January 4, 1643 –
Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian was born on this date.
And imagine, he still had time to invent Fig Cookies.
January 4, 1960 -
John Michael Stipe, the lead mumbler for R.E.M. was born on this date.
Happy 50th Michael.
January 4, 1963 -
Dave Foley, Actor/Comedian (The Kids In The Hall, NewsRadio) and Canadian was born on this date.
Hopefully rumors of a The Kids In The Hall reunion tour are true.
Today in History -
January 4, 1903 -
Topsy was a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island's Luna Park. Because she had killed three men in three years (including a severely abusive trainer who attempted to feed her a lit cigarette), Topsy was deemed a threat to people by her owners and killed by electrocution on this date (Inventor Thomas Edison facilitates the entire affair.)
In an attempt to discredit Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla by showing how dangerous Alternating Current electricity was, Thomas Edison captured the event on film.
He would release it later that year under the title Electrocuting an Elephant (but that is another story.)
Raise your frozen Margaritas and toast dear old Stephen J. Poplawski. Mr. Poplawski was born in Poland on August 14, 1885, which was a fine place to be born if your wanted to be a farmer or fodder for the cannons of the next Austro-Hungarian Geopoliticial machination. He would have none of that and emigrated at age 9 with his parents to Racine, Wis (most children were usually beaten soundly when they suggested emigrating in the 1880's). In 1918 he founded Stephens Tool Co. and in 1919 was hired by Arnold Electric Co. to develop an automatic malted milk mixer for use in restaurants (Racine being home of Horlick Malted Milk).
On January 4,1922 he filed a patent "for the first mixer of my design having an agitating element mounted in a base and adapted to be drivingly connected with the agitator in the cup when the cup was placed in a recess in the top of the base."
Well, you don't think they give you a patent for a machine that makes frosty, delicious alcoholic drinks, do you?
January 4, 1941 -
The animated short Elmer's Pet Rabbit is released: it marks the second appearance of Bugs Bunny and the first to have his name on a title card.
It was directed by the legendary Chuck Jones. (Note that Bugs hasn't developed his characteristic buck teeth yet.)
January 4, 1943 -
Josef Stalin, evil bastard and abused child, appears as Time's 1942 Man of the Year.
Circulation for the magazine would have increased dramatically, if Stalin hadn't purged millions of Russian citizens.
January 4, 1984 -
Night Court starring Harry Anderson premieres on NBC-TV on this date.
Harry was 34 when he was appointed to the bench. He was appointed because he was the only candidate on the list to have answered their phone on the Mayor's last Sunday in office. He was the last name on the list. As he says, he got to be a judge, "because I was home."
And so it goes.