Today's History Trivia for January 15
1870 Cartoon Depicting the Democratic Party as a Donkey Thomas Nast publishes a cartoon titled "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" in Harper's Weekly. Although Nast popularized the use of the donkey to represent the Democratic party, the donkey was originally used by Andrew Jackson in 1828 for his Democratic presidential campaign.
1991 Desert Shield Deadline for Iraq to withdraw its forces from Kuwait. They failed to meet it, resulting in an Allied Forces invasion hours later.
1990 AT&T's long distance service breaks down Much of the nation's long-distance service is disrupted.
1988 Jimmy the Greek The oddsmaker gives his explanation of why blacks are better athletes, attributing it to selective breeding by slave owners.
1981 Hill Street Blues The critically acclaimed TV series debuts on NBC.
1974 Happy Days The TV series debuts on ABC. It was a spinoff of a Love, American Style segment called Love and the Happy Day (1972) starring Ron Howard and Anson Williams.
1973 Vietnam War With peace talks eminent, Pres. Nixon orders a halt to all bombing of North Vietnam by American planes.
1967 First Super Bowl The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs (35-10) at Los Angeles. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1932 Los Angeles' Greatest Snowfall A record 2 inches. Source: Extreme Weather: A Guide & Record Book.
1927 Monkey Trial The case against John Scopes is dismissed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He had been convicted of teaching evolution in Tennessee.
1907 First gold dental inlay A Chicago dentist describes his procedure to the New York Odontological Society.
1852 First Jewish Hospital in America Mount Sinai Hospital in New York is incorporated; It accepted its first patients in 1855.
1759 British Museum Formed from a collection of books and antiquities bequeathed by Hans Sloane, it opens to the public in London.
Today's Birthdays for January 15
1891 Ray Chapman d. 1920 American baseball player. He was the first major-league baseball player mortally wounded during a game; he was hit in the head by a pitch and died early the next morning. Chapman led the American League in runs scored and walks in 1918.
1953 Kent Hovind American Young Earth Creationist, Dr. Dino. He started Dinosaur Adventure Land (2001), a Young Earth Creationist-theme park in Pensacola, Florida. The park depicts humans and dinosaurs co-existing in the last 4,000 to 6,000 years.
1941 Captain Beefheart d. 2010 (Don Van Vliet), American singer. He appeared regularly on TV as a child prodigy, especially noted for his clay sculpting. Music: Trout Mask Replica.
1937 Margaret O'Brien (Angela Maxine O'Brien), American actress. In 1944 she received a special Oscar as "Outstanding Child Actress." Film: Journey for Margaret (1942) and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
1913 Lloyd Bridges d. 1998 American actor. TV: Sea Hunt (Mike Nelson). He was the father of actors Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges.
1908 Edward Teller d. 2003 Hungarian-born American physicist. He was the principal creator of the hydrogen bomb.
1906 Aristotle Socrates Onassis d. 1975 Greek shipping executive, husband of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
1842 Josef Breuer d. 1925 Austrian physician whose work formed the foundation of modern psychoanalysis.
1432 Alfonso V d. 1481 King of Portugal (1438-81).
Deaths for January 15
1943 Eric Knight b. 1897 British-American author. He created the character Lassie in a short story published in the Saturday Evening Post (1938), which he expanded in the novel Lassie Come Home (1940). He was killed in a plane crash while on a mission in World War II. He became a U.S. citizen and a major in the U.S. Army Special Services shortly before his death.
2016 Dan Haggerty b. 1941 American actor. TV: The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1974 movie, 1977-78 TV series, title role). He also helped build the bikes in Easy Rider (1969).
2014 John Dobson b. 1915 American astronomer, "The Pied Piper of Astronomy." He co-founded the Sidewalk Astronomers and invented the Dobsonian telescope, an inexpensive, easy-to-build telescope. see: How and Why to Make a User-Friendly Sidewalk Telescope
2005 Ruth Warrick b. 1916 American Emmy-winning actress. She declined a lifetime achievement award from the South Carolina Arts Commission because she was offended by the legislators' decision to fly the Confederate flag on the state Capitol grounds. Film: Citizen Kane (1941, Kane's first wife). TV: All My Children (Phoebe Tyler).
1996 Minnesota Fats b. 1913 (Rudolf Wanderone, Jr.), American billiards wizard.
1994 Harry Nilsson b. 1941 (Harry Nelson), American Grammy-winning singer, songwriter. Music: wrote One (#1 for Three Dog Night), Everybody's Talking (1969, Grammy, theme to the movie Midnight Cowboy), and the animated TV film The Point!
1993 Sammy Cahn b. 1913 American Oscar-winning lyricist. Music: Call Me Irresponsible, Three Coins in a Fountain (1954, Oscar), High Hopes, and Love And Marriage (theme to TV's Married… With Children).
1987 Ray Bolger b. 1904 American actor, dancer. Film: The Wizard of Oz (1939, Scarecrow). TV: The Partridge Family (Shirley Jones' father).
1983 Meyer Lansky b. 1902 (Maier Suchowljanksy), Russian-born American organized-crime financial wizard. He was responsible for laundering much of the Mafia's money.
1968 Bill Masterson b. 1938 American hockey player. He was the first NHL player to die as result of injuries received in a game; he had struck his head on the ice.
1950 Henry Harley Arnold b. 1886 American 5-star general, commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Force during World War I. He became the first movie stuntman (1911) when hired as a stand-in for The Military Scout.
1893 Horace Smith b. 1808 American gun-maker. Co-founder of Smith & Wesson (1852). Smith and Daniel B. Wesson founded the Smith & Wesson Company (1852) to develop the first repeating rifle. He is also credited with the invention of the explosive bullet used to kill whales.