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Today in History 01-02-13

Jan 02, 2013 -- 6:15am

Today In History 


On This Day:  

In 1788, Georgia became the fourth state admitted to the Union. 

In 1842, the first wire suspension bridge was opened in Fairmont, Pennsylvania. 

In 1870, construction began on New York's Brooklyn Bridge. 

In 1872, Brigham Young was arrested on bigamy charges.  The Mormon Church leader had 25 wives.  

In 1910, the nation's first junior high school opened in Berkeley, California. 

In 1935, Bruno Hauptmann went to trial on charges of kidnapping and murdering Charles Lindbergh's infant son. 

In 1941, the Andrews Sisters recorded their classic song "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." 

In 1965, Joe Namath signed a 400-thousand dollar contract with the New York Jets of the American Football League.  At the time, it was the richest rookie contract in professional football history.    

In 1973, Led Zeppelin bandmates Robert Plant and Jimmie Page hitchhiked to their concert in Sheffield, England, after their car broke down. 

In 1974, Tex Ritter, the singing cowboy, died of a heart attack at the age of 66.  He is the father of actor John Ritter.  

In 1980, Miss America Pageant officials announced Bert Parks would not return as host of the annual beauty contest.  He held the position for 25 years.  

In 1983, the Broadway musical "Annie" closed after two-thousand-377 performances.  

In 1986, Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders scored his 500th career goal. 

In 1990, actor Alan Hale, Jr., died at the age of 71.  He is best remembered for his role as Skipper Jonas Grumby on "Gilligan's Island." 

In 1995, four years after leaving the office to serve a six month prison sentence for a misdemeanor drug charge, Marion Barry was inaugurated as mayor of Washington, D.C. again.  

In 2005, veteran California Congressman Robert Matsui died at the age of 63 after battling an rare blood disorder.  Matsui had served in Congress since 1978, representing the 5th District from California.  During his tenure, Matsui served on dozens of committees, including the powerful Ways and Means Committee.  

In 2007, talk show host Oprah Winfrey opened her school for girls in South Africa on this date.  The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in Gauteng will educate 152 students in grades seven through twelve.  The school cost 40-million-dollars to build and features computer and science labs, a library and a wellness center.  

In 2007, a memorial for the late President Gerald R. Ford was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C..  The 38th U.S. President died on December 26th, 2006 at the age of 93.  Dozens of dignitaries attended the memorial including President George W. Bush, former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell.  Ford was buried near his presidential library in Grand Rapids, Michigan.    

In 2008, oil prices topped the century mark for the first time ever, trading at more than 100 dollars a barrel.  Prices surged more than four-dollars on this day amid violence in Nigeria and Algeria.  Both are member countries of the OPEC oil cartel.  The rise is also attributed to a weak dollar and a cold snap. 

In 2009, the 16-year-old son of actor John Travolta died on this date.  The family's lawyer said Jett Travolta suffered a seizure at his family's vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay hotel in the Bahamas.  Jett Travolta, who had a history of seizures, was the eldest child of John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston.  


Today In History 
For: January 3 

>>Today In History 

On this day: 

In 1888, the drinking straw was patented by Marvin Stone of Washington D.C.. 

In 1920, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold pitcher-outfielder Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for 125-thousand dollars and a 350-thousand dollar loan. 

In 1938, "The Mothers March" was organized to fight infantile paralysis.  It later became "The March of Dimes." 

In 1947, Al Herrin of Trenton, New Jersey, died at the age of 92.  Herrin claimed he had never slept during his entire lifetime.  Doctors confirmed that evidence showing he had not slept in several months could indicate he may have been awake his entire life.  

In 1953, Francis Bolton and her son Oliver became the first mother-son combination to serve at the same time in Congress. 

In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the Union.  

In 1962, ground was broken for the Houston Astrodome. 

In 1964, Barry Goldwater announced his candidacy for President of the United States.  He eventually lost to Lyndon Johnson. 

In 1967, Jack Ruby died.  He is famous for killing suspected President Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.  

In 1973, CBS sold the New York Yankees baseball club to a 12-member group headed by George Steinbrenner.  The team sold for ten-million dollars. 

In 1976, the Bay City Rollers topped the pop singles chart with "Saturday Night." 

In 1978, Baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe McCarthy died at the age of 90. 

In 1981, John Lennon's album "Double Fantasy" hit number one on the music charts only a few weeks after his death. 

In 1985, soprano Leontyne Price said goodbye to New York's Metropolitan Opera.  She was a part of the Met for 24 years. 

In 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Fame. 

In 1991, Wayne Gretzky scored his 700th career goal. 

In 1997, Bryant Gumbel hosted NBC's "Today" show for the final time.  He was replaced by Matt Lauer. 

In 2004, pop superstar Britney Spears reportedly tied the knot with childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.  Spears reportedly wore jeans and a baseball cap.  The marriage as annuled less than three days later.  

In 2008, White House hopefuls Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses for their respective parties.  Obama won for the Democrats while Huckabee led his GOP challengers. 

In 2010, it was reported that James Cameron's sci-fi fantasy adventure "Avatar" had crossed the $1 Billion mark at the worldwide box office. 

In 2011, actress Lindsay Lohan left the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California after a 90-day stay.  

In 2012, former Massachusetts Governor and Reublican Mitt Romney just edged out former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum to win the Iowa Presidential Caucus.



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