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January 5th, 2007 friday
January 5th, 2007

Birthdays: Alvin Ailey, J. Stuart Blackton- the first American animator, born in Lincolnshire, England, Jack Norworth -composer of Take Me out to the Ballgame, Astrologist Jean Dixon, Umberto Eco, Yves Tanguy, George Reeves, Roger Spottiswoode,Robert Duval is 76,Diane Keaton is 61,King Juan Carlos, Hiyao Miyazaki is 66

1477- THE BATTLE OF NANCY- The Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Rash, found out why the Swiss are left alone by most European powers. Upon invading Switzerland, his army was cut to pieces and his body was found naked in a ditch with his head stuck in a puddle of ice. Battle Axes were protruding from his groin and butt. These wounds were seen as more for insult's sake.

1643- The first divorce granted in North America. Pilgrim Anne Clarke was granted a divorce by the Massachusetts Bay Colony from her deadbeat husband, Dennis.

1757- A man named Robert Damiens attacked French King Louis XV and stabbed him. It was a flesh wound that Voltaire described as a pin-prick. The king survived and the court sentenced Damiens to the most horrible death they could think of, the medieval punishment for regicides. Nobody had done it for generations so the court executioner, Charles Samson, had to consult the history books. Hmm...Drawing and quartering....cut off assailants hands and stick stumps in pan of burning it! The execution was so ghastly that the witnesses fled, the executioner fainted and his assistants had to finish the job.

1825- Writer Alexander Dumas fought a duel with the Chevalier Saint George, a black Creole duelist from Martinique who played violin so well he helped Beethoven write his Violin Concerto. Neither man was seriously hurt and Dumas went on to write the Three Musketeers. Saint George also once fought a duel with the enigmatic Monsieur d’Eon, a transvestite who fought his duels in a woman's ballgown. In later life, Dumas would have young writers up to his Paris home on weekends and cook dinner for them. He told young Jules Verne” People may criticize my prose style, but they dare not criticize my sauce!”

1896- The New York World began printing the Yellow Kid comic strip with a yellow color on his shirt. The strip gave the name to the sensationalist tabloid press 'Yellow Journalism".

1914- The Ford Motor Company shocked the captains of American Industry by raising its wage rates for work shifts from $2.40 a day to $5.00 a day and adopting the new 8 hour work day. Henry Ford’s idea was “when workers have more money they buy cars”. The idea worked and sales of cars quadrupled and the economic climate of Detroit boomed. I wonder what Henry Ford would have thought of today’s companies who lay off thousands of workers and move plants overseas to make their stock rise, then seem perplexed by the stagnant rate of consumer spending?

1953- Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot ( En attendant Godot ) first premiered in Paris.

1959- Buddy Holly released his last single,” It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.”

1959- The first Bozo the Clown TV show premiered on TV. Chicago based Larry Harmon invented the famous children’s clown.

1961- “Hello Wilbur” Mr Ed the Talking Horse appeared on tv for the first time.

1979- EMI Records ended their contracts with the punk band the Sex Pistols. They felt their outrageous behavior had gone just too far.

1980- The first Hewlett Packard Personal Computer or PC goes on the market.

1998-At the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort, former pop-singer-turned-Neocon Congressman Sonny Bono died when he skied into a tree.