Fun Facts for Today – January 13

January 13

It’s International Skeptics Day and Make Your Dream Come True Day



1404 English alchemists were forbidden to use their knowledge to create precious metals
1559 The coronation of Elizabeth I of England
1602 William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor is published
1610 Galileo Galilei discovered Callisto, the fourth satellite of Jupiter
1625 John Milton is admitted to Christ’s College, Cambridge at the age of 16
1777 Jefferson gets Virginia to make “sodomy” punishable by castration
1842 A British force of 9,000 men is massacred in the Khyber Pass during an attempted retreat from Kabul
1854 The first U.S. patent for an accordion was issued to Anthony Faas of Philadephia, PA
1863 The first U.S. patent for a chenille manufacturing machine was issued to William Canter of New York City
1869 National convention of black leaders meets in Washington D.C.
1898 Emile Zola’s J’accuse exposes the Dreyfus affair
1905 Scientific America published an advertisement for the “Telimco”, a device guaranteed to receive radio signals for as far as one mile
1942 The United States begins Japanese American internment
1942 The first U.S. patent for construction of an automobile using plastic was issued to Henry Ford of Dearborn, MI
1943 The first use of an ejection seat to save a pilot was made
1957 The Wham-O Company develops the first frisbee
1958 Linus Pauling presents the petition of 9,000 scientists to the U.N., asking to halt the testing of nuclear bombs
1966 Samantha and Darrin Stephens have a baby girl; they name her Tabitha
1968 Johnny Cash records his landmark album “At Folsom Prison” live at Folsom State Prison
1976 The first machine for reading printed matter aloud was given its first public demonstration, by its inventor, Raymond Kurzwell
1978 NASA selects its first U.S. women astronauts
1979 The YMCA files a lawsuit against The Village People over their song “YMCA”



1858 Oskar Minkowski, physiologist and pathologist who introduced the concept that diabetes results from suppression of a pancreatic substance
1870 Ross Granville Harrison, zoologist who developed the first successful animal-tissue cultures and pioneered organ transplantation techniques
1884 Sophie Tucker, singer / vaudevillian / actress (Broadway Melody of 1938, Honky Tonk)
1893 Clark Ashton Smith, author with stories appearing in magazines such as Weird Tales, Strange Tales and Astounding Stories
1899 Kay Francis, actress (Charley’s Aunt, When the Daltons Rode, My Bill)
1907 Jeff Morrow, actor (The Robe, This Island Earth)
1919 Robert Stack, Emmy Award-winning actor (The Untouchables, Airplane!)
1922 Allan Prior, writer (Blake’s 7, Moonstrike, The Charmer)
1923 Jack Watling, actor (Doctor Who, 11 Harrowhouse, A Night to Remember)
1926 Michael Bond, author (Paddington Bear, Monsieur Pamplemousse)
1931 Charles Nelson Reilly, actor (The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Lidsville, Match Game, The X-Files)
1931 Ian Hendry, actor (The Avengers, The Adventures of Don Quick, Get Carter, Damien: Omen II)
1933 Ron Goulart, author (Adam and Eve on a Raft: Mystery Stories)
1934 Rip Taylor, entertainer (The $1.98 Beauty Show, Wayne’s World 2)
1934 Nick Clooney, TV journalist / brother of Rosemary / father of George
1938 William B. Davis, actor (The X-Files, Robson Arms)
1942 Carol Cleveland, actress (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
1943 Richard Moll, actor (Night Court, Scary Movie 2)
1949 Brandon Tartikoff, TV producer / President of NBC (1980-1991)
1955 Jay McInerney, author (Bright Lights, Big City, Gia)
1961 Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emmy Award-winning actress (Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine)
1961 Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson, musician (Madness)
1964 Penelope Ann Miller, actress (Big Top Pee-wee, Chaplin, The Messengers)
1966 Patrick Dempsey, actor (Gray’s Anatomy, Mobsters)
1970 Keith Coogan, actor (Adventures in Babysitting, Toy Soldiers)
1977 Orlando Bloom, actor (The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean)



1855 Henri Braconnot, chemist known for isolating glucose, a simple sugar, directly from such plant material as sawdust, linen or bark by boiling them with acid (1819), dies at 73
1864 Stephen Foster, songwriter (“Swanee River,” “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “Beautiful Dreamer”), dies at 37
1875 Robert Adams, surgeon known for his contributions to the knowledge of heart, respiratory, vascular and joint diseases, particularly on gout, dies at 84
1929 Wyatt Earp, legendary lawman, dies at 80
1930 Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti, electrical engineer who promoted the installation of large electrical generating stations and alternating current distribution networks in England, dies at 65
1941 James Joyce, author (Ulysses, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, The Dubliners), dies at 58
1946 Joe Keaton, vaudevillian / father of Buster, dies at 78
1958 Jesse L. Lasky, head of Paramount Pictures / one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, dies at 77
1962 Ernie Kovacs, comedian / actor (North to Alaska, The Ernie Kovacs Show), dies in a road accident at 42
1978 Hubert H. Humphrey, 38th Vice President of the United States (1965-68), dies at 66
2001 Stan Freeman, Emmy Award-winning composer (The Carol Burnett Show), dies at 80
2002 Ted Demme, director / nephew of Jonathan (The Ref, No Cure for Cancer, Blow), dies of drug overdose at 38

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