Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This Day in History: February 1

1788 - Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat.

1790 - The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City.

1793 - France declared war on Britain and Holland.

1793 - Ralph Hodgson patented oiled silk.

1861 - Texas voted to secede from the Union.

1862 - "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," by Julia Ward Howe was first published in the "Atlantic Monthly."

1867 - In the U.S., bricklayers start working 8-hour days.

1884 - The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

1893 - Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ.

1896 - Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin.

1898 - The Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, CT, issued the first automobile insurance policy. Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo, NY, paid $11.25 for the policy, which gave him $5,000 in liability coverage.

1900 - Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.

1913 - Grand Central Terminal (also known as Grand Central Station) opened in New York City, NY. It was the largest train station in the world.

1919 - The first Miss America was crowned in New York City.

1920 - The first armored car was introduced.

1920 - Canada's Royal North West Mounted Police changed their name to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The organization was commissioned in 1873.

1921 - Carmen Fasanella registered as a taxicab owner and driver in Princeton, New Jersey. Fasanella retired November 2, 1989 after 68 years and 243 days of service.

1929 - Weightlifter, Charles Rigoulet of France, achieved the first 400 pound ‘clean and jerk’ as he lifted 402-1/2 pounds.

1930 - The Times published its first crossword puzzle.

1946 - Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

1951 - The first telecast of an atomic explosion took place.

1951 - The first X-ray moving picture process was demonstrated.

1953 - CBS-TV debuted "Private Secretary."

1954 - CBS-TV showed "The Secret Storm" for the first time.

1957 - P.H. Young became the first black pilot on a scheduled passenger airline.

1958 - The United Arab Republic was formed by a union of Egypt and Syria. It was broken 1961.

1960 - Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.

1968 - During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. The scene was captured in a news photograph.

1976 - "Sonny and Cher" resumed on TV despite a real life divorce.

1979 - Patty Hearst was released from prison after serving 22 months of a seven-year sentence for bank robbery. Her sentence had been commuted by U.S. President Carter.

1979 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was welcomed in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

1987 - Terry Williams won the largest slot machine payoff, at the time, when won $4.9 million after getting four lucky 7s on a machine in Reno, NV.

1991 - A USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane at Los Angeles International Airport. 35 people were killed.

1994 - Jeff Gillooly pled guilty in Portland, OR, for his role in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding.

1996 - Visa and Mastercard announced security measures that would make it safe to shop on the Internet.

1998 - Stuart Whitman received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1999 - Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky gave a deposition that was videotaped for senators weighing impeachment charges against U.S. President Clinton.

2001 - Three Scottish judges found Abdel Basset al-Mergrahi guilty of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people. The court said that Megrahi was a member of the Libyan intelligence service. Al-Amin Khalifa, who had been co-accused, was acquitted and freed.

2003 - NASA's space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.

Terrific Tuesday

Those James Bond themes have been adding popular songs to the music charts for almost fifty years now. They’ve been done by the best in the business; everyone from Tina Turner to Paul McCartney to Carly Simon to Duran Duran. Bond and his themes have added a great to deal to pop culture and they continue to do so with each new release.

1983’s Octopussy is widely considered to be one of the best Bond outings of all time. Roger Moore was at the helm in this one, with one more to go, and he was never better than he was as he battled an exiled Indian prince and German secret agents, all the while aiming to avenge the death of a fellow spy. It was great fun and Octopussy and threw in everything but the kitchen sink to give us another mega hit in the Bond franchise.

Rita Coolidge performed the title theme from Octopussy, All Time High. It’s not the biggest Bond hit theme song ever, but it is a classic nonetheless. A Top Forty hit in the summer of 1983, the video remains a delight to watch. Rita Coolidge was the perfect choice for this one. She simply glows in her own special light.

Thought for Today

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly... very slowly.” -- Gypsy Rose Lee