Fun Facts for Today – January 27

January 27

It’s Chocolate Cake Day and Punch the Clock Day



1606 The trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot began
1785 The University of Georgia is founded, the first public university in the US
1880 Thomas Alva Edison patented the electric incandescent lamp
1888 The National Geographic Society was incorporated
1918 Tarzan of the Apes starring Elmo Lincoln is released in theaters in the US
1921 Einstein suggested the possibility of measuring the universe, which startled the audience, with his address “Geometry and Expansion” given at the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin
1926 John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of a true television system in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment
1933 She Done Him Wrong starring Mae West and Cary Grant premieres in US theaters
1939 The first flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning
1945 The Red Army arrives at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland
1956 The “CBS Radio Workshop” was heard for the first time; this first broadcast featured Aldous Huxley narrating his classic, Brave New World
1948 Wire Recording Corporation of America announced the first magnetic tape recorder
1950 Klaus Fuchs confesses that he gave atomic secrets to the Soviets.
1951 In the US, atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats
1956 The Court Jester starring Danny Kaye opens in US theaters
1964 The Beatles’ are in the recording studio in Paris – their first and only studio recording session for EMI held outside of the UK – they record “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” and “Sie Liebt Dich”
1967 Tragedy struck the Apollo program when a flash fire occurred in command module 012 during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted flight, the AS-204 mission; three astronauts, Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, a veteran of Mercury and Gemini missions; Lt. Col. Edward H. White, the astronaut who had performed the first US extravehicular activity during the Gemini program; and Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his first space flight, died in this tragic accident
1967 More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty which banned the orbiting of nuclear weapons and placing weapons on celestial bodies or space stations
1968 Otis Redding’s single “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released on this day
1973 The Paris Peace Accords officially ends the Vietnam War
1976 Laverne and Shirley, a Happy Daysspin-off, debuts on ABC-TV
1982 Paul McCartney appeared on BBC radio’s “Desert Island Discs,” his selections include, Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”, Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen”, John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy”, and Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti”
1984 Michael Jackson’s hair bursts into flames while filming a Pepsi commercial
1996 Germany first observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day


1621 Thomas Willis, physician who made important contributions to anatomy, particularly of the brain and nervous system
1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer of the Classical era whose output of over 600 compositions includes works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music
1829 Isaac Roberts, astronomer who was a pioneer in photography of nebulae
1832 Lewis Carroll [Charles Ludwidge Dodgson], logician, mathematician, photographer, and novelist (Alice in Wonderland)
1850 Edward J. Smith, captain of the RMS Titanic when it sank in 1912
1885 Jerome Kern, 2-time Academy Award-winning songwriter (“”The Way You Look Tonight,” “The Last Time I Saw Paris”)
1887 Carl Blegen, archaeologist who unearthed evidence that supported and dated the sack of Troy recorded in Homer’s Iliad
1888 Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, mineralogist and petrologist who laid the foundation of inorganic crystal chemistry and founded modern geochemistry
1895 Harry Ruby, songwriter/scriptwriter (“Hooray for Captain Spalding,” Horse Feathers, Animal Crackers, Duck Soup)
1900 Hyman G. Rickover, known as the Father of the Nuclear Navy for his leadership to build the atomic-powered submarine, USS Nautilus
1905 Howard McNear, character actor (The Andy Griffith Show, Blue Hawaii, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
1908 William Randolph Hearst, Jr., editor-in-chief of Hearst Newspapers/won a Pulitzer Prize for his interview with Soviet premier, Nikita Kruschev, and associated commentaries in 1955
1921 Donna Reed, Academy Award-winning actress (From Here to Eternity, The Donna Reed Show, It’s a Wonderful Life)
1936 Troy Donahue, actor (Summer Love, Rocket to the Moon, Cry-Baby)
1940 James Cromwell, actor (Spider-Man 3, 24, Babe, Star Trek: First Contact, L.A. Confidential)
1944 Nick Mason, musician (Pink Floyd)
1948 Mikhail Baryshnikov, dancer, choreographer, and actor/artistic director with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet
1954 Peter Laird, comic book artist/co-creator Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1957 Frank Miller, comic book artist/writer, director (Sin City, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Ronin, 300)
1958 James Grippando, author (Lying with Strangers, When Darkness Falls)
1964 Bridget Fonda, actress (Kiss of the Dragon, Snow Queen, A Simple Plan, Point of No Return)
1965 Alan Cumming, actor (X2, Emma, Goldeneye)


1851 John James Audubon, naturalist and artist, dies at 65
1901 Giuseppe Verdi, Romantic composer, mainly of opera, dies at 87
1910 Thomas Crapper, who despite the urban legend, did not invent the flush toilet, dies at 73
1860 Sir Thomas Brisbane, Baronet British soldier and astronomical observer for whom the city of Brisbane, Australia, is named, dies at 86
1873 Adam Sedgwick, geologist who first applied the name Cambrian to the geologic period of time, now dated at 570 to 505 million years ago, dies at 87
1940 David Murray Cowie, pediatrician who promoted the iodization of table salt sold in the U.S. to provide a dietary supplement of iodine, thus reducing the incidence of goiter, dies at 67
1964 Norman Z. McLeod, director (My Favorite Spy , The Kid from Brooklyn, Topper, It’s a Gift), dies at 65
1983 Meyer Fortes, social anthropologist known for his investigations of West African societies, dies at 76
1984 Douglas Camfield, director (Doctor Who, Z Cars)
1989 Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, aircraft pioneer whose firm was famous for British WWI military aircraft, dies at 101
1993 André the Giant, professional wrestler and actor (The Princess Bride, The Six Million Dollar Man: The Secret of Bigfoot), dies at 46
1994 Claude Akins, actor (Movin’ On, Rio Bravo, BJ and the Bear, Battle for the Planet of the Apes), dies at 67
2004 Jack Paar, actor/TV personality (The Jack Paar Tonight Show), dies at 85

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *