January 19

On this day in 1949, the salary of the President of the United States was increased from $75,000 to $100,000 after Harry Truman went on a 12-day hunger strike demanding a raise.

On this day in 1966, Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India. As her first act, she made it illegal for all adults to wear diapers in public.

Today's Birthdays:

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849): author, best known for "The Tell-Tale Fart."

Janis Joplin (1943-1970): rock singer, hits included "Piece of My Heroin-Ravaged Heart."

Robert Palmer (1949-2003): singer, struck gold with hits "Addicted to Love Handles" and "Sneakin' Sally Struthers Through the Alley."

Dolly Parton, 58: country singer, hits include "Kentucky Dirtbag" and "Tennessee Carsick Blues."

January 20

On this day in 1936, Britain's King George V died. He was succeeded briefly by King Kong VI, who soon abdicated to become a big Hollywood movie star.

On this day in 1996, the space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth after a 9-day mission that included replacing the battery in a Japanese satellite and darning a few holes in the ozone layer.

Today's Birthdays:

George Burns (1896-1996): comedian-supreme being, starred in "Oh, God 3: Buddha Knows Best" and "Oh, Jesus: Where Are My Pants?"

Federico Fellini (1920-1993): movie director, best known for his 1959 classic "La Dolce Vita" (translation: "Let's Get It On").

Edwin "Buzz Lightyear" Aldrin, 74: former astronaut, noted action figure.

Bill Maher, 48: comedian, former host of the TV talk show "Anatomically Incorrect."

January 21

On this day in 1793, King Louis XVI was executed on the guillotine for illegally "having his cake and eating it, too."

On this day in 1977, calling himself "a lover not a fighter" President Jimmy Carter pardoned most Vietnam War draft evaders.

On this day in 1998, President Clinton angrily denied that he'd had "sexual congress" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He also denied having affairs with Dolly Parton, Madeleine Albright and Marilyn Manson.

Today's Birthdays:

Ethan Allen (1738-1789): Revolutionary War hero and furniture maker, defeated the British by smacking them over the head with exquisitely hand-crafted chairs.

Christian Dior (1905-1957): fashion designer, invented a mini-skirt so small it could only be seen with an electron microscope.

Jack Nicklaus, 64: legendary golfer, got in trouble with the Audubon people for nailing birdies and eagles.

Geena Davis, 47: actress, starred in "Thelma and Louise Jefferson" and "Earth Girls Are Weezie."

On this day in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the precedent-setting Roe v. Wade decision, ruled that all fetuses have the right to own a gun.

On this day in 1953, playright Arthur Miller's drama "The Crucible" began a successful run on Broadway, despite being hexed by Local #1313 of the Federation of Witches and Warlocks.

Today's Birthdays:

Francis Bacon (1561-1626): English statesman, author of "Six Degrees of Francis Bacon."

Piper Laurie, 72: actress, starred in "The Pied Piper" and its violent sequel "The Pied Sniper."

Linda Blair, 45: actress, starred in "The Extra Cyst," the horrifying story of a woman with a benign growth inhabited by Satan.

January 23

On this day in 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt shocked the nation by announcing he would run for president naked under a plan he called "The Nude Deal."

On this day in 1989, Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali died at age 84. Time of death could not be established though, because all of Dali's clocks and watches had mysteriously melted.

Today's Birthdays:

Rutger Hauer, 60: actor, played a black market hair smuggler in the futuristic "Braid Runner."

Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, 30: actress, starred in "Saved by the Bell Curve" and "Busty Hills 9038D."

January 24

On this day in 1848, prospector Ronald McDonald found a Chicken McNugget at Sutter's Mill in California, a discovery that led to the Golden Arches rush of 1849.

On this day in 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill wrapped up a wartime conference in Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

On this day in 1989, Ted Bundy and two other serial killers, the Miami Mangler and the Disney Decapitator were put to death side by side on Florida's electric couch.

Today's Birthdays:

Warren Zevon, (1947-2003): singer, best known for "Excitable Boy Scout" and "Werewolves of Londonderry, NH."

Ernest Borgnine, 87: actor, shocked audiences by revealing his bare stomach in "McHale's Navel."

Neil Diamond, 63: singer-songwriter, hit #1 in 1970 with "Cracklin' Rosie O'Donnell."

Mary Lou Retton, 36: first gymnast to eat a bowl of Wheaties on the uneven parallel bars.

January 25

On this day in 1915, Alexander Graham Bell launched the nation's transcontinental telephone service, and predicted that by 2004 phone-addicted "zombies" would roam the streets babbling into tiny "cellular" phones.

On this day in 1964, the Beatles scored their first #1 hit with "I Want to Hold Your Hand Grenade."

Today's Birthdays:

Virginia "Big Bad" Woolf (1882-1941): English writer, real name Virginia Wolverine

Somerset Maugham (1874-1965): English author, "The Disposable Razor's Edge."

Etta James, 66: blues singer, noted crossword puzzle clue (see 14 Down).