On This Day January 21
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1738 – Ethan Allen, future Revolutionary War hero and key founder of the Republic of Vermont (d. 1789)
1922 – Actor Telly Savalas, best known for playing a tough New York City detective in the TV series “Kojak” (d. 1994)
1924 – British comedian Benny Hill (d. 1992)
1938 – Legendary rock and roll disc jockey Wolfman Jack, born Robert Weston Smith (d. 1995)
1940 – Retired pro golf legend Jack Nicklaus, affectionately known as “The Golden Bear”
1941 – Grammy Award-winning operatic tenor Plácido Domingo, known as “King Of The Opera”
1941 – Folk singer-songwriter Richie Havens, who opened the famed Woodstock music festival in 1969 (d. 2013)
1942 – Pop-country crossover singer-songwriter Mac Davis, who wrote hits for Elvis Presley and Kenny Rogers and had his own No. 1 pop single in 1972 with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me” (d. 2020)
1950 – Grammy-winning R&B singer Billy Ocean (“Caribbean Queen,” “Loverboy,” “Get Outta My Dreams; Get Into My Car”)
1956 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Geena Davis (“The Fly,” “Beetlejuice,” “The Accidental Tourist,” “Thelma and Louise,” “A League of Their Own,” “Commander in Chief”)
1963 – NBA Hall of Famer and former Houston Rockets star center Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon
1977 – Actor Jerry Trainor (“ER,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Drake & Josh,” “iCarly”)
1924 – Vladimir Lenin, the architect of the Bolshevik Revolution and the first leader of the Soviet Union, dies of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 54.
1954 – First Lady Mamie Eisenhower christens the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), during ceremonies at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.
1970 – The Boeing 747 jumbo jet enters commercial service with a Pan Am flight from New York to London. However, the departure is delayed when one of the four engines of the original aircraft catches fire and a replacement 747 is brought in.
1976 – The supersonic Concorde passenger jet (SST) begins commercial duties with simultaneous flights from London to Bahrain, and Paris to Rio de Janeiro.
1977 – President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of Vietnam War draft evaders.
2009 – General Motors (GM) loses the title of world’s largest automaker to rival Toyota when it announces worldwide sales of 8.36 million cars and trucks in 2008, compared to Toyota’s 8.97 million vehicle sales that same year. It marks the first time in nearly 80 years that GM did not sell the most cars in the world.
2017 – On the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency, hundreds of thousands of people crowd into the U.S. capital for the Women’s March on Washington.
1968 – Jimi Hendrix records his version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” at Olympic Studios in London. The track eventually peaks at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1978 – The “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack starts a 24-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. This disco “anthem,” from the movie starring John Travolta, goes on to sell more than 45 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling soundtrack album of all time.
1984 – “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes kicks off two weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.
1989 – “Two Hearts” by Phil Collins is the No. 1 single.
1995 – Boyz II Men begin their sixth and final week as chart-toppers with “On Bended Knee.”
2002 – Singer-songwriter and actress Peggy Lee, best known for her 1958 smash, “Fever,” suffers a fatal heart attack at her Bel Air home at the age of 81.
2012 – Adele holds on to the top of the Billboard album chart with her second studio album, “21,” which yields five hit singles, including “Rolling in the Deep,” “Rumour Has It” and “Set Fire to the Rain.” The work ultimately racks up 24 weeks at No. 1 and wins Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.