January 21 in Pop Culture History

January 21st History, Trivia and Fun Facts

January 21st History Highlights

  • 1972 – The first convention of Star Trek fans was held in New York City’s Statler-Hilton Hotel.
  • 1793 – After being found guilty of treason by the French National Convention, Louis XVI of France was executed by guillotine.
  • 1954 – The first atomic submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus was launched at Groton, Connecticut. It was officially commissioned later that year.
  • 1976 – The supersonic Concorde had its first commercial flights (London to Bahrain & Paris to Rio de Janeiro ). The use of the plane ended on October 24, 2003.
  • If you were born on January 21st,
    You were likely conceived the week of… April 30th (prior year)

The USS Nautilus

The first atomic submarine was commissioned on January 21, 1954. The U.S.S. Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered vessel, was constructed under the direction of Captain Hyman G Rickover, a brilliant Russian-born engineer who joined the U.S. atomic program in 1946 and then became director of naval reactor development at General Electric (GE) in Schenectady, New York before rejoining the navy as head of its nuclear propulsion program in 1947.

Following his success with designing one for GE that could be used to power submarines and surface ships alike; he continued work on an atomic submarine during this time and also supervised the construction of two experimental reactors for use by GE at Shippingport Atomic Power Station, part of the U.S. government-sponsored effort to develop nuclear power for commercial use.

Rickover then took charge of that project after his own was finished and oversaw the construction of four more experimental reactors at the plant before shifting focus again in 1954 to work on the atomic submarine.

Christened by Mamie Eisenhower, the wife of then-U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower; the sub made its maiden voyage from Groton, Connecticut to New York City on January 21, 1954, with Captain Edward L. Beach Jr., son of the famous writer of the same name, at the helm; during its shakedown cruise in January and February, it became the first submarine to travel one thousand miles (1609 km) under power from its reactor and also made history as the world’s first nuclear-powered vessel to enter polar waters when it reached Point Barrow, Alaska on March 16 after covering approximately two-thirds of the distance to Hawaii.

The U.S. Navy hoped that nuclear propulsion would allow it to keep fleets at sea for months rather than weeks, but technical difficulties including radiation leakage led them to scrap their first five atomic submarines after only a few years in service and convert four others back into diesel-powered vessels; however, the Nautilus proved far more durable and in October 1958 became the first vessel to transit beneath the North Pole during a historic trip across the Arctic by way of the Bering Strait; it was decommissioned on September 30, 1980, after 25 years of service (including nearly ten at-sea deployments) before being designated an international landmark by President Jimmy Carter in 1982.

Captain Hyman G. Rickover, who directed the construction of the Nautilus and is widely regarded as the father of the nuclear navy, died on July 27, 1986 at the age of 93 after a long and distinguished career that included overseeing the development and production of 77 submarines (including the first atomic one). In his honor, the U.S. Navy christened a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Hyman G. Rickover in 1994, and his legacy continues to this day with more than 400 nuclear-powered vessels in operation worldwide (including 14 submarines).

January 21st is…

International Playdate Day
New England Clam Chowder Day
National Granola Bar Day
National Hugging Day
One-Liners Day (from films)
Squirrel Appreciation Day

January 21st Birthday Quotes

If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war. It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. They do not know its horrors. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils.
– Stonewall Jackson

The more hours of television a girl watches, the fewer options she thinks she has in life.
– Geena Davis

When the bell tolls three times, it will announce that I have been killed. If I am killed by common men, you and your children will rule Russia for centuries to come; if I am killed by one of your stock, you and your family will be killed by the Russian people!
– Rasputin

If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.
– Geena Davis

I cannot consistently, with self respect, do other than I have, namely, to deliberately violate an act which seems to me to be a denial of everything which ideally and in practice I hold sacred. The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.
– Roger Nash Baldwin

Focus on remedies, not faults.
– Jack Nicklaus

That which is above comprehension we cannot perceive to be contradictory, nor on the other hand can we perceive its rationality or consistency.
– Ethan Allen

We are put on this earth to have a good time. This makes other people feel good. And the cycle continues.
– Wolfman Jack

January 21st Birthdays

1738 – Ethan Allen, American general (died in 1789)
1815 – Horace Wells, American dentist (died in 1848)
1824 – Stonewall Jackson (Thomas Jonathan Jackson), American (Confederate) general (died in 1863)
1869 – Grigori Rasputin, Russian Mystic (died in 1916)
1884 – Roger Nash Baldwin, American founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (died in 1981)
1905 – Christian Dior, French fashion designer, founded Christian Dior S.A. (died in 1957)
1905 – Karl Wallenda, German-American acrobat and tightrope walker, founded The Flying Wallendas (died in 1978)
1922 – Telly Savalas, American actor (died in 1994)
1924 – Benny Hill, English comedic actor (died in 1992)
1938 – Wolfman Jack (Robert Weston Smith), American DJ and radio host (died in 1995)
1940 – Jack Nicklaus, American golfer and sportscaster
1941 – Richie Havens, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (died in 2013)
1942 – Mac Davis, American singer-songwriter
1942 – Edwin Starr, American singer-songwriter (died in 2003)
1947 – Jill Eikenberry, American actress
1950 – Billy Ocean, Trinidadian-English singer-songwriter
1953 – Paul Allen, American businessman, co-founded Microsoft (died in 2018)
1955 – Jeff Koons, American painter and sculptor
1956 – Robby Benson, American actor
1956 – Geena Davis, American actress
1965 – Jam Master Jay, American DJ, rapper, and producer (died in 2002)
1968 – Charlotte Ross, American actress
1977 – Jerry Trainor, American actor,
1985 – Nick Gehlfuss, American actor
1997 – Jeremy Shada, American actor, musician and singer

January 21st History

1472 – The great daylight comet of 1472 was visible in daylight for 8 days.

1790 – Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed the guillotine to the newly formed National Assembly of Paris as a “humane” method of execution.

1799 – Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccination was introduced.

1807 – The London Institution for the Advancement of Literature and The Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (The London Institution) received a royal charter signed by King George III, to “promote the diffusion of Science, Literature, and the Arts, by means of Lectures and Experiments, and by easy access to an extensive collection of books, both ancient and modern, in all languages.”

1861 – Jefferson Davis resigned from the United States Senate.

1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally took place, with 23 cars.

1915 – Kiwanis International was founded, in Detroit.

1970 – The Boeing 747, made its 1st commercial flight, between New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Heathrow Airport in London, England.

1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardoned most Vietnam War draft evaders.

1979 – Neptune became the outermost planet as Pluto moved on its highly elliptical, tilted orbit closer to the sun than Neptune. This eventually led to Pluto being downgraded from planetary status.

1981 – Production of the iconic DeLorean sports car began.

1984 – #1 Hit January 21, 1984 – February 3, 1984: Yes – Owner of a Lonely Heart

1985 – President Regan’s first inauguration (Jan 20, 1981) was the warmest on record at 55°F, while his second inauguration (Jan 21, 1985) was the coldest on record at 7°F.

1989 – #1 Hit January 21, 1989 – February 3, 1989: Phil Collins – Two Hearts

1990 – MTV Unplugged premiered on MTV (The featured artist was Squeeze)

1998 – News of the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton affair was published, President Clinton said he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

2000 – The Boondock Saints & Down to You debuted in theaters.

2005 – Are We There Yet? debuted in theaters.

2006 – #1 Hit January 21, 2006 – February 3, 2006: Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp – Grillz

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

“I don’t think anyone can give you advice when you’ve got a broken heart.” – Britney Spears

TV Quotes… “Bam!” (Emeril Lagasse) on “Emeril Live”

Biggest film of 2002: Spider-Man (Action/Adventure) earned ~ $404,000,000

Dippin’ Dots are not widely avaliable because they require storage at -40 F, which is too cold for the average freezer.

Biggest film of 1942: Bambi (Drama) earned ~ $103,000,000

US President #42 William Jefferson (Clinton 1993-2001) Impeached to little effect, had a best selling book after leaving office.

Instructions for runway modeling are: (1) Be a woman, (2) Be very tall, (3)Be very thin, (4) Stand up very straight, (5) Look angry, (6) Walk in a straight line, (7) Turn 540 degrees before walking off the edge of the runway. (8) Bonus points for a good strut.

George Lucas’ dog was named Indiana.

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in Godfather, The Godfather, 1972

Elsa from Frozen is the oldest Disney Princess, aged 23 in ‘Frozen.’

I wonder if KFC employees know the 11 herbs and spices. if so, how do they keep it a secret when these employees quit/get fired? Do they get memory wiped, MIB style?

David Patrick Kelly’s “Warriors, come out to play” line in The Warriors (1979) was completely improvised.

TIP is the acronym for “To Insure Promptness.”

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