This Day In History January 12
12th day of 2011 - 353 remaining
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sam ’n’ Henry debuted on WGN Radio in Chicago, Illinois. It was 1926. The show’s name was soon changed to Amos ’n’ Andy and the voices of its creators, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll played to Depression-era audiences; portraying two characters who were constantly looking for extra income. Although the players were white, the characters were supposed to be black. The popular radio show would attract over forty million fans during its radio tenure which ended in 1948. (Gosden and Correll returned to radio with the Amos ’n’ Andy Music Hall [1954-1960]).

When the show moved to television in 1951, black actors replaced Gosden and Correll; and the show was condemned as a one-sided caricature of black Americans. Amos ’n’ Andy, although not politically correct, made broadcasting history. It was the first TV show to have an all-black cast. After two seasons, Amos, Andy and the Kingfish went into syndication.

George Bernard Shaw said, “There are three things I’ll never forget about America: The Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, and Amos ’n’ Andy.”

Events January 12

1773 - The first public museum was organized -- in Charleston, South Carolina.

1896 - Three Davidson College (near Charlotte NC) students took the the first x-ray photograph in the U.S. Osmond Barringer, Pender Porter and Eben Hardie had read of Wilhelm Roentgen’s experiments in Bavaria that proved x-ray pictures could be made through solids. The three realized that their school lab had the same equipment Roentgen had used. In the dissecting room of the medical college they used a pocketknife to cut the finger off a cadaver. “We stuck two straight pins through the finger, got a small folding pocket magnifying glass and some other small articles, put them in a round pill box, pushed them close together under a Crookes tube, and turned on the electric current,” Barringer explained. Three hours later, the students turned off the electricity and developed the picture. Researchers later determined that it was the first x-ray photograph made in America.

1928 - Vladimir Horowitz debuted as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the very same night that Sir Thomas Beecham gave his first public performance in the United States.

1932 - Ed Sullivan joined CBS radio in a program of gossip and interviews.

1939 - The Ink Spots gained national attention after five years together as they recorded, If I Didn’t Care, Decca record number 2286. Many other standards by the group soon followed.

1943 - Oh my gosh! It’s frankfurter day! The Office of Price Administration announced that the standard frankfurter/hot dog/wiener would be replaced by ‘Victory Sausage’; made of meat and soybean meal. Yum! Yum!

1945 - German troops in Belgium retreated in the Battle of the Bulge. Raging since Dec 16, 1944, the Battle of the Bulge, was the worst battle of WWII, in terms of losses, for U.S. forces.

1949 - Arthur Godfrey and His Friends was first seen on CBS-TV this day. The program stayed on the network for seven years.

1949 - The Chicago-based children’s show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, made its national debut on NBC-TV. Fran Allison was hostess. The show was phenomenally successful.

1950 - A Swedish tanker ship struck the English submarine HMS Truculent during the sub’s trials in the River Thames. Fifty-five of the seventy men aboard the sub died.

1955 - The beginning of Rod Serling’s stellar career began with the TV production of Patterns, an original, hour-long drama. Within two weeks, the then struggling author had 23 other TV assignments.

1960 - Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals became the first pro basketball player in the NBA to score more than 15,000 points in his career.

1963 - Songwriter Bob Dylan sang Blowin’ in the Wind on the BBC radio presentation of The Madhouse on Castle Street. The song soon became one of the classics of the 1960s protest movement.

1965 - The NBC-TV pop-music show Hullabaloo made its debut. A competitor of ABC’s successful Shindig show, Hullabaloo tried to attract a wider audience by featuring both rock music and Las Vegas-type acts. Guests on the first show included the New Christy Minstrels, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Zombies and Woody Allen. Hullabaloo lasted on the air through Aug 29, 1966.

1966 - Batman debuted -- on ABC-TV. Adam West starred as Batman and Burt Ward was the Bat-Boy, Robin. Pow! Zork! Crunch! Holy hot cakes, Batman!

1967 - “This is the city...” One of broadcasting’s greatest hits, Dragnet, returned to NBC-TV after being off the network schedule for eight years. Harry Morgan was Jack Webb’s sidekick in the renewed series. “Just the facts, ma’am.”

1969 - Super Bowl III (at Miami): NY Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7. Joe Namath and his Cinderella Jets snuck up on the heavily-favored Colts. MVP: Jets’ QB Namath. Tickets: $12.00.

1971 - All In the Family debuted on CBS-TV. Carroll O’Connor starred as Archie Bunker, Rob Reiner as Meathead, Sally Struthers as Gloria and Jean Stapleton as Edith, ‘The Dingbat’. “Stifle yourself!” Originally, ABC had plans to broadcast the series under the title, Those Were the Days.

1975 - Super Bowl IX (at New Orleans): Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6. The Steelers draft picks (spring, 1974) were Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and free agent Donnie Shell. Between them, 28 Pro Bowl appearances, 20 Super Bowl rings, and probably five Pro Football Hall of Fame selections. MVP: Steelers’ RB Franco Harris. Tickets: $20.00.

1976 - Mystery writer Dame Agatha Christie died in Wallingford, England. She was 85 years old.

1985 - After a record 24 weeks as the #1 album in the nation, Prince slipped to the #2 spot with Purple Rain. Replacing Prince at the top spot: ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen’s Born In the USA, which had spent 24 weeks waiting for Purple Rain to fall.

1987 - Europe was snowed-in with a pounding of white stuff and frigid temperatures as a ‘Siberian Express’ spread across the continent.

1991 - Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 became the first album to generate seven top-five singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (four went to number one). Love Will Never Do (Without You) reached #4 this day and it hit #1 the following week.

1992 - The Washington Redskins won the NFC championship, defeating the Detroit Lions 41 to 10; the Buffalo Bills won the AFC title, beating the Denver Broncos 10 to 7.

1994 - U.S. President Bill Clinton, en route to Russia, achieved an agreement with Ukraine to eliminate that country’s nuclear arsenal -- the third-largest in the world.

1996 - These films debuted in U.S. theatres: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (“God made him simple. Science made him a god. Now, he wants revenge.”), with Patrick Bergin and Matt Frewer; and Two If By Sea (“A new comedy about love, laughter, and larceny.”), starring Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary.

1997 - The Green Bay Packers defeated the Carolina Panthers, 30-13, to win the NFC Championship; and the New England Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-6 to lock up the AFC Championship.

1997 - The Atlantis space shuttle was launched for a rendezvous with the MIR space station. Jerry Linenger, physician, was on his way to replace astronaut Jim [John] Blaha.

1998 - Santana, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and The Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also imortalized in Cleveland were rockabilly legend Gene Vincent, rock singer, musician Lloyd Price, jazz composer Jelly Roll Morton and producer Allen Toussaint.

1998 - CBS signed a $4-billion, eight-year deal to televise American Football Conference games. The Fox network signed a $4.4-billion, eight-year contract to continue showing National Football Conference games.

1999 - Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball was sold at auction in New York for $3 million to an anonymous bidder. It was the most money ever paid for a sports artifact. McGwire's ball was retrieved Sep 27, 1998 by 26-year-old research scientist Philip Ozersky, who had been attending the game with a group of office friends from Washington University in St. Louis when the ball came flying at him.

2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court gave local police broad authority to stop and question people who run at the sight of an officer.

2000 - Scientists reported that the temperature of the surface of the Earth had risen 0.7-1.4 degrees (Fahrenheit) during the previous century. It was also reported that the Earth had been warming for the past 300 years.

2001 - Movies premiering in the U.S.: Antitrust, with Ryan Phillippe and Rachael Leigh Cook; Double Take, with Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones; and Thirteen Days, starring Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood and Steven Culp.

2001 - William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co., died in Palo Alto, CA. He was 87 years old. The engineer founded HP in a garage with friend David Packard and watch it grow into one of the high-tech industry’s great successes.

2002 - Michelle Kwan won her fifth successive U.S. Figure Skating Championship -- her sixth win in all.

2002 - Cyrus R. Vance, former U.S. Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter, died in New York. He was 84 years old.

2003 - It was reported that the $250 billion-a-year U.S. Medicare program was riddled with conflicts of interest and fraud estimated at between $50 and $75 billion.

2003 - Steve Case revealed that he was stepping down as chairman of the conglomerate he had helped to create. Shareholders blamed Case for AOL Time Warner’s sharp fall in fortunes.

2003 - Maurice Gibb, 53, member of the Bee Gees musical group, died in Miami following surgery for a blocked intestine.

2004 - The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear on appeal by civil liberties groups seeking access to basic data of individuals detained indefinitely by the government after the Sep 11, 2001 attacks.

2004 - The $780-million Queen Mary 2 ‘set sail’ from Southampton, England on her maiden voyage. The ship, built by Chantieres de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France, was headed for Fort Lauderdale, FL.

2005 - U.S. government Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease, 60 minutes to maintain a healthy weight, and 90 minutes to lose weight.

2005 - Firefighters brought Australia’s deadliest bushfires in twenty years under control -- after nine people died in the blazes in the Eyre Peninsula.

2006 - The foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany declared that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have reached a dead end. They recommended that Iran be referred to the United Nations Security Council to face sanctions.

2006 - A stampede during the Stoning the Devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, killed some 350 Muslim pilgrims.

2007 - New in U.S. movie houses: Alpha Dog, starring Ben Foster, Shawn Hatosy, Emile Hirsch, Christopher Marquette, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin and Bruce Willis; and Stomp the Yard, starring Columbus Short, Meagan Good, Darrin DeWitt Henson, Ne-Yo and Brian J. White.

2007 - President George Bush (II) signed a bill into law that made it a crime in the U.S. to lie to obtain telephone records of private citizens. The procedure, known as pretexting, is the practice of getting someone’s personal information under false pretenses. Pretexters then sell the information to people who may use it to get credit in someone else’s name or steal their assets, etc.

2007 - 28-year-old Jennifer Lea Strange of Rancho Cordova, CA died after guzzling a large quantity of water as part of Sacramento radio station KDND-FM’s contest.

2008 - The U.S. formally opened its new $174-million base at the south Pole. It had taken some twenty years to design and build the place.

2009 - Sofa retailer Land of Leather went into administration (filed for bankruptcy protection) -- the latest British retailer to succumb to a downturn in consumer spending amid the global economic slowdown.

2009 - China state media reported that the government had shut down 91 Web sites for pornographic and other ‘vulgar’ content. The move was the latest in a series of attempts to ensure Internet morality.

2009 - The U.S. slapped sanctions on people and businesses linked to Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan’s black market nuclear network.

2010 - Search giant Google announced that it was no longer willing to censor content on its Chinese site, after what it said were attacks from China on human rights activists using its Gmail service and on dozens of companies. Google is still fighting Chinese censorship today, continueing to ask other companies to join it in publicly criticizing Beijing’s Internet policies.

2010 - A catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti and crushed thousands of structures, from schools and shacks to the National Palace. Thousands of people were killed and untold numbers were trapped. An estimated 3 million people were in need of emergency aid. The quake left over 200,000 people dead. Some 4,500 prison inmates escaped during the earthquake. By April they were terrorizing neighborhoods and fighting turf battles.

Birthdays January 12

1729 - Edmund Burke
statesman, philosopher: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”; died July 9, 1797

1856 - John Singer Sargent
American painter/portraitist: Girl in a Pink Dress, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, Mrs. Fiske Warren and Her Daughter; died Apr 15, 1925

1876 - Jack London (John Chaney)
author: The Sea Wolf, The Call of the Wild, White Fang; died Nov 22, 1916

1902 - Joe E. Lewis (Klewan)
comedian, actor: Lady in Cement, Private Buckaroo; died June 4, 1971

1905 - Tex (Woodward Maurice) Ritter
country singer: High Noon, Blood on the Saddle; actor, John Ritter’s father; died Jan 2, 1974

1910 - Patsy Kelly
actress: The North Avenue Irregulars, The Pigeon, Rosemary’s Baby, C’mon, Let’s Live a Little, The Naked Kiss, The Crowded Sky; died Sep 24, 1981

1910 - Luise Rainer
Academy Award-winning actress: The Great Ziegfeld [1936], The Good Earth [1937]

1915 - Martin (Zama) Agronsky
journalist, TV moderator: Face the Nation [1965-69]; TV host: At Issue; died July 25, 1999

1916 - P.W. Botha
President of South Africa [1978-1984, 1987-1989; died Oct 31, 2006]

1925 - Katherine ‘Scottie’ MacGregor
actress: Little House on the Prairie, Mannix, Ironside, Emergency, All in the Family, Tell Me Where It Hurts, The Girls of Huntington House, The Death of Me Yet, The Student Nurses, The Traveling Executioner

1926 - Ray Price
singer: Crazy Arms, Make the World Go Away, For the Good Times, I Won’t Mention it Again, Nightlife

1928 - Lloyd Ruby
auto racer: 18 Indianapolis 500 races, completed all 200 laps in the Indy 500 five times; died Mar 23, 2009

1930 - Tim Horton
hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, NY Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres; killed in car crash Feb 21, 1974

1930 - Bruce Lansbury
writer, producer, director: Murder, She Wrote, The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman; brother of actress Angela Lansbury

1930 - Glenn Yarbrough
singer: group: The Limeliters; solo: Baby the Rain Must Fall

1935 - Kreskin (George Kresge)
psychic and mind reader; actor: Horror; TV host: The Amazing World of Kreskin

1936 - Ron Harper
actor: Wendy and Me, The Planet of the Apes, The Jean Arthur Show, Garrison’s Gorillas, 87th Precinct

1937 - Shirley Eaton
actress: Goldfinger, The Seven Secrets of Sumuru, Around the World Under the Sea, Dentist on the Job, Carry on Sergeant, Sailor Beware

1939 - William Lee Golden
singer: group: The Oak Ridge Boys: Talk About the Good Times, Where the Soul Never Dies, Cryin’ Again, American Made, Love Song, I Guess It Never Hurts to Cry Sometimes, Everyday, Make My Life with You, Little Things, Touch a Hand Make a Friend, Elvira

1943 - Tucker (Ivan) Frederickson
football: Auburn Univ., New York Giants [Pro Bowl: 1965] RB

1944 - Joe Frazier
boxer: ‘Smokin’ Joe’: World Heavyweight Champion [1970-1973]

1945 - Maggie Bell
rock artist: Group: Stone the Crows

1946 - Cynthia Robinson
singer, musician: trumpet; groups: Sly and the Family Stone: Dance to the Music, Everyday People, [I Want to Take You] Higher, Hot Fun in the Summertime, Thank You [Falettinme be Mice Elf Agin]; The Stoners

1948 - Anthony Andrews
actor: Haunted, Hands of a Murderer, Hanna’s War, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ivanhoe, Brideshead Revisited

1950 - Randy (Randall Leo) Jones
baseball: pitcher: San Diego Padres [all-star: 1975, 1976/Cy Young Award: 1976], NY Mets

1951 - Kirstie Alley
Emmy Award-winning actress: Cheers [1991]; Look Who’s Talking

1951 - Rush Limbaugh (Rush Hudson Limbaugh III)
right-wing radio talk show host: The Rush Limbaugh Show

1951 - Drew Pearson
football: Dallas Cowboys WR; Super Bowl X, XII, XIII

1952 - Ricky Van Shelton
country singer: albums: Love and Honor, A Bridge I Didn’t Burn, Greatest Hits Plus, Don’t Overlook Salvation, Backroads, RVS III, RVS Sings Christmas, Loving Proof, Wild-Eyed Dream; singles: Backroads, Living Proof, Keep It Between the Lines, From a Jack to a King, I Am a Simple Man, I’ll Leave This World, Rockin’ Years (w/Dolly Parton), Don’t We All Have the Right, I’ve Cried My Last Tear for You, Life Turned Her That Way, Statue of a Fool, Somebody Lied

1954 - Howard Stern
syndicated/satellite radio talk-show host, TV host: The Howard Stern Show; actor: Private Parts

1955 - Felipe Rose
American Indian-attired singer: group: The Village People: Y.M.C.A, In the Navy, Macho Man

1959 - Per Gessle
musician: guitar, singer: group: Roxette

1959 - Bob West
voice actor: voice of Barney: Barney and Friends, Sesame Street

1960 - Oliver Platt
actor: Huff, Bulworth, Married to the Mob, Crusoe, Flatliners, Indecent Proposal, The Three Musketeers, Doctor Dolittle, Simon Birch, Bicentennial Man, Gun Shy, Ash Wednesday

1960 - Dominique Wilkins
basketball: Univ of Georgia; NBA: Atlanta Hawks, LA Clippers, Boston Celtics, SA Spurs, Orlando Magic

1964 - Jeff Bezos
founder/CEO of

1965 - Madison Stone
actress: X-rated films: Jail Babes, Eyewitness Nudes, Voodoo Vixens, Juicy Sex Scandals, Genie in a Bikini, Private Dancer, Up Against It, Best of Leather and Lace

1965 - Henry Thomas
football: Louisiana State Univ; NFL: Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots

1967 - Vendela Kirsebom
model, actress: The Parent Trap, Batman and Robin, Cuore di ladro

1971 - Shane Dronett
football: Univ of Texas; NFL: Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions

1971 - Andy Fox
baseball: NY Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers and Montreal Expos

1972 - Rich Loiselle
baseball [pitcher]: Odessa Jr. College; Pittsburgh Pirates

1973 - Rich Parent
hockey: SL Blues, TB Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins

1974 - Melanie Chisholm
singer: group: Spice Girls [Sporty]: LPs: Forever, Spice, Goodbye, Spiceworld

1975 - Lisa Rieffel
actress: Drowning Mona, The Patron Saint of Liars, Forget Paris, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I.

1975 - Jocelyn Thibault
hockey: Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks

1975 - Nate Wayne
football: Univ of Mississippi; NFL: Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles

1977 - Jeno James
football: Auburn Univ; NFL: Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins

1980 - Bobby Crosby
baseball: Cal State-Long Beach; Oakland Athletics

1988 - Andrew Lawrence
actor: Jack Frost, Bean, Brotherly Love, Tom, The Kids from Room 402

Chart Toppers January 12

1951Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
The Thing - Phil Harris
My Heart Cries for You - Guy Mitchell
The Golden Rocket - Hank Snow

1960El Paso - Marty Robbins
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Freddie Cannon
It’s Time to Cry - Paul Anka
El Paso - Marty Robbins

1969I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
I’m Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
Daddy Sang Bass - Johnny Cash

1978How Deep is Your Love - Bee Gees
Baby Come Back - Player
Here You Come Again - Dolly Parton
Take This Job and Shove It - Johnny Paycheck

1987Walk Like an Egyptian - Bangles
Notorious - Duran Duran
Shake You Down - Gregory Abbott
Give Me Wings - Michael Johnson

1996One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
Exhale (Shoop Shoop) - Whitney Houston
Hey Lover - LL Cool J
Rebecca Lynn - Bryan White

2005Let Me Love You - Mario
I Don’t Want to Be - Gavin DeGraw
Drop It Like It’s Hot - Snoop Dogg
Some Beach - Blake Shelton

Happy Birthday Ray Price