On January 13…

“Never forget the importance of history. To know nothing of what happened before you took your place on earth, is to remain a child for ever and ever.”

1840 – The Steamship Lexington, midway through its voyage from New York City to Stonington, Connecticut, caught fire when the casing around the ship’s smokestack ignited nearly 150 bales of cotton that were stored nearby.
The ships’ overcrowded lifeboats were sunk almost immediately after their launch, leaving almost all of the ship’s passengers and crew to drown in the freezing water, with rescue attempts impossible due to the rough water and lack of visibility. Of the estimated 143 people on board the Lexington, only four survived.

1864 – Stephen Foster died destitute in a New York City hospital.
Known as the ‘Father of American music’, he wrote ‘Oh! Susanna, Camptown Races, My Old Kentucky Home, Beautiful Dreamer and Old Folks At Home {Swanee River}.

1906 – Hugo Gernsback of the Electro Importing Company advertised radio receivers for just $7.50 in Scientific American magazine.
The first ad selling the receivers guaranteed reception of about one mile.

1908 – During a performance of The Scottish Reformation at the Rhoads Opera House in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, a kerosene lamp being used for stage lighting was knocked over, starting a fire on the stage.
Two fire escapes were available but were only accessible through latched windows whose sills were located 3.5 feet above the floor. Of the approximately 400 men, women, and children either in attendance or associated with the performance of the play, 171 perished as they tried to escape.

1929 – Wyatt Earp, Deputy Town Marshal in Tombstone, Arizona, who took part in the Gunfight at The O.K. Corral, died of prostate cancer at the age of 80.
Earp was much more than just a figure in that famous gunfight. He was at different times in his life a constable, city policeman, county sheriff, teamster, buffalo hunter, saloon keeper, gambler, brothel owner, pimp, miner, and a boxing referee.

1930 – The Mickey Mouse comic strip debuted. The self-titled newspaper strip, drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson, ran for 45 years.

1957 – Elvis Presley recorded Peace In The Valleyat Radio Recorders studio in Hollywood.
The song achieved national attention during Presley’s third and final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show one week before he recorded it. Before an audience estimated at 54.6 million viewers, Presley closed the show by dedicating the song to the 250,000 refugees fleeing Hungary after the October 1956 invasion of that country by the Soviet Union.
Because he also requested that immediate aid be sent to lessen their plight, the appeal in turn yielded contributions amounting to $6 million (the equivalent of $49.5 million today).

1962 – Ernie Kovacs, a comedian who hosted his own television shows during the 1950s and influenced such TV hosts as Johnny Carson and David Letterman, died at the age of 42 after crashing into a telephone pole in Los Angeles.

1964 – Columbia Records released Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ album.
The album consisted mostly of stark, sparsely arranged ballads concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track is one of Dylan’s most famous, with many people feeling that it captured the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.
The album peaked at # 20 on the Billboard album chart, and reached # 4 in the UK in 1965.

1968 – Minnesota North Stars center Bill Masterton suffered a severe internal brain injury during the first period of Minnesota’s game against the Oakland Seals.
He was carrying the puck up the ice at full speed, passing it off as two Seals’ defenders, Larry Cahan and Ron Harris, converged on him. Masterton was knocked backward in the resulting collision and landed on his head.
Like most players of his era, he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Masterton died two days later, becoming the only player in NHL history to die as a direct result of injuries suffered during a game.

1978 – Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Senator, 38th Vice President of the United States (under Lyndon Johnson), and the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 1968 presidential election, died of bladder cancer at the age of 66.

1982 – Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

1982 – Air Florida Flight 90 attempted to take off from Washington’s National Airport in one of the worst blizzards in history.
Ice had built up on the wings of the jetliner as it waited its turn to take off, preventing it from gaining altitude. After crashing into the 14th Street Bridge, the plane fell into the Potomac River.
74 of the 79 people on the aircraft were killed in the accident. Four people on the bridge were killed.

1989 – New York City subway gunman Bernhard H. Goetz was sentenced to one year in prison for possessing an unlicensed gun that he used to shoot four youths he said were about to rob him on a New York City subway in 1984.
Goetz, dubbed the “Subway Vigilante” by New York City’s media, served eight months.

2004 – Harold Shipman, a former British physician who is believed to have killed more than 200 people, died after hanging himself in his Wakefield Prison cell in West Yorkshire, UK. Shipman had been jailed for life in January 2000 for murdering 15 patients.
Janet Smith, who ran the ensuing Shipman inquiry, reported in 2002 that she believed that over a period of 23 years he had actually killed 215 patients and there was a “real suspicion” that he had killed still another 45.

2009 – Actor Patrick McGoohan died after a short (unnamed) illness. He was 80.
He starred in Danger Man (renamed Secret Agent when exported to the U.S.), The Prisoner, Ice Station Zebra, Scanners, Braveheart, and appeared in four Columbo episodes, twice winning an Emmy.

Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2020 RayLemire.com / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.

Comments (6)

  1. Barbara

    Reading of the fire on the Steamship Lexington and then at the Opera House in Boyertown PA made me think of the situation Australia is in now and the devastation fire causes to every form of life on our planet. How quickly fire can absorb life of every kind.

    Elvis Presley was a small town boy who had an incredible voice and remained generous throughout his brief life. Peace in the Valley was a great song and I’m not surprised his comments raised that amount of money. He had a following that never left his side.

    Bob Dylan shared a totally different style of music but also had a similar following. His songs held a message that warned listeners of a change … and he was so right.

    Every piece of this segment could generate it’s own conversation Ray – and each is a reminder of how short life is and how much we should cherish each day …. another awesome compilation and great way to start the week – Rock the Day my friend …. your friend would be pleased….

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Barbara. I appreciate your comments and your mention of Ed Leavitt, a wonderful man who passed much too soon.

      Rock The Day!

  2. Donna

    Disasters everywhere. Makes you wonder why. Such a terrifying way to die.

    Stephen Foster…sad that he wasn’t recognised in his lifetime, grateful for his beautiful music.

    I am a die hard Elvis fan, especially his ballads and hymns. His voice was made for those. Amazing that he was able to raise so much money for such a good cause.

    Wyatt Earp had quite an extensive resume.

    No helmets for hockey! What were they thinking?

    Why was flight 90 even allowed to attempt to fly? Imagine standing on that bridge with nowhere to run.

    Bob Dylan…sad that some still relevant today. The changes haven’t always been good nor have some of the good things have lasted.

    Another day filled with so much history. Thank you, Ray.

    So sorry you lost such a special friend and that we all have lost an amazing songwriter.

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Donna. Another day with a wide variety of events, both good and bad.
      Thank you for the kind words about Ed. He was an absolute gem of a man.

  3. Wendyl

    Lots of wonderful commentary today and well-deserved. One thing I enjoy about these articles is when I come across a name or a place and I recognize it but need more info to complete the story. Thanks to you I’m able to fill in those blanks.

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Wendyl. Learning is Living. ❤


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