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Back in the Day-Remembering the Challenger and Crew

Lots of things happened on January 28th but nothing more heartbreaking and devastating than this day in 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in mid-air.  I remember watching this in school as it happened.

1878 – The FIRST TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARD went online, in New Haven, Connecticut.  There were 21 subscribers and one operator, who answered the phone with, “AHOY, AHOY” . . . then, rudely put the caller on hold.

1973 – “Barnaby Jones” premiered on CBS, starring sexy LEE MERIWETHER and sexy BUDDY EBSEN!!!  Sadly, it went away in 1980.

Courtesty of Columbia Pictures Television

1978 – “Fantasy Island” premiered on ABC . . . with RICARDO MONTALBAN as Mr. Rourke, and HERVE VILLECHAIZE as Tattoo!!!  (–It lasted until 1984.)

1978 – A “true fan” of TED NUGENT made a rather unique autograph request . . . because paper deteriorates over time and ink is so messy, the fan asked The Nuge to CARVE HIS NAME INTO HIS ARM.  The Nuge obliged.

1982 – RHEA PERLMAN married DANNY DEVITO. Today is their 28th Anniversary.

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

1985 – Dozens of music’s top stars “left their egos at the door” and recorded a song written by Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie.

–Following the American Music Awards, 45 artists including Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Kenny Rogers, HALL & OATES, TITO JACKSON, SHEILA E. and DAN AYKROYD spent all night recording “WE ARE THE WORLD”.

–And who was the backing band for this amazing ensemble?   TOTO!!!  Toto was essential to “We Are The World” raising millions of dollars for starving people in Ethiopia.

NASA/Getty Images

1986 – THE SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER EXPLODED.  It happened 73 seconds after liftoff, and killed all seven crew members:  flight commander Dick Scobee;  pilot Michael Smith;  Ronald McNair;  ELLISON OZINUKA;  Judith Resnik;  Gregory Jarvis;  and schoolteacher CHRISTA MCAULIFFE.

1990 – The SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS destroyed the DENVER BRONCOS, 55-10, to win SUPER BOWL 24.  It was their FOURTH Super Bowl title . . . and 49ers quarterback JOE MONTANA won his third MVP award.

1994 – EDWARD JAMES OLMOS married his second wife, “Sopranos” star LORRAINE BRACCO.  They divorced eight years later, in March of 2002.

1996 – The DALLAS COWBOYS beat the PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 27-17, to win SUPER BOWL 30.  It was the Cowboys’ FIFTH Super Bowl win.  Dallas cornerback LARRY BROWN intercepted two passes in the second half to be voted the game’s MVP.

1998 – Country music star TRACY LAWRENCE was convicted of battery for beating his wife back in September of 1997.  He was sentenced to pay $500 to a Las Vegas shelter for battered women.

2001 – The BALTIMORE RAVENS beat the NEW YORK GIANTS, 34-7, to win SUPER BOWL 35.  Baltimore linebacker RAY LEWIS was the game’s MVP.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

2001 – The first episode of “Survivor:  The Australian Outback” aired.   TINA WESSON was the winner.

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