Today's History Trivia for January 8
1973 Elvis Presley Divorces Priscilla - On His Birthday Elvis Presley, "The King of Rock 'n' Roll," files for divorce on his birthday after five years of marriage to Priscilla Presley. The couple agreed to share custody of their daughter and Priscilla was awarded a cash payment of $725,000, spousal support, child support, 5% of Elvis' new publishing companies, and half the income from the sale of their Beverly Hills home. Elvis met 14 year-old Priscilla Ann Beaulieu when he was serving over seas in Germany. They married when she was 21.
Battle of New Orleans
Although a peace treaty that would end the War of 1812 had been signed two weeks earlier, news had not arrived in time to prevent this battle. This was the most lopsided battle of the war. Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson led a mishmash of about 4,500 soldiers, locals, and even the pirate crew of Jean Lafitte - against 8,000 British regulars.
1992 Pres. George Bush Bush vomits in the lap of the Japanese prime minister and collapses to the floor. Bush had ignored a physician's warning to stay in bed.
1987 First Dow-Jones index to close above 2000 Closing at 2002.25.
1982 The breaking up of AT&T The breakup of the biggest corporation in American history.
1955 Thorazine and Reserpine The success of the two drugs in treating mental patients is reported by the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene.
1918 World War I Pres. Wilson delivers his "Fourteen points" speech outlining the U.S. peace aims of the war.
1721 25 girls from the house of correction in Paris arrive in Louisiana.
1705 Handel's First Opera Almira is performed for the first time.
Today's Birthdays for January 8
1947 David Bowie d. 2016 (David Robert Jones), British singer. Music: Space Oddity (1969), The Jean Genie (1973), Fame (1975, #1), and Let's Dance (1983). Broadway: The Elephant Man (1980, title role). Film: The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976, title role) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988, Pontius Pilate).
1946 Robbie Krieger American guitarist, with The Doors. Music: Light My Fire (1967, #1) and L.A. Woman (1971).
1942 Stephen Hawking British physicist. Author of A Brief History of Time, and considered one of the greatest theoretical physicists since Einstein. He appeared as a holograph of himself in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993). He has a slow-progressing form of ALS.
1941 Graham Chapman d. 1989 British comedian. TV: Monte Python's Flying Circus.
1937 Shirley Bassey Welsh singer. She recorded title songs for James Bond films Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker. She was the first Welsh person to have a No. 1 single (1959, As I Love You).
1933 Charles Osgood (Charles Osgood Wood III), American broadcast journalist.
1931 Bill Graham d. 1991 (Wulf Wolodia Grajonca), German-born American concert promoter. He helped pioneer the mass rock concert as an American cultural event. He died in a helicopter crash.
1926 Soupy Sales d. 2009 (Milton Supman), American comedian. TV: What's My Line? (1968-75).
1924 Ron Moody d. 2015 (Ronald Moodnick), English actor. Film: Oliver! (1968, Fagin).
1923 Larry Storch American actor. TV: F Troop (Cpl. Agarn).
1912 José Ferrer d. 1992 (José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón), Puerto Rican Oscar-Tony-winning actor. He was the first Hispanic actor to win an Oscar. Film: Whirlpool (1949) and Cyrano de Bergerac (1950, Oscar).
1909 Evelyn Wood d. 1995 American speed-reading instructor. She was capable of reading 2,700 words a minute.
1868 Sir Frank Watson Dyson d. 1939 English astronomer. He proved light is bent by gravity, as predicted by Einstein. He is organized expeditions to observe solar eclipse at Brazil and Principe (1919), which confirmed Einstein's theory of the effect of gravity on light.
1862 Frank Nelson Doubleday d. 1934 American publisher.
1824 Wilkie Collins d. 1889 English writer. A very successful writer in his time, he wrote The Moonstone (1868), the first English language detective novel, which some still consider the best ever written.
1786 Nicholas Biddle d. 1844 American financier. As president (1822-36) of the Second Bank of U.S., he made it the first effective central bank.
1735 John Carroll d. 1815 American clergyman. First American bishop (1790), was in charge of the Diocese of Baltimore, and founded (1789) the first Roman Catholic College in the U.S. (Georgetown College in Washington D.C.) Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
Deaths for January 8
1642 Galileo Galilei b. 1564 Italian astronomer, physicist. He built the first complete astronomical telescope, which he used to prove that the Earth revolved around the Sun. He was imprisoned by the Catholic Church for this belief.
1324 Marco Polo b. 1254 Italian traveler. He wrote the famous account of his Asian travels (1300). Marco had commanded a ship in a war against the rival city of Genoa. He was captured and sentenced to prison, where he wrote of his famous adventures.
2007 Yvonne De Carlo b. 1922 (Margaret Yvonne Middleton), Canadian-born American actress. TV: The Munsters (Lily Munster). Film: The Ten Commandments (1956, Moses' wife).
1996 François Mitterand b. 1916 President of France (1981‑). He founded the French Socialist Party.
1994 Pat Buttram b. 1915 (Maxwell Emmett Buttram), American actor. TV: The Gene Autry Show (Gene's sidekick) and Green Acres (Mr. Haney).
1981 Stymie Beard b. 1925 (Matthew Beard, Jr.), African-American actor, the derby-wearing Little Rascal. He appeared in 36 Our Gang films. His trademark hat was a gift from Stan Laurel. He also played Monte in the TV series Good Times.
1980 John William Mauchly b. 1907 American computer pioneer. He and J. Presper Eckert invented the first digital general-purpose computer (1945, ENIAC). He and Eckert also started the first computer company (1947).
1956 Jim Elliot b. 1927 American missionary to Ecuador's Quechua Indians. His was killed by the Aucas while trying to minister to them. Quote: "It is dangerous to get the cart before the horse, but essential in God's program to get the heart before the course." His death was the basis for the book/movie End of the Spear. Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1941 Sir Robert Baden-Powell b. 1857 British major general, founder of the Boy Scouts (1908) and the Girl Guides (1910).
1919 Jim O'Rourke b. 1850 American baseball player, made the first hit of the first National League game (1876), for Boston.
1198 Celestine III b. ???? Italian religious leader, 175th Pope (1191-98).