January 23 in Pop Culture History

January 23rd History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

January 23rd History Highlights

  • 1556 – The Shaanxi earthquake struck in Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000, the deadliest earthquake in history.
  • Walter Frederick Morrison sold the rights (Design Patent #D183,626) to his flying disc to the Wham-O toy company, which later renames it the “Frisbee”.
  • 1998 – Netscape announced Mozilla, with the intention to release Communicator code as open source.
  • If you were born on January 23rd,
    You were likely conceived the week of… May 2nd (prior year)

January 23rd is…

Measure Your Feet Day
National Handwriting Day
National Handwriting Day is an annual event that celebrates the importance of handwriting and penmanship. The day was established by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977 with a goal to promote the consumption of pens, pencils, and paper. January 23rd was chosen as John Hancock’s birthday because he was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.

January 23rd Birthday Quotes

A chip on the shoulder is too heavy a piece of baggage to carry through life.
– John Hancock

You can’t do good if you’re wishing bad on others.
– XXXTentacion

Almost all our misfortunes in life come from the wrong notions we have about the things that happen to us. To know men thoroughly, to judge events sanely is, therefore, a great step towards happiness.
– Stendhal

To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law — a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security.
– Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Being fearless means busting down those walls of fear and being who you are, not who someone else thinks you are.
– Mariska Hargitay

One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.
– Stendhal

People who pay greater respect to a wealthy villain than to an honest, upright man in poverty, almost deserve to be enslaved; they plainly show that wealth, however it may be acquired, is, in their esteem, to be preferred to virtue.
– John Hancock

There’s a standard formula for success in the entertainment medium, and that is: Beat it to death if it succeeds.
– Ernie Kovacs

January 23rd Birthdays

1737 – John Hancock, American general and politician (died in 1793)
1783 – Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle), French writer (died in 1842)
1898 – Randolph Scott, American actor (died in 1987)
1913 – Wally Parks, American businessman, founded the National Hot Rod Association (died in 2007)
1919 – Ernie Kovacs, American comedic actor and game show host (died in 1962)
1923 – Walter Michael Miller, Jr., American writer (died in 1996)
1943 – Gil Gerard, American actor
1947 – Tom Carper, American politician
1948 – Anita Pointer, American R&B/soul singer-songwriter
1953 – Robin Zander, American rock singer-songwriter
1964 – Mariska Hargitay, American actress, and producer
1974 – Tiffani Thiessen, American actress
1986 – Michael Stevens, American YouTuber
1998 – XXXTentacion (Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy), American rapper (died in 2018)

January 23rd History

1556 (Earthquake) Shaanxi, China. Over 800,000 people were killed.

1571 – The Royal Exchange opened in London.

1789 – Georgetown College, the first Catholic university in the United States, was founded in Georgetown, Maryland (Washington DC).

1793 – Humane Society of Philadelphia (America’s 1st aid organization) founded.

1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell was awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States’ first female doctor.

1870 – US cavalrymen killed 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in what is known as the Marias Massacre, in Montana.

January 23, 1951 Birthday (fictional) Angus MacGuyver, TV

1960 – The bathyscaphe USS Trieste set a depth record by descending to 35,797 ft, in the Pacific Ocean.

1964 – The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, was ratified.

1965 – #1 Hit January 23, 1965 – February 5, 1965: Petula Clark – Downtown

1971 – #1 Hit January 23, 1971 – February 12, 1971: Tony Orlando and Dawn – Knock Three Times

1977 – Roots premiered on ABC

1978 – Chicago Guitarist Terry Kaith’s last words were “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded” while playing Russian Roulette.

1983 – The A-Team premiered on NBC

1984 – Hulk Hogan defeated the Iron Sheik for the WWF (now WWE) championship

1985 – Thundercats debuted, in syndication

1986 – The 1st induction of Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame included Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Domino, Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley.

1988 – #1 Hit January 23, 1988 – January 29, 1988: Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel

1998 – Spice World, The Gingerbread Man, Slappy  and the Stinkers, and Swept From The Sea were released in theaters.

2003 – Mythbusters premiered on The Discovery Channel

2008 – U2 3D debuted in theaters.

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

The biggest film of 2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Action/Adventure) earned ~ $318,000,000

The local density of mosquitos is inversely proportional to your remaining repellent.

SCOTTY’S RULE: When doing work for someone and giving a completion date, make it later than you expect so when you get it done early you look golden!

R2D2 must swear a lot considering they bleep out every single word he says.

TV Quotes… “I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl …” (Larry) on “Newhart”

A bunch of Information is called a Wealth.

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.” – Charlie Chaplin

Useless Pronunciation: W as in wrest

Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” – Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) in Gone with the Wind, 1939

The biggest film of 2000: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Comedy/Adventure) earned ~ $260,000,000

It must be really embarrassing to be the guy who shouts “It’s a bird!” when it turns out to be Superman.

Describing yourself as someone smarter than most people is not socially acceptable. Saying that people are stupid is. The only difference is the wording.

More Pop Culture History Resources