Please have a good thought for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and the other victims and their families of the senseless shootings.
Today in History:
January 9, 1768 -
The first modern circus opened in London. English cavalry sergeant Philip Astley staged the first modern circus, performing elaborate feats on the backs of horses racing around a ring.
What the hell is going on in the cosmos that people needed to smell horse manure in a theatre.
It's the birthday of the 37th president of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon, (born in Yorba Linda, California on this date in 1913. He had a childhood full of tragedy and disappointment.
When Nixon was 12, his older brother had a vision of young Dick's future and got a headache that turned out to be meningitis. He died a month later. Nixon said that he cried for weeks afterward. A few years later, Nixon's other brother caught tuberculosis and spent five years in a cut-rate sanitarium before he died. The cost of his treatment drained the family's resources, and Nixon had to turn down a partial scholarship to Harvard. He did get a full scholarship to Duke Law School, but he had to live in a one-room shotgun shack with no plumbing or electricity. He was forced to shave in the women's room of the Duke University library and bathe in a local bird bath.
Nixon's luck only began to change when he decided to join the military during World War II. Although raised a Quaker - morals never seemed to stand in his way. Nixon was interested in politics, and he knew that military service would look good on his résumé. One of the many things he learned in the military (besides compiling lists of his enemies) was that he was a fantastic cheat at poker. By the end of the war, he had earned almost $10,000. When he got back to civilian life, he used that money to fund his first political campaign.
He managed to win his first election for Congress, and he served as vice president under Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower suffered from heart problems and Nixon would try to entertain the ailing President by jumping out from behind the furniture shooting, "Boo" or "Oh My God, the Communists have begun bombing New Haven". Nixon was defeated for the presidency by John F. Kennedy in 1960 due in part to a perceived lack of personal hygiene. Then, in 1962, he lost a campaign for governor of California, and suddenly it seemed like his career was over. But just six years later, he was elected president of the United States.
His policies as president were surprisingly liberal by today's standards. He began arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and eased relations with China. He established the Environmental Protection Agency, expanded Social Security and state welfare programs, and he tried to create a national health insurance system.
The Watergate investigations eventually forced Nixon to resign in 1974. At his last meeting with his Cabinet in 1974, Nixon burst into tears.
He told them, "Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself."
Also born on this date -
January 9, 1911 (or 1913) -
Rose Louise Hovick, actress, ecdysiast and writer, was born on this date.
Sing out Louise!!!
January 9, 1915 -
Fernando Álvaro Lamas y de Santos, actor and director, was born on this date.
When a person has an accent, it means he can speak one more language than you.
January 9, 1981 -
Jesus saves and Esposito scores
Hockey Hall of Famer, Phil Esposito, said he would call it quits as a hockey player after the New York Rangers-Buffalo Sabres hockey game. It was a game that seemed like it might never end - both teams skated to a 3-3 tie. Esposito quit the New York Rangers and went on to become General Manager and coach of the Rangers. Phil Esposito played for the Boston Bruinswhen he won the Hart Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the NHL in 1969 and 1974 and helped lead the Bruins to two Stanley Cup Championships in 1970 and 1972 .
And so it goes.