TODAY IS ... 08 JANUARY
BIRTHDAYS - 1982 - Gaby Hoffmann - an American actress who in 1989 starred in her debut movie, Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner. Followed this up with 1989’s Uncle Buck with John Candy, (which also starred Macaulay Culkin) and then went onto star in This Is My Life (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) with Tom Hanks and The Man Without a Face with Mel Gibson. 1980 - Rachel Nichols - an American model turned actress, best known for her portrayal of CIA officer Rachel Gibson on the ABC television series Alias. She has also starred in several films, including Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, The Amityville Horror, The Woods, Star Trek, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. 1970 - Rachel Friend - an Australian actress and journalist. From 1988 to 1990 she played the role of Bronwyn Davies on popular soap opera Neighbours. Other roles have included the films Frog Dreaming (1986) and Golden Fiddles (1991). 1965 - Maria Pitillo - actress: Godzilla, Wise Guys, Ryan’s Hope, Natural Born Killers, Between Love & Honor, After Sex 1947 - David Bowie - singer: Space Oddity, Fame, Changes, Ziggy Stardust, Peace on Earth-Little Drummer Boy [w/Bing Crosby]; actor: The Man Who Fell to Earth, Just a Gigolo, The Last Temptation of Christ 1943 - R.L. Stine - the wildly successful author of the Goosebumps books, a horror series for young readers. Stine began writing for young audiences early in his career, with work for Junior Scholastic Magazine and on books like 101 Silly Monster Jokes and Bozos on Patrol. He created and edited the comedy magazine Bananas before turning to teen horror with his 1986 novel Blind Date. Stine began the Fear Street series in 1989, and then launched the Goosebumps series in 1992. 1942 - Yvette Mimieux - actress: The Time Machine, Where the Boys Are, Toys in the Attic, Three in the Attic, The Most Deadly Game, Skyjacked, The Neptune Factor, The Black Hole, Circle of Power, Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception 1937 - Shirley Bassey - a Welsh singer who found fame in the late 1950s well-known for recording the theme songs to the James Bond films Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and Moonraker (1979). She has sold an estimated 135 million records to date. With 35 hits in the UK Singles Chart plus 37 hit LPs in the UK Albums Chart, she maintains her position as Britain's most successful female artist of all time, and the artist with the longest span (50 years) of Top 40 hits 1935 - Elvis Presley - singer: That’s All Right, Mama, Mystery Train, All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, Suspicious Minds; 90 top-20 hits; actor: Jailhouse Rock, G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii; over 30 films 1924 - Ron Moody - actor: Oliver!, Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It, Nobody’s Perfect, Tales of the Gold Monkey II, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court Larry Storch - comedian, actor: F Troop, The Larry Storch Show, That Was the Week That Was, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Airport 1975, The Ghost Busters, S.O.B. 1912 - José Ferrer - Academy Award-winning actor: Cyrano de Bergerac ; Joan of Arc, Moulin Rouge, The Caine Mutiny, Deep in My Heart, Lawrence of Arabia, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Ship of Fools, Dune, The Evil That Men Do; Rosemary Clooney’s husband OTHER EVENTS – 2009 – Seven Pounds starts screening in Australia starring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson. An IRS agent with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers 2009 - In Egypt, archeologists entered a 4,300 year old pyramid and discovered the mummy of Queen Sesheshet. The Strokes went to No.1 on the UK chart with 'First Impressions Of Earth' the bands third album and first No.1. 2006 – During a visit to Venezuela, calypso star/actor Harry Belafonte tells the press that President Bush is “the greatest terrorist in the world.” 2005 – Hong Kong actor/singer Andy Lau, best known in the U.S. for his role in House of Flying Daggers, wins five Jade Solid Gold awards, including Most Popular Male Singer in Hong Kong. 2005 – Australian artists including Kasey Chambers, “Australian Idol” winners Guy Sebastian and Casey Donovan, Jet vocalist Nic Cester, the Living End guitarist Chris Cheney, You Am I guitarist Dave Lane, Spiderbait drummer Mark “Kram” Maher and Dallas Crane bassist Pat Bourke rally together to help victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami with an all-star concert and telethon. 2004 – Sheryl Crow, U2’s The Edge, Alicia Keys and Ben Affleck appear at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to speak out against digital piracy. 2004 - Queen Elizabeth II christens the RMS Queen Mary 2 cruise liner, the largest ocean liner in the world. 2004 – On what would have been Elvis Presley’s 69th birthday, it’s announced that he’s the biggest selling solo artist in American history. His label RCA says Presley has sold 117.5 million albums to date. 2004 - Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves and Frances McDormand star in Something’s Gotta Give starts screening in Australia. A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age. 2002- President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law. 2001 – Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt and Marisa Tomei star in What Women Want starts screening in Australia. After an accident, a chauvenistic executive gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking. 2000 - Christina Aguilera started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'What A Girl Wants.' She ended Santana's 12- week run at No.1 with 'Smooth.' 1995 – Search and Destroy starring Dennis Hopper, Jason Ferraro and Martin Scorsese starts screening in Australia. A satire about desperate hustling, pop philosophy and big money. 1995 - "Guys and Dolls" closes at Martin Beck Theater New York City after 1143 performances 1994 - Russian manned space craft TM-18 is launched into orbit. Valeri Polyakov begins his 437.7 day orbit on the Mir space station, eventually setting the world record for days spent in orbit. 1994 - Jamaican reggae/rap (ragga) duo Chaka Demus and Pliers were at No.1 in the UK with their version of 'Twist And Shout.' 1993 – A 29-cent U.S. postage stamp bearing the likeness of a 1950s-era Elvis Presley is issued at a post office near the King’s Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn. The U.S. Postal Service held a vote in in which fans chose the ’50s Elvis 851,200 to 277,723 over an older Elvis. 1989 - "Starlight Express" closes at Gershwin Theater New York City after 761 performances 1989 - "42nd Street" closes at Winter Garden Theater New York City after 3,486 performances 1987 – Starring C. Thomas Howell, Rae Dawn Chong and James Earl Jones, Soul Man commences screening in Australia. To achieve his dream of attending Harvard, a pampered teen poses as a young black man to receive a full scholarship 1983 - Marvin Gay's Sexual Healing becomes first single to log ten weeks at top of Billboard black singles chart since I Can't Stop loving You by Ray Charles. 1979 – The Canadian government names Rush “Official Ambassadors of Music.” 1977 - Queen went to No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Day At The Races.' 1975 – Tickets for three Led Zeppelin concerts at Madison Square Garden go on sale. The box office has to call on other ticket outlets to help cope with demand and sells out their 60,000 tickets in four hours. 1973- Carly Simon got a gold record for "You’re So Vain". 1973 - The trial opened in Washington, of seven men accused of bugging Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, DC. Secret peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed near Paris. 1972 - The New Seekers were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, (in Perfect Harmony'). The song started as a Coca Cola TV ad. It originally included the line, 'I'd like to buy the world a Coke.' 1966 - The Beatles LP, Rubber Soul, began a 6-week reign at the top of the album chart. This was the seventh Beatles LP to reach the #1 position since February 1964. Rubber Soul stayed on the charts for 56 weeks. The other #1 albums for the Fab Four to that date were: Meet the Beatles, The Beatles Second Album, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles ’65, Beatles VI and Help!. 1966 - Beatles' "We Can Work It Out," single goes #1 and stays #1 for 3 weeks 1965- NBC TV premiered Hullabaloo, a Rock & Roll dance show with lots of mini-skirted go-go girls. ABC later came up with Shindig. 1961 - Robert Goulet made his national TV debut this night on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS. 1961 - French vote for Algerian freedom - The French people have voted to grant Algeria its independence in a referendum. The result was a clear majority for self-determination, with 75% voting in favour. 1958 - Bobby Fischer won the United States Chess Championship for the first time. Interesting note: Fischer was all of 14 years of age. 1957 - Bill Haley, who previously rejected in invitation to tour Australia because some of his Comets were averse to flying, begins a two-week tour down under in Newcastle. Sharing the bill are Lavern Baker and Joe Turner. 1956 - Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" single goes to #1 & stays #1 for a record 11 weeks (for a single). 1955 - On his twentieth birthday Elvis Presley records his third single - Milkcow Blues Boogie and You're a Heartbreaker. 1952 - Marie Wilson came to TV as My Friend Irma. The show, popular for years on radio, lasted two seasons on television. 1949 - "Make Mine Manhattan" closes at Broadhurst Theater New York City after 429 performances 1940 - Vincent Lopez and his orchestra recorded the third version of Lopez’ theme song titled Nola. This version, recorded in Hollywood on Bluebird Records, is recognized as his best rendition of the classic song. 1940 – In The Navy starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Dick Powell and The Andrews Sisters starts screening in Australia. Russ Raymond, America's number one crooner, disappears and joins the Navy under the name Tommy Halstead 1936 - Walt Disney is decorated with France's highest award - the Legion of Honor. At a ceremony held on the grounds of his Hyperion Avenue Studio, Jean-Joseph Viala, the French Consul in Los Angeles, pins the medal to Disney's left lapel. "In recognition of Disney's work in creating a new art form in which good will is spread throughout the world." 1925 - Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, appeared in his first American concert, as he conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of his own compositions. 1918 - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson outlines his fourteen points for peace after the Great War. 1904- Pope Pius X banned women wearing low cut dresses in front of clergy. 1889- Herman Hollerith received a patent for the electronic counting machine. The machine fed numbers onto punch cards and was used extensively in the U.S. census of 1890.- In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company, which later was renamed International Business Machines or IBM. 1790- George Washington starts a custom of the President delivering an annual speech reporting on the nation's progress in the past year, later known as the State of the Union Address.