Today in History — Friday, Jan. 8 (195th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans 1815, Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points 1919, Elvis Presley born 1935, Stephen Hawking born 1942, Amber Benson/Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
By The Associated Press (with annotations by CEL III)
Today is Friday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2010. Today, in my family, was always the final day of the Christmas Season, after Epiphany January 6, after my grandfather’s birthday on January 3. There are 357 days left in the year, with only 350 shopping days left until Christmas!
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 8th, 1935, rock-’n’-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss.; this is generally considered the greatest threat Southern American Civilization in general and Southern womanhood in since Samuel J. Tilden conceded the election of 1876 to Rutherford B. Hayes thus marking the end of Reconstruction.
On this date:
In 1798, the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect by President John Adams nearly three years after its ratification by the states; it prohibited a citizen of one state from suing another state in federal court; the 11th Amendment is generally considered to have been a really bad idea.
In 1815, U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans — the closing engagement of the War of 1812.
In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his “Fourteen Points” for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.
1932 “Being born 300 years after Galileo’s death and taking up the Lucasian chair in mathematics 310 years after Newton, Stephen Hawking was numerologically well prepared for his successes and achievements”, said Sir Alec Broers, the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, in his introduction to the Stephen Hawking 60th Birthday symposium. The title of the day was The future of theoretical physics and cosmology, and an important part of that future, according to the Vice Chancellor, was due to Stephen himself.
In 1959, Charles de Gaulle was inaugurated as president of France’s Fifth Republic. In Cuba, Fidel Castro and his army arrived in Havana in triumph following the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in his State of the Union address.
In 1973, the Paris peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed.
In 1976, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai died in Beijing.
In 1987, for the first time, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2,000, ending the day at 2,002.25; people who think this is important obviously do not understand the concept of inflation of fiat currencies or the fact that stock market speculation is no measure of economic productivity, but on the contrary is a symptom of a stagnate and failing economy. Let it be remembered that, on Monday, October 19, during the fall of my first year in law school, which happened to be Fall Quarter 1987, the Stock Market fell 508 points in a single day (which was a bigger NUMERICAL crash than October 29, 1929, although with fewer broad economic implications), after falling several hundred points October 12-16 the previous week (declining respectively 95 points, 58 points, and 108 points on October 14, 15, and 16).
In 1989, 47 people were killed when a British Midland Boeing 737-400 carrying 126 people crashed in central England.
In 2003, a US Airways Express commuter plane crashed at the Charlotte, N.C., airport, killing all 21 people on board. A Turkish Airlines jet crashed in Turkey, killing 75 people.
Ten years ago: During a debate in Johnston, Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley accused Al Gore of trying to scare voters by misrepresenting his health care proposal; for his part, the vice president said he had not been hiding in a Washington bunker but campaigning on “the front lines in the fight for our future.”
Five years ago: An Army platoon sergeant who’d ordered his soldiers to throw Iraqis into the Tigris River was sentenced to six months in military prison; the jury in Fort Hood, Texas also reduced the rank of Army Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins by one grade.
One year ago: President-elect Barack Obama urged lawmakers to work with him “day and night, on weekends if necessary” to approve the largest taxpayer-funded stimulus ever. Obama named Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine the next Democratic National Committee chairman. The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza by a 14-0 vote, with the United States abstaining. No. 1 Florida beat No. 2 Oklahoma 24-14 for the BCS national title. Cornelia Wallace, former wife of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, died in Sebring, Fla. at age 69.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 87. Actor Ron Moody is 86. Broadcast journalist Sander Vanocur is 82. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 77. Singer Shirley Bassey is 73. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 72. Country-gospel singer Cristy Lane is 70. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Gourdine (Little Anthony and the Imperials) is 69. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 68. Physicist Stephen Hawking is 68. Rock musician Robby Krieger (The Doors) is 64. Rock singer David Bowie is 63. Movie director John McTiernan is 59. Actress Harriet Sansom Harris is 55. Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is 46. Actress Maria Pitillo is 45. Actress Michelle Forbes is 45. Singer R. Kelly is 43. Rock musician Jeff Abercrombie (Fuel) is 41. Actress Ami Dolenz is 41. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 37. Country singer Tift Merritt is 35. Actress-rock singer Jenny Lewis is 34. Actress Amber Benson is 33. Actor Scott Whyte is 32. Singer-songwriter Erin McCarley is 31. Actress Sarah Polley is 31. Actress Rachel Nichols is 30. Actress Gaby Hoffman is 28. Rock musician Disashi Lumumbo-Kasongo (Gym Class Heroes) is 27.
Thought for Today: “The devil is easy to identify. He appears when you’re terribly tired and makes a very reasonable request which you know you shouldn’t grant.” — Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City (1882-1947).