The word for today is - Serendipity - the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.
The word derives from an old Persian fairy tale and was coined by Horace Walpole on January 28, 1754 in a letter he wrote to his friend Horace Mann (not the same man as the famed American educator).
This should not be confused with Synchronicity - which is an album by the Police (but that's another story).
January 28, 1953 -
J. Fred Muggs joined NBC's Today Show on this date .
January 28, 1973 -
Barnaby Jones, starring Buddy Ebsen, premieres on CBS-TV, on this date.
William Conrad appeared on many early episodes of the show as Frank Cannon. Barnaby had originally appeared on Cannon after Barnaby's son Hal, who was a good friend of Frank's, was murdered. Cannon helped Barnaby eventually track down his son's killers.
January 28, 1977 -
Star of TV's Chico and the Man, Freddie Prinze has a violent allergic reaction to lead on this date.
Despondent over his upcoming divorce and battling a major drug addiction, Prinze, shooting himself in the head days earlier, he died on this day. He was 22 years old.
January 28, 1978 -
Fantasy Island, starring Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.
Whenever guests were arriving on Fantasy Island, Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) would run up to the bell tower, ring the bell, and announce "de plane!". After he left the show, Mr. Roarke's new assistant, Lawrence (Christopher Hewett), would simply push a button next to him, which would ring the bell.
Today in History:
January 28, 814 -
First Reich: Charlemagne, German emperor, dies at the age of 71 on this date.
Though he had conquered much of Europe, his legacy was considerably reduced after his death from mismanagement and incompetence.
Coincidentally, The Siege of Paris, lasting from September 19, 1870 until January 28, 1871, bringing about French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and led to the establishment of the German Empire (Second Reich).
* Brochettes de foie de Chien à la maître d'hôtel. (dog)
* Emincé de rable de Chat. Sauce mayonnaise. (cat)
* Epaules et filets de Chien braisés. Sauce aux tomates. (dog)
* Civet de Chat aux Champignons. (cat)
* Côtelettes de Chien aux petits pois. (dog)
* Salmis de Rats. Sauce Robert. (rats)
* Gigots de chien flanqués de ratons. Sauce poivrade. (rats)
* Begonias au jus. (flowers)
* Plum-pudding au rhum et à la Moelle de Cheval. (horse)
January 28, 1829 -
In Scotland, serial killer William Burke was hanged for murder following a scandal in which he was found to have provided extra-fresh corpses for anatomy schools in Edinburgh. His partner William Hare had turned king's witness.
If only he had gone for the less fresh corpses. The scandal led to the 1832 Anatomy Act.
January 28, 1958 -
Those damn little toys that you step on in the middle of the night became legal today.
The Lego company patented their design of modern Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
January 28, 1958 -
Bizarrely on the same day, Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella's career ended when he lost control of his car on a slick highway.
He became a paraplegic and was confined to a wheelchair the remainder of his life.
January 28, 1986 -
The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 74 seconds into its flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe and the rest of the crew. Their capsule plunged intact into the ocean, pulverizing everyone on impact, making a rescue attempt difficult, if not impossible.
The cause was later found to be failure of a booster rocket O-rings because of the cold weather.
Moral: Avoid rocket travel this week, if possible.
And so it goes.