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Back in the Day-The Rip Saw ‘Round the World, Amarillo Lost a Great Hero, Tragic Poltergeist Death

January 31st-Marks another sad day in American history, Sports Fans young and old saw too much skin during a Super Bowl, and “Louie, Louie” a pornographic song?

1884 – Sir James Murray published the first “OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY” in Scotland.  He went through two-and-a-half MILLION handwritten notes that he had collected over 20 years to put it together.

(–And the longest entry in the “Oxford English Dictionary”?  The word “set” . . . which has over 60,000 words to describe it . . . and gives over 430 uses.)

1887 – One HARVEY WILCOX subdivided 120 acres of land that he owned in Southern California and started selling it off as real estate.  His wife called it HOLLYWOOD . . . after the summer home of a woman she had met on a train.

1898 – The FIRST AUTO INSURANCE POLICY was issued by Travelers Insurance of Connecticut to Dr. Truman J. Martin, of Buffalo, New York.  He paid $11.05 for $5,000 in coverage.


1960 – Four heroic black college students began a SIT-IN PROTEST at the WOOLWORTH’S LUNCH COUNTER in Greensboro, North Carolina.

(–In just two months, sit-ins were going down in 54 cities.  By 1994, Woolworth’s folded.)

1964 – Indiana Governor Matthew Welsh declared the lyrics to the song “LOUIE, LOUIE” to be “PORNOGRAPHIC”, just because he couldn’t understand them, and called for a ban.  Rebellious-type youths then made sales skyrocket.

(–After an investigation, the FCC concluded that the lyrics to “Louie, Louie” were, quote, “unintelligible at any speed.”)

Michael Fresco/Evening Standard/Getty Images

1975 – The single “Chico And The Man”, by  JOSE FELICIANO, peaked at #96 on the pop singles chart!

1978HARRIET TUBMAN became the first African American woman on a U.S. postage stamp.

1982“Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC!  CONAN O’BRIEN took it over when Dave bolted for CBS.  I wonder how that turned out . . . ?


1988 – The little girl from the “Poltergeist” movies, HEATHER O’ROURKE, died of a heart attack caused by something called intestinal stenosis.  She was only 12.

1992 – President GEORGE BUSH (THE FIRST) and a mildly intoxicated Russian President BORIS YELTSIN declared an official end to the Cold War when they met with each other in Washington, D.C.

1999 DAVID DUCHOVNY and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” were the big winners at the pointless TV Guide Awards.  It was the first year of this chaos, but unfortunately not the last.  Rising stars CHRISTINA APPLEGATE and FRENCH STEWART hosted.

2003 – A piece of foam punctured a hole in the wing of the space ship Columbia’s wing causing the ship to be destroyed upon reentry.  All seven members were killed.

Seated in front are astronauts Rick D. Husband (L), Kalpana Chawla, and William C. McCool. Standing are (L to R) astronauts David M. Brown, Laurel B. Clark, and Michael P. Anderson, and Ilan Ramon. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

2004 – JANET JACKSON performed with JUSTIN

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

TIMBERLAKE during halftime at SUPER BOWL 38 . . . where he tore off her top . . . exposed her bejeweled right nipple . . . and set the free speech movement back 50 years.

–This was the incident that would eventually introduce the world to the phrase “Wardrobe malfunction”.

(Tuesday’s Back In The Day Events » Birthdays And Holidays » More Sections » The Complete Sheet » Wise Brother Media.)

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