January 26

On this day in 1784, Benjamin Franklin wrote that he was unhappy about the eagle being made the symbol of America. He said he favored the turkey, preferably with mayo and cheese on rye.

On this day in 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died at age 70 when he accidentally suffocated in a six-foot-high pile $100 bills.

On this day in 1998, President Clinton vigorously denied having an affair with a White House intern, telling reporters, "I did not 'git jiggy wit' that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Today's Birthdays:

Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964): U.S. military general, uttered the fame words "I shall return" before going to the bathroom at a bar in the Philippines.

Paul Newman, 79: actor, lost to a pool-playing chimp in "The Color of Monkey," ate too many eggs in "Cool Hand Puke."

Ellen DeGeneres, 46: noted lesbian, starred as a humorous lesbian in the ground-breaking lesbian sitcom "Ellen the Humorous Lesbian."

Wayne Gretzky, 43: hockey superstar, widely considered the greatest lesbian ever to play in the NHL.

January 27

On this day in 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his new Barney the Dinosaur nightlight.

On this day in 1888, the National Pornographic Society was founded and began publishing a magazine showing bare-breasted "Women of the Third World."

On this day in 1951, a new era of weapons testing began as the U.S. dropped a one-kiloton anvil in Nevada.

Today's Birthdays:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): composer, best known for operas like "The Marriage of Figaro" and his stormy followup "The Messy Divorce of Figaro."

Mikhail Baryshnikov, 56: ballet superstar, six-time league MVP for the Pittsburgh Pirouetters.

Bridget Fonda, 40: actress, played a chubby psycho's roommate in "Single Wide Female."


January 28

On this day in 1547, Edward VI became king of England at the tender age of 9. Unfortunately his crown was five sizes too big and his obsession with Hot Wheels cars resulted in a new law requiring all kings to be at least 18.

On this day in 1909, the U.S. lost its jurisdiction over Cuba in a high-stakes game of "rock, paper, scissors" with the Russians and the Chinese.

Today's Birthdays:

Alan Alda, 68: actor, starred in Woody Allen's "Rhymes and Misdemeanors."

Jeanne Shaheen, 57: former N.H. governor, known as "Shaheen: the Lean, Mean Governing Machine," she is fond of red tape and blue-ribbon panels.

Elijah Wood, 23: actor, starred in "The Fellowship of the Ring Around the Collar."

January 29

On this day in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe first published "The Raven," in which he eerily predicted that the Baltimore Ravens would win the Super Bowl 156 years later.

On this day in 1861, Kansas became the 34th state; today its major tourist attractions include the Soybean Museum and the Farm Accident Hall of Fame.

On this day in 1979, Jimmy Carter welcomed Deng Xiaoping to the White House, but the Chinese leader shellacked him 21-3 in a friendly game of ping-pong.

Today's Birthdays:

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904): Russian author, best known for his risqué novel about the loss of innocence, "The Cherry Poppin' Orchard."

Tom Selleck, 59: actor, played a fun-loving caveman in the 1980s detective show "Cro-Magnon, P.I."

Oprah Winfrey, 50: talk show host and actress, starred with Harpo Marx in "A Night at the Oprah."

Heather Graham, 34: actress, starred in the porn-horror films "Boogie Night of the Living Dead" and "Boogie Nightmare on Elm Street."

January 30

On this day in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist who believed grown men should not wear diapers in pubic.

On this day in 1964, the U.S. launched Ranger 6, a rocket whose mission was to crash land on the moon, manned only by three of NASA's top crash-test dummies.

On this day in 1969, the Beatles performed on their studio rooftop; when police told them to stop and they refused, they were roughed up by Sgt. Pepper.

Today's Birthdays:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945): 32nd president, three-time White House wheelchair basketball champion.

Gene Hackman, 74: actor, won Oscar playing a guy who got syphilis from a Parisian hooker in "The French Infection."

Vanessa Redgrave, 67: actress, earned Oscar nomination as a whiskey-swilling monarch in "Mary, Queen of Scotch."

Dick Cheney, 63: vice president, hobbies include running the world from an "undisclosed location."

January 31

On this day in 1949, NBC broadcast the first TV daytime soap opera, "Don't Mess With My Children."

On this day in 1990, McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Moscow, serving Caviar McNuggets and vodka-flavored milkshakes.

On this day in 1928, inventor Richard Drew created Scotch tape during a weeklong scotch-drinking bender.

Today's Birthdays:

Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Austrian composer, died while trying to bang out "Unfinished Symphony (No. 8)."

Carol Channing, 80-something: underwent multiple breast jobs to prepare for her role in "Hello, Dolly Parton!"

Johnny Rotten, 48: played tenor saxophone for the legendary punk band the Sax Pistols.

Minnie Driver, 33: actress, starred in the football feel-good movie "Good Will Punting."

Justin Timberlake, 23: singer, developed his lightweight vocal style on Mickey Mouse Club.

February 1

On this day in 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union after them damn Yankees suggested there might be something wrong with owning human beings.

On this day in 1960, four black college students staged a "sit-in" at a Woolworth's lunch counter in North Carolina, where they'd been denied the right to consume rancid egg salad on rye.

On this day in 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was welcomed back to Iran with a ticker-tape parade celebrating his victory in ESPN's "World's Strongest Ayatollah Contest."

Today's Birthdays:

Clark Gable (1901-1960): actor, best known for his role as a dashing tracheotomy survivor in "Gone With the Windpipe."

Sherman Hemsley, 66: actor, starred as the wise-cracking illegitimate great, great grandson of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings in "The Jeffersons."

Lisa Marie Presley, 36: divorced Michael Jackson because he wanted her to father a set of androgynous albino quintuplets.