Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This Day in History: January 29

1728 - John Gay's The Beggar's Opera was first performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London.

1802 - John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress.

1820 - Britain's King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.

1845 - Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" was published for the first time in the "New York Evening Mirror."

1848 - Greenwich Mean Time was adopted by Scotland.

1850 - Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state.

1856 - Britain's highest military decoration, the Victoria Cross, was founded by Queen Victoria.

1861 - In America, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.

1886 - The first successful petrol-driven motorcar, built by Karl Benz, was patented.

1916 - In World War I, Paris was bombed by German zeppelins for the first time.

1924 - R. Taylor patented the ice cream cone rolling machine.

1936 - The first members of major league baseball's Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY.

1940 - The W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company displayed the first tetraploid flowers at the New York City Flower Show.

1949 - "The Newport News" was commissioned as the first air-conditioned naval ship in Virginia.

1956 - "Indictment" debuted on CBS radio and stayed on the air for three years.

1958 - Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married.

1958 - Charles Starkweather was captured by police in Wyoming.

1963 - The first members to the NFL's Hall of Fame were named in Canton, OH.

1963 - Britain was refused entry into the EEC.

1966 - "Sweet Charity" opened at the Palace Theatre in New York City. It ran for 608 performances.

1979 - U.S. President Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House. The visit followed the establishment of diplomatic relations.

1985 - The Dow Jones industrial average peaked at 1,292.62.

1987 - "Physician’s Weekly" announced that the smile on the face of Leonardo DeVinci's Mona Lisa was caused by a "...facial paralysis resulting from a swollen nerve behind the ear."

1990 - Joseph Hazelwood, the former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, went on trial in Anchorage, AK, on charges that stemmed from America's worst oil spill. Hazelwood was later acquitted of all the major charges and was convicted of a misdemeanor.

1995 - The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League (NFL) history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26.

1996 - French President Jacques Chirac announced the "definitive end" to nuclear testing.

1996 - La Fenice, the 204 year old opera house in Venice, was destroyed by fire. Arson was suspected.

1997 - America Online agreed to give refunds to frustrated customers under threat of lawsuits across the country. Customers were unable to log on after AOL offered a flat $19.95-a-month rate.

1998 - A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, AL, killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta.

1999 - Paris prosecutors announced the end of the investigation into the accident that killed Britain's Princess Diana.

1999 - The U.S. Senate delivered subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky and two presidential advisers for private, videotaped testimony in the impeachment trial.

2001 - In Indonesia, thousands of student protesters stormed the parliament property and demanded that President Abdurrahman Wahid quit due to his alleged involvement in two corruption scandals. Wahid announced that he would not resign..

Superb Saturday

Xanadu may have been a flop at the box office when it was released in the late 70’s, but since then it has become a cult classic. Olivia Newton – John, at the height of her fame, was really divine as one of the nine muses, on the loose in the modern world, looking for love as she outwits her celestial father Zeus. And that soundtrack! It spun out so many hits that people practically forgot it was the score to a failed movie.

Suddenly, a duet between Ms. Newton – John and Cliff Richard, was one of those hits. It is a luscious love song that hit the charts in a big way. A Top 10 hit, the song became one of 1978’s biggest sellers. It sold out so fast that some record stores couldn’t keep up with the demand. More popular in the UK and Australia than it was here in the US, Suddenly quickly became a classic.

From Hollywood Nights, Olivia and Cliff delivered a gorgeous rendition of their hit to an adoring audience. Fans screamed for more when the song wound down. It’s a shame that these two songbirds never recorded another hit together, but Suddenly is theirs and theirs alone. It’s a bubble in time that still glistens like it did when it was new.

Thought for Today

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us and sometimes they win.” – Stephen King