Today's History Trivia for January 3
12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northrop regains his freedom after having spent 12 years in slavery. Born a free black in New York, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana where he spent 12 years working on plantations. He was eventually able to get word to the Governor of New York who helped Northrop regain his freedom. James Birch, the slave trader who sold him was arrested, but acquitted because District of Columbia law, where Northrop was kidnapped, prohibited blacks from testifying against whites.
2000 USS The Sullivans Attack Members of the Al Qaeda attempt bomb the USS The Sullivans with a boat laden with explosives. But the boat was overloaded and sank before detonating.
1989 The Arsenio Hall Show debuts.
1970 The Beatles The mop-top musicians record their last song together: I Me Mine.
1961 Cuban Crisis The U.S. severs diplomatic relations with Cuba.
1959 Alaska becomes the 49th state.
1952 Dragnet The TV series debuts on NBC. It starred Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday - he carries a badge.
1942 The Fighting Sullivan Brothers The Five brothers from Ohio enlist in the U.S. Navy with the stipulation that they all serve together. All five died 10 months later when their ship was sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal. This was the greatest military loss by any one American family during World War II.
1921 Amelia Earhart The famed aviator begins taking flying lessons.
1913 Thomas Edison demonstrates "talkies."
1776 Battle of Princeton New Jersey.
1521 German religious reformer Martin Luther is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X for challenging the church's doctrines. He went into hiding and began his translation of the Bible into German.
Today's Birthdays for January 3
1950 Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova d. 2003 Russian Siamese twins. The only known Siamese twins having 2 heads, 4 arms, and 3 legs. After Masha died of a heart attack, Dasha refused to be separated and died 17 hours later. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1956 Mel Gibson American-born Australian actor. Film: Mad Max (1980), Lethal Weapon (1987), Braveheart (1995), and The Passion of the Christ (2004, Director)
1950 Victoria Principal American actress. TV: Dallas (Pamela Ewing).
1945 Stephen Stills American singer, with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
1932 Dabney Coleman American actor. TV: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
1929 Sergio Leone d. 1989 Italian director of "Spaghetti Westerns." Film: A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
1926 Sir George Henry Martin d. 2016 English record producer, producer for The Beatles, AKA the "Fifth Beatle."
1917 Jesse White d. 1997 American actor. TV: The lonely Maytag repairman (1967-88).
1916 Maxene Andrews d. 1995 American singer, with the Andrews Sisters.
1916 Betty Furness d. 1994 American actress, pioneer in TV consumer reporting. TV: Today.
1909 Victor Borge d. 2000 (Borge Rosenbaum), Danish pianist, satirist, entertainer. Quote: "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
1892 J.R.R. Tolkien d. 1973 (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien), British author. Writings: The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954).
(Joseph Damien de Veuster), Belgian-born Roman Catholic missionary. He dedicated his life to the lepers of Hawaii and eventually contracted the disease himself. He was declared a Saint by the Catholic Church.
106 B.C. Marcus Tullius Cicero d. 43 B.C. Roman philosopher, statesman, one of Rome's greatest orators. Before being killed by Mark Antony's assassins, he declared "There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly."
Deaths for January 3
2005 Will Eisner b. 1917 American cartoonist, creator of The Spirit (1940).
1992 Dame Judith Anderson b. 1897 (Frances Margaret Anderson), Australian-born British Tony-Emmy-winning actress. Film: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958, Big Momma). TV: Santa Barbara (Minx Capwell).
1980 Joy Adamson b. 1910 Austrian environmentalist, author. Writings: Born Free (1960). Her work was featured in the 1966 movie of the same title.
1979 Conrad Hilton b. 1887 American hotel executive. He bought his first hotel in Texas in 1919.
1969 Howard McNear b. 1905 American actor. Radio: Gunsmoke (Doc Adams). TV: The Andy Griffith Show (Floyd the barber).
1967 Jack Ruby b. 1911 American night club owner. He died while awaiting a retrial for the murder of Pres. Kennedy's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
1927 Georg Clemens Perthes b. 1869 German surgeon. He discovered that X-rays inhibit the growth of tumors (1903), and proposed the use of X-rays to treat cancer.
1895 James Merritt Ives b. 1824 American lithographer, co-founder of Currier & Ives (1857). Their prints recorded the last half of 19th-century American history.
1543 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo b. ???? Portuguese explorer. He was the first European to reach the Pacific coast (1542, San Diego Bay).
236 Saint Anterus b. ???? Greek-born religious leader, 19th Pope (235-236).