Today's History Trivia for January 24
1848 California Gold Rush Gold is discovered on Sutter's Mill, by James Marshall, starting the California gold rush. Over 300,000 people, known as "forty-niners," would go to California to seek their fortune.
1986 Voyager II flies within 50,679 mile of Uranus, discovering previously unknown moons and rings.
1935 First canned beer is sold, Kreuger Beer brewed in New Jersey.
1922 First ice cream bar The Eskimo Pie is patented by C.K. Nelson.
1899 The rubber heel is patented, by Humphrey O'Sullivan.
1826 Creek Indians sign a treaty granting them the right to stay on their land two more years.
1556 World's deadliest earthquake in Shanxi, China killing 830,000 people.
Today's Birthdays for January 24
1968 Mary Lou Retton American gymnast. In 1984 she became the first U.S. woman to win an individual Olympic gymnastics medal. She won four that year, including the gold for all-around best gymnast.
1961 Nastassja Kinski (Nastassja Nakszynski), German actress. Film: Cat People (1982).
1951 Yakov Smirnoff Russian comedian.
1950 Gennifer Flowers American model, actress. During Bill Clinton's 1992 Presidential campaign she alleged she had a twelve-year affair with the candidate. Clinton initially denied the allegations, but later admitted he had a sexual encounter with her.
1949 John Belushi d. 1982 American Emmy-winning comedian. TV: Saturday Night Live. Film: Animal House (1978) and The Blues Brothers (1980).
1947 Warren Zevon d. 2003 American singer, songwriter. Music: Excitable Boy (1978) and Werewolves of London (1978).
1943 Sharon Tate d. 1969 American actress. She was murdered by followers of Charles Manson. Film: Valley of the Dolls (1967, Jennifer North) and The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
1941 Neil Diamond American singer, songwriter. Music: I'm a Believer (1966, #1 for the Monkees) and Craklin' Rosie (1970, #1).
1939 Ray Stevens American Grammy-winning comic singer, Gitarzan (1969), Everything is Beautiful (1970, #1), and The Streak (1974).
1920 Jerry Maren (Gerald Marenghi), American 4-foot-3 actor. Film: The Wizard of Oz (1939, Lollipop Kid who gave the lollipop to Dorothy), Buster Brown, the original Oscar Mayer wiener character, and the original McDonald's Mayor McCheese. He is the last surviving Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz.
1918 Oral Roberts d. 2009 American evangelist, founder of Oral Roberts University (1965). In 1987 he announced "God will call me home" if he didn't raise $4.5 million in three months. At the end of the three months, he declared he had reached his goal.
1917 Ernest Borgnine d. 2012 (Ermes Effron Borgnino), American Oscar-winning actor. TV: McHale's Navy (Lt. Cdr. Quinton McHale) and Airwolf (Dominic Santini).
1905 J. Howard Marshall d. 1995 (Jeremiah Howard Marshall II), American oil billionaire. At age 89, he married 26-year-old Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith.
1888 Ernst Heinkel d. 1958 German aircraft designer/manufacturer. He designed the first rocket airplane powered solely by liquid fuel.
Deaths for January 24
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
British statesman, UK Prime Minister (1940-45, 51-55), Nobel-winning author (1953). He coined the expression "Iron Curtain" (1946).
2012 James Farentino b. 1938 American actor. TV: The Bold Ones (Neil Darrell) and Dynasty (Dr. Nick Toscanni).
2010 Pernell Roberts b. 1928 American actor. TV: Bonanza (1959-65, Adam Cartwright) and Trapper John, M.D. (1979-86, Trapper John).
1993 Thurgood Marshall b. 1908 American civil-rights lawyer. He was the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice (1967-91), and legal director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
1989 Ted Bundy b. 1946 American serial killer. Convicted of two Florida sorority house murders, he was executed in the state prison's electric chair.
1986 L. Ron Hubbard b. 1911 (Lafayette Ronald Hubbard), American author, founded the Church of Scientology and author of Dianetics.
1973 George Graff b. 1886 American lyricist, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
1971 Bill Wilson b. 1895 (William Griffith Wilson aka Bill W.), American co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (1935). He had his first drink in 1917 claiming, "I had found the elixir of life." However, his drinking quickly go out of hand; he failed to graduate from law school because he was too drunk to pick up his diploma.
1930 Rebecca Latimer Felton b. 1835 American politician, first woman U.S. senator (October 3 - November 22, 1922).
1879 Heinrich Geissler b. 1814 German inventor. He invented an electric light in 1858 - 21 years before Edison's incandescent bulb. Now known as the Geissler tube, it consisted of a gas-filled vacuum tube which would light up when electricity was applied.
1860 James Pollard Espy b. 1785 American meteorologist, founder of modern weather predicting.
1848 Horace Wells b. 1815 American dentist, first to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for dental anesthesia (1844).
1626 Sir Samuel Argall b. circa 1580 English adventurer, deputy governor of Virginia (1617-19). In 1618 he decreed a punishment of one night of imprisonment and a week as a slave for missing church services.
817 Stephen IV b. ???? Italian religious leader, 97th Pope (816-817).
772 Stephen III b. 723 religious leader, 94th Pope (768-772).