title of ‘The Flying Dutchman’, earned by stealing bases.

1947 - The Amazing Mr. Malone (aka Murder and Mr. Malone) debuted on ABC radio. The program starred Frank Lovejoy as criminal lawyer John J. Malone.

1949 - The Los Angeles Open golf tournament was won by Lloyd Mangrum, who admitted that he wore a lucky pair of pajamas under his pants. One of our golfing friends likes to take his lucky ferret with him in his pants. “Sure beats a five wood!” he says.

1954 - Oscar Straus, Austrian composer (The Chocolate Soldier), died. He was 83 years old.

1958 - Lloyd Bridges starred as Mike Nelson, an ex-Navy frogman who became an underwater trouble shooter, in Sea Hunt on CBS-TV. The show remained on the network for four years. The underwater sequences, for those wondering, were filmed in Silver Springs, Florida. The above-water sequences were filmed at Marineland of the Pacific.

1963 - Whiskey-A-Go-Go opened this night on Sunset Boulevard in Boss Angeles, and what an opening it was! Bright lights and mini-skirted dancers in cages were the prominent features of America’s first discotheque.

1964 - Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report that said that (cough) smoking cig (cough, cough) arettes is a (cough) definite health hazard.

1964 - The head football coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, the popular BUD Wilkinson, resigned from the University of Oklahoma.

1966 - 550 people were killed by landslides in mountains near Rio de Janeiro after heavy rain.

1970 - Thanks to his winning the Los Angeles Open golf tournament, Billy Casper was the second golfer in history to top the $1-million mark in career earnings.

1970 - Super Bowl IV (at New Orleans): Kansas City Chiefs 23, Minnesota Vikings 7. QB Len Dawson (of HBO’s Inside the NFL), Jan Stenerud and the Chiefs socked it to coach BUD Grant’s Vikings. MVP: Chiefs QB Dawson. Tickets: $15.00.

1973 - Major-league baseball agreed to allow the American League to experiment with the designated hitter rule for the next three years. At last check, they were still experimenting with it...

1978 - Two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already docked.

1980 - Rupert Holmes was at the top of the pop music charts, with Escape (The Pina Colada Song).

1984 - Thriller, the album by Michael Jackson, became the all-time best-selling LP. Thriller, with ten-million copies sold, surpassed the previous bestseller, the soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever. Among its precedent-shattering achievements, Thriller spent 37 weeks at number one on the Billboard album chart (longer than any contemporary rock or pop album -- only the cast album of South Pacific at 69 weeks and the West Side Story soundtrack at 54 weeks had longer runs at the top). And Thriller produced seven top-10 singles, ahead of Fleetwood Mac, Cyndi Lauper and Bruce Springsteen, who have each taken four top-10 singles off one LP. As of early 2002, Thriller was still the biggest-selling record ever, having sold more than 40-million copies.

1986 - Author James Clavell signed a deal with Morrow/Avon Publishing for $5 million as an advance for the book Whirlwind. The book is a 2,000 page novel. Now, for the bean-counters who might not figure this out, that comes to... $2,500 a page!

1989 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan delivered a farewell address from the Oval office in the White House.

1990 - Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev visited Lithuania, where he sought to assure citizens that they would have a say in their republic’s future.

1992 - Paul Simon was the first major international star to perform in South Africa following the end of a U.N. cultural boycott. Simon opened a concert tour in Johannesburg this day. The crowd was estimated at 30,000 to 40,000. Simon’s tour had the backing of South Africa’s leading black political group, the African National Congress.

1994 - NATO leaders concluded a summit in Belgium by warning Bosnian Serbs that NATO would order bombing raids in former Yugoslavia to relieve embattled Muslim enclaves.

1994 - John Bradley, one of those who raised the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima in 1945, died at 70 years of age.

1995 - A nine-year-old girl survived a Colombian airliner crash near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena. The crash killed the other 51 people on board the jetliner.

1998 - The Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-21, to win the American Football Conference Championship. And the Green Bay Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 23-10, to claim the National Football Conference Championship.

2000 - Park Tae-joon, the leader of the United Liberal Democrats, was appointed South Korea’s prime minister.

2000 - U.S. President Bill Clinton signed proclamations creating the Grand Parashant National Monument with 1.014 million acres along the northern boundary of the Grand Canyon; the 71,100-acre Agua Fria National Monument near Phoenix; and the California Coastal National Monument, which includes thousands of islands, rocks and reefs along the 840-mile California coast.

2000 - Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

2001 - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the merger of America Online and Time Warner.

2001 - The U.S. Army premiered its new slogan -- “An Army of One” -- on the TV sitcom, Friends.

2002 - Orange County debuted in U.S. theatres. The comedy stars Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Catherine O’Hara, Schuyler Fisk, John Lithgow, Harold Ramis, Lily Tomlin and Chevy Chase.

2003 - Out-going Illinois Governor George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 death-row inmates a day after he freed four other death-row inmates.

2004 - Fiona Thornewill, a 37-year-old British woman, completed her unaided solo hike to the South Pole in record time. Thornewill walked 700 miles in 42 days breaking the previous record of 44 days for an unaided individual or team for walking or skiing.

2004 - Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill charged in a book that President George Bush (II) had entered office in 2001 intent on invading Iraq. Former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind wrote The Price of Loyalty, based on 7,630 journal entries provided by O’Neill.

2005 - At least eight people were killed in a wildfire that raced through southern Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, forcing terrified residents to leap into the sea to avoid the flames.

2005 - The European Union and the U.S. agreed to settle their dispute over subsidies to Airbus SA and Boeing Co. through bilateral talks rather than asking the WTO to resolve it.

2006 - USA Today reported that less than three weeks before the Jan 2 explosion at West Virginia’s Sago Mine, the mine’s owner, International Coal Group, was cited for “combustible conditions” that showed “a high degree of negligence for the health and safety of the miners.”

2007 - Fourteen members of an advisory board to Jimmy Carter’s human rights organization resigned to protest his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. The board members accused the former U.S. president of unfairly criticizing Israel.

2008 - New movies in the U.S.: First Sunday, with Ice Cube, Regina Hall, Chi McBride, Loretta Devine, Katt Williams, Tracy Morgan and Malinda Williams; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, with Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys-Davies, Ray Liotta, Matthew Lillard, Burt Reynolds, Will Sanderson, Ron Perlman, Claire Forlani, Brian J. White, Kristanna Loken and Gabrielle Rose; and the animated The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, featuring the voices of Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer.

2008 - Sir Edmund Hillary, first to climb Mount Everest, died in New Zealand at 88 years of age. After conquering the world’s highest mountain with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, Hillary devoted much of his life to helping the people of Nepal.

2008 - Bank of America announced its purchase of Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion in stock. The deal that rescued the biggest mortgage lender in the U.S.

2009 - Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture at the 66th Annual Golden Globe awards, and the late Heath Ledger won the best supporting actor Golden Globe for his performance in The Dark Knight. Other winners included Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler), Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road, Colin Farrell (In Bruges), and Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky).

2010 - Dutch brewer Heineken announced its acquisition of the beer-making operations of Mexico’s Femsa, the maker of Dos Equis and Sol beers. The all-share deal was valued at €5.3 billion ($7.7 billion).

2010 - Chile inaugurated the Museum of Memory and Human Rights to make sure the tens of thousands of people who were imprisoned, killed or disappeared during General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship are not forgotten.

Birthdays January 11

1755 - Alexander Hamilton
statesman, first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; died in duel with rival Aaron Burr July 12, 1804

1815 - Sir John Alexander MacDonald
1st Prime Minister of Canada; died June 6, 1891

1839 - Eugenio De Hostos
Puerto Rican patriot; scholar, author of more than fifty books; died Aug 11, 1903

1885 - Alice Paul
women’s rights activist; founder of National Women’s Party [1913]; died July 9, 1977

1887 - Monte Blue
actor: Rootin’ Tootin’ Rhythm, Thunder Pass, Song of the Gringo, Wagon Wheels, So This is Paris, Orphans of the Storm; died Feb 18, 1963

1890 - Max Carey
Baseball Hall of Famer: hit over .300 for six seasons; led league in steals 10 times [NL record]; died May 30, 1976

1896 - John ‘Paddy’ Driscoll
Pro Football Hall of Famer [quarterback, placekicker]: Hammond Pros, Decatur Staleys, Chicago Cardinals, Chicago Bears; was an All-NFL six times; dropkicked a record four field goals in one game (1925); died June 29, 1968

1910 - Schoolboy (Lynwood Thomas) Rowe
baseball: pitcher: Detroit Tigers [World Series: 1934, 1935, 1940/all-star: 1935, 1936], Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies [all-star: 1947]; died Jan 8, 1961

1911 - George Benson
actor: The Happiest Days of Your Life, Mother Riley Meets the Vampire, The Man in the White Suit, The Captain’s Paradise, Doctor in the House, Horror of Dracula, The Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery, The Creeping Flesh; died Jun 17, 1983

1912 - Don ‘Red’ Barry
actor: Adventures of Red Ryder, Back Roads, Goldie and the Boxer, The One Man Jury, Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid, Shame, Shame on the Bixby Boys, CHiPs; died Jul 17, 1980

1923 - Carroll Shelby
auto racer: remember the Shelby 350 coupe?

1924 - Don Cherry
singer: Band of Gold; golf: U.S. Walker Cup Team, champ: Sunnehanna (Johnstown PA) Amateur [1954]

1925 - Grant Tinker
Emmy Award-winning TV executive: Tenth Annual ATAS Governor’s Award [1987], President, NBC; producer: U.S.A. Today - The Television Series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary; married to actress, Mary Tyler Moore

1928 - Mitch Ryan
actor: Love for Rent, Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story, Grosse Pointe Blank, Liar Liar, The Devil’s Own, Ed, A Face to Die For

1930 - Rod Taylor
actor: The Birds, Masquerade, The Time Machine

1930 - Jack Nimitz
jazz ‘reed’ musician: toured with Herman, Kenton, helped found Supersax, played w/Oliver Nelson, Bill Berry and Gerald Wilson; died Jun 10, 2009

1933 - Goldie Hill
country entertainer: I Let the Stars Get in My Eyes; married to country singer, Carl Smith; died Feb 24, 2005

1934 - Jean Chrétien
prime minister: Canada [1993-2003]

1942 - Clarence Clemons
musician: sax: group: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Born In the U.S.A., Dancing in the Dark, Glory Days, Blinded by the Light, Rosalita [Come Out Tonight], Darkness on the Edge of Town

1942 - George Mira
football: Miami Dolphins QB, Super Bowl VI

1943 - Jim Hightower
radio host, author: Hard Tomatoes, Hard Times, Eat Your Heart Out

1945 - Christine Kaufmann
actress: Bagdad Cafe, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Taras Bulba, The Last Days of Pompeii

1946 - Naomi (Diane) Judd
Grammy Award-winning singer: duo: The Judds: Why Not Me, Have Mercy, LP: Heartland; mother of singers, Wynonna, Ashley

1947 - Anna Calder-Marshall
Emmy Award-winning actress: The Male of the Species, Prudential’s On Stage [1968-1969]

1948 - Chris Ford
basketball: NBA: Detroit Pistons [1972-1973], Boston Celtics [1973-1982] coach: Boston Celtics [1990-1995], Milwaukee Bucks [1996-1998], Los Angeles Clippers [1999-2000]

1949 - Dennis (Frederick) Greene
singer: group: Sha-Na-Na: LPs: Rock & Roll is Here to Stay!, The Golden Age of Rock ’n’ Roll

1949 - DAVE Burrows
hockey: NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs

1949 - Bobby Sheehan
hockey: NHL: Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Rockies, LA Kings

1952 - ‘Gentle’ Ben Crenshaw
golf champion; see Gentle Ben Day [above]

1953 - Freddie Solomon
football: Univ of Tampa; NFL: Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver: Super Bowl XVI, XIX

1954 - Gary Brokaw
basketball: Notre Dame; NBA: Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic [Dir of Scouting/Camps], Charlotte Bobcats [Dir of Player Personnel]

1958 - Vicki Peterson
musician: guitar, singer: group; The Bangles: Walk like an Egyptian, Manic Monday

1959 - Brett Bodine
NASCAR race car driver

1960 - Stanley Tucci
actor: Shall We Dance, The Terminal, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, The Core, Maid in Manhattan, Road to Perdition, Murder One

1963 - Jason Connery
actor: The Boy Who Had Everything, Casablanca Express, The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, Midnight in St. Petersburg, Macbeth, Merlin, Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell; son of actors Sean Connery and Diane Cilento

1967 - Richmond Webb
football: Texas A&M Univ; NFL: Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals

1968 - Tom Dumont
musician: guitar: group: No Doubt: Just a Girl, It’s My Life, Hey Baby, Bathwater, Sunday Morning, Hella Good, New, Underneath It All

1968 - Wade Flaherty
hockey [goalie]: San Jose Sharks, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks

1969 - Kyle Richards
actress: ER, Escape, This Is Kate Bennett..., Halloween, Beulah Land, Eaten Alive

1971 - Mary J. Blige
singer: No More Drama, Everything, Deep Inside, Sincerity, Be Happy, Reminisce, Give Me You, All That I Can Say

1972 - Marc Blucas
actor: The Killing Floor, First Daughter, The Alamo [2004], View From the Top, Sunshine State, Summer Catch, The ’60s

1972 - Christian Jacobs
actor: There Goes My Baby, Pretty in Pink, Gloria, Maggie

1972 - Amanda Peet
actress: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Whole Nine Yards, Ellen Foster, Playing by Heart, Origin of the Species, Saving Silverman, Changing Lanes

1975 - Brad Badger
football: Stanford Univ; NFL: Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders

1975 - Rory FitzPatrick
hockey: Montreal Canadiens, SL Blues, Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres

1976 - Alfonso Boone
football: Mount San Antonio Jr. College; NFL: Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs

1982 - Tony Allen
basketball: Oklahoma State Univ; NBA: Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics

1982 - Toccara Williams
basketball: Texas A&M Univ; WNBA: San Antonio Silver Stars

Chart Toppers January 11

1950Dear Hearts and Gentle People - Dinah Shore
A Dreamer’s Holiday - Perry Como
The Old Master Painter - Snooky Lanson
I Love You Because - Leon Payne

1959The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
My Happiness - Connie Francis
City Lights - Ray Price

1968Hello Goodbye - The Beatles
Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy Band
Woman, Woman - The Union Gap
For Loving You - Bill Anderson & Jan Howard

1977You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show) - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
Broken Down in Tiny Pieces - Billy "Crash" Craddock

1986Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy
That’s What Friends are For - Dionne & Friends
Morning Desire - Kenny Rogers

1995On Bended Knee - Boyz II Men
Creep - TLC
Always - Bon Jovi
Pickup Man - Joe Diffie

2004Hey Ya! - Outkast
The Way You Move - Outkast
Milkshake - Kelis
There Goes My Life - Kenny Chesney

Chart Topper January 11th, 1995...On Bended Knee - Boyz II Men