TODAY IN HISTORY:
1799 – Andrew Ellicott Douglass witnessed the Leonids meteor shower from a ship off the Florida Keys.
1859 – The first flying trapeze act was performed by Jules Leotard at Cirque Napoleon in Paris, France. He was also the designer of the leotard, a garment that was named after him.
1892 – William “Pudge” Heffelfinger became the first professional football player when he was paid a $500 bonus for helping the Allegheny Athletic Association beat the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.
1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
1931 – Maple Leaf Gardens opened in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was to be the new home of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
1933 – Hugh Gray took the first known photos alleged to be of the Loch Ness Monster.
1933 – In Philadelphia, PA, the first Sunday football game was played.
1936 – In California, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic.
1940 – Walt Disney’s film “Fantasia” opened in theaters.
1946 – The first drive-up bank opened at the Exchange National Bank in Chicago, IL.
1953 – The National Football League policy of blacking out home games was upheld by Judge Allan K. Grim of the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, PA.
1954 – The immigration station in New York Harbor, Ellis Island, closed after processing more than 20 million immigrants since 1892.
1964 – Paula Murphy set the female land speed record 226.37 miles per hour.
1970 – The Oregon Highway Division attempted to destroy a rotting beached sperm whale with explosives. Things got really messy, leading to the now infamous “exploding whale” incident.
1972 – Don Shula, coach of the Miami Dolphins, became the first NFL head coach to win 100 regular season games in 10 seasons.
1975 – U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retired because of failing health, ending a record 36-1/2 year term.
1979 – President Jimmy Carter ordered a halt to all oil imports from Iran in response to 63 Americans being taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran.
1980 – The U.S. space probe Voyager I came within 77,000 miles of Saturn while taking the first images of the planet’s rings and transmitting data back to Earth.
1981 – Mission STS-2, utilizing the Space Shuttle Columbia, marked the first time a manned spacecraft was launched into space twice.
1984 – Space Shuttle astronauts Dale Gardner and Joe Allen snared the Palapa B2 satellite in history’s first space salvage.
1987 – The American Medical Association issued a policy statement that said it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.
1990 – The IRS seized all of Willie Nelson’s assets, including a golf course and recording studio, to satisfy a $6.5 million debt.
1990 – Tim Berners-Lee published a formal proposal for the World Wide Web.
1991 – Robert Gates was sworn in as CIA director.
1993 – The first Ultimate Fighting Championship event, UFC 1, was held in Denver, CO.
1995 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off on a mission to dock with the Russian space station Mir.
1997 – Ramzi Yousef was found guilty of masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
1998 – Daimler-Benz completed a merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler AG.
2001 – American Airlines flight 587, enroute to the Dominican Republic, crashed just minutes after take off from Kennedy Airport in New York, NY, killing all 260 people on board and 5 people on the ground. The Airbus A300 crashed into the Rockaway Beach section of Queens, NY.
2002 – Stan Lee filed a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment Inc. He claimed the company had cheated him out of millions of dollars in movie profits related to the 2002 movie “Spider-Man.” Lee created Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and Daredevil.
2013 – In New York, NY, it was announced that the new World Trade Center was the tallest building in the United States. The height was measured at 1,776 feet. The building was also the fourth tallest building in the world at the time.
2013 – U.S. Airways and AMR reached an antitrust settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice which would allow a merger of the two companies. It created the world’s largest airline.
2014 – The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft used its lander Philae to perform the first soft landing on a comet. The comet was 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Charles Manson 1934 – Imprisoned murderous cult leader
Brian Hyland 1943 – Musician
Wallace Shawn 1943 – Actor (“My Dinner with Andre”, “The Princess Bride”, “The Haunted Mansion”, the voice of Rex in “Toy Story”, the voice of Gilbert Huph in “The Incredibles”, “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”, TV’s “Gossip Girl”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”)
Booker T. Jones 1944 – Musician (Booker T. & the MG’s)
Al Michaels 1944 – Sportscaster (TV’s “Sunday Night Football”, “Monday Night Football”)
Neil Young 1945 – Musician (“Heart of Gold”)
Barbara Fairchild 1950 – Country singer (“The Teddy Bear Song”)
Megan Mullally 1958 – Actress (TV’s “Will and Grace”, “The Megan Mullaly Show”)
Nadia Comăneci 1961 – Romanian Olympic gymnast
David Ellefson 1964 – Musician (Megadeath)
Sammy Sosa 1968 – Baseball player
Tonya Harding 1970 – Figure skater
Angela Watson 1975 – Actress (TV’s “Step by Step”)
Tevin Campbell 1976 – Singer
Ryan Gosling 1980 – Actor (TV’s “New Mickey Mouse Club”, movies “Half Nelson”, “Gangster Squad”, “The Ides of March”, “Drive”, “Crazy Stupid Love”, “The Notebook”, “The Place Beyond the Pines”, “Blue Valentine”, “The Believer”)
Anne Hathaway 1982 – Actress “Les Misérables”, “Rachel Getting Married”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Love and Other Drugs”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Valentine’s Day”, “Bride Wars”, “Get Smart”, “Becoming Jane”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “The Princess Diaries”, “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”)
Fancy Rat & Mouse Day
International Tongue Twister Day
Pizza With The Works Except Anchovies Day
World Quality Day