Fun Facts for Today – January 12

January 12

It’s Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day and National Pharmacist Day



1592 Titus Andronicus is first staged at the Rose Theatre
1773 The first public Colonial American museum opens in Charleston, SC
1777 Mission Santa Clara de Asís is founded in what is now Santa Clara, CA
1816 France decrees Bonaparte family to be exiled from the country forever
1863 President Davis delivers his “State of the Confederacy” address
1879 The British-Zulu War begins
1896 The first x-ray photograph in the U.S. was taken by Dr. Henry Louis Smith
1897 One of the various patents for a “Phonograph” was issued to Thomas Alva Edison
1899 Oscar Wilde writes that “Henry James is developing, but he will never arrive at passion, I fear.”
1908 A wireless message was sent long-distance for the first time from the Eiffel Tower in Paris
1915 The Rocky Mountain National Park is formed by an act of U.S. Congress
1915 The United States House of Representatives rejects proposal to give women the right to vote
1932 Hattie W. Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate
1937 The first U.S. patent for a submarine cable plow was issued
1943 Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt is released in the U.S.
1949 The Chicago-based children’s show Kukla, Fran and Ollie made its national debut on NBC-TV
1958 President Eisenhower calls on U.S.S.R. to dedicate outer space “to the peaceful uses of mankind”
1965 At 10:58AM PST, scientists conducted what they called a “controlled excursion”, burning up a nuclear rocket in Nevada; it produced a radioactive cloud over Los Angeles
1966 Batman the TV series debuts on ABC-TV
1967 Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation
1968 The Supremes appear in an episode of the NBC-TV show Tarzan playing a group of nuns
1969 Joe Namath and the New York Jets defeat the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III, becoming the first team from the American Football League to win
1970 In one of the most startling incidents of the anti-Viet Nam War movement, the Badger Bomb Plant in Wisconsin is bombed from a stolen airplane
1971 All in the Family debuts on CBS-TV
1986 The shuttle “Columbia 7” blasts off on it’s 24th mission
1998 Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning
1999 Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball was sold at auction in New York for $3M to an anonymous bidder



1580 Jan Baptista van Helmont, chemist, physiologist, and physician who invents the word “gas” and is the first chemist to take the melting-point of ice and the boiling point of water as standards for temperature
1628 Charles Perrault, folklorist / writer famed for his fairy tales, notably Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty
1716 Antonio de Ulloa, scientist and naval officer who discovered the element platinum
1720 Edmund Burke, politician / political thinker / author (Reflections on the Revolution in France)
1737 John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, first signer of the Declaration of Independence
1792 Johan August Arfwedson, chemist who discovered lithium (1817) in a compound in the mineral petalite, though he was unable isolate it as metal
1822 Étienne Lenoir, inventor who devised the world’s first commercially successful internal-combustion engine
1856 John Singer Sargent, landscape painter and watercolorist (Portrait of Madame X, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw)
1876 Jack London, author (The Call of the Wild, White Fang)
1893 Hermann Göring, Supreme commander of the Luftwaffe / Nazi shithead
1896 David Wechsler, psychologist and inventor of several widely used intelligence tests for adults and children
1896 Howard Douglas, actor (Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue, They Made Me a Fugitive)
1897 Arthur Ripley, screenwriter / director (The Strong Man, Long Pants, Shivers)
1899 Paul Hermann Müller, chemist who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1948 for discovering the potent toxic effects on insects of DDT
1899 Lewis D. Collins, director (Adventures of the Flying Cadets, Raiders of Ghost City)
1902 Joe E. Lewis, actor / singer (Private Buckaroo)
1903 Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov, nuclear physicist who from 1932 conducted nuclear science research in the Soviet Union, during which time his team built a cyclotron, a proton accelerator and studied artificial radioactivity and neutron-proton interactions
1902 Tex Ritter, singer / actor / father of John (Flaming Bullets, Cowboy Canteen)
1907 Sergey Pavlovich Korolev, designer of guided missiles, rockets, and spacecraft and one of the founders of Moscow Group for the Study of Reactive Motion
1910 Patsy Kelly, actress (Hit Parade of 1941, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies)
1910 Luise Rainer, two-time Academy Award-winning actress (The Good Earth, The Great Ziegfeld)
1916 Ruth Rogan Benerito, chemist who was a pioneer in the development of wash- and- wear fabrics
1935 Kreskin, mentalist
1944 Joe Frazier, World heavyweight boxing champion, 1970-73
1951 Rush Limbaugh, radio personality / political commentator
1952 Walter Mosley, author (Devil in a Blue Dress, Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent World)
1954 Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed “King of All Media”
1955 Kirstie Alley, two-time Emmy-winning actress (Cheers, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
1955 Rockne S. O’Bannon, producer / screenwriter (Alien Nation, seaQuest DSV, Farscape)
1957 John Lasseter, Academy Award-winning animator (Toy Story, Toy Story 2)
1960 Oliver Platt actor (Diggsville, The Three Musketeers)
1965 Rob Zombie, musician / director (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects)


1665 Pierre de Fermat, mathematician, often called the founder of the modern theory of numbers, dies at 63
1794 Georg Forster, explorer and scientist who helped to establish the literary travel book as a favored genre in German literature, dies at 39
1885 John Bloomfield Jervis, civil engineer who made outstanding contributions in construction of canals, railroads, and water-supply systems for the expanding U.S., dies at 89
1897 Sir Isaac Pitman, educator / inventor of shorthand, dies at 83
1960 Nevil Shute, author (On the Beach, A Town Like Alice), dies at 60
1976 Dame Agatha Christie, queen of the detective story and creator of detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, dies at 85
1979 Pete Smith, two-time Academy Award-winning short subject filmmaker (Quicker’n a Wink, Penny Wisdom) commits suicide at 86
1997 Charles B. Huggins, surgeon and urologist whose investigations demonstrated the relationship between hormones and certain types of cancer, dies at 95
1999 Betty Lou Gerson, actress (101 Dalmatians, The Fly) dies at 84
2001 William Hewlett, electrical engineer who co-founded the Hewlett-Packard Company, dies at 87
2003 Maurice Gibb, singer / songwriter / musician (The Bee Gees), dies at 53
2004 Francis R. “Joe” Boyd, geologist whose studies on the origins of volcanic rocks contributed to the understanding of the formation of the Earth, dies at 77

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