On This Day January 1
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1735 – American Revolution patriot Paul Revere (d. 1818)
1919 – Author J. D. Salinger, best known for his critically acclaimed novel “The Catcher in the Rye” (d. 2010)
1938 – Tony-winning actor Frank Langella (“Dracula,” “Dave,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Unknown”)
1942 – Country Joe McDonald, lead singer of the 60s psychedelic rock group Country Joe & the Fish
1943 – Actor-comedian Don Novello, best known as Father Guido Salducci on “Saturday Night Live”
1958 – Rapper Grandmaster Flash, born Joseph Saddler, considered one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting and mixing
1969 – Actor Morris Chestnut (“Boyz n the Hood,” “The Best Man,” “Ladder 49”)
1818 – Mary Shelley’s classic “Frankenstein” is published.
1863 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation aimed at abolishing slavery in the U.S.
1942 – The United Nations is created when U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issue a declaration, signed by representatives of 26 countries, vowing to form an international postwar peacekeeping organization.
1959 – Cuban President Fulgencio Batista is overthrown by Fidel Castro’s rebel forces during the Cuban Revolution. Amid celebration and chaos in the capitol of Havana, the U.S. is left to determine how best to deal with the radical Castro and brewing anti-Americanism in Cuba.
1971 – A ban on cigarette advertising on American television takes effect, with the last commercial (for Virginia Slims) broadcast on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” at 11:50 p.m.
1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) takes effect between Canada, the United States and Mexico. Former President George H.W. Bush signed the NAFTA agreement in 1992 before leaving office.
1953 – One of America’s first country music superstars, Hank Williams, dies at the age of 29, but leaves a lasting legacy that continues to influence artists of all musical genres.
1959 – Country music legend Johnny Cash (a.k.a. “The Man in Black”) plays his first of many free concerts at California’s San Quentin Prison. The captive audience of inmates included future country music great Merle Haggard, who, at 19, was serving time for grand theft auto and armed robbery.
1962 – From the “Ooops” file: The Beatles audition for London record company Decca on the same day as Brian Poole & the Tremeloes. Decca tells The Beatles, “guitar groups are on their way out,” and signs the Tremeloes.
1966 – Simon & Garfunkel are No. 1 on the singles chart with “The Sounds of Silence.”
1977 – Rod Stewart begins his eighth and final week on top of the pop chart with “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright).”
1983 – Hall & Oates dominate the Billboard Hot 100 for a third week with “Maneater.”
2000 – “Smooth,” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, scores its ninth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track will spend one more week at No. 1 and later capture three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.