January 9 in Pop Culture History

January 9th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

January 9th History Highlights

  • 1839 – The French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype photography process.
  • January 9, 1960 Birthday (fictional) Severus Snape, Harry Potter
  • 1861 – The American Civil War began when the steamer, Star of the West, was fired upon by the Confederates as it attempted to enter Charleston Harbor.
  • 1768 – Philip Astley opened the world’s first modern circus, with the center ring.
  • If you were born on January 9th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… April 18th (prior year)

January 9th is…

Aviation in America Day
International Choreographers Day
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
National Apricot Day
National Nerd Word Day
Poetry at Work Day
Static Electricity Day

National Balloon Ascension Day

Does the idea of floating along, suspended in the sky by nothing but a bit of material and a bunch of hot air inspire awe? If it does, you’re in good company as thousands of rides are taken per year on the roughly 3,000 balloons. In fact, George Washington himself was witness to the first manned balloon flight in the United States on January 9, 1793.


Jean-Paul Blanchard was the pilot that day. The French-born aeronaut is widely regarded as the inventor of ballooning, although, at the time, he used hydrogen instead of the heated air modern balloonists use. 

The President and a rather large crown watched as he climbed aboard and launched his balloon into the Philadelphia sky. That day he floated around some 1,200 feet above the Walnut Street Prison. He had no way to steer the balloon so, for 46 minutes, he was carried along by the wind until he came to rest on a local farm. With the assistance of some area farmers, he was able to get himself and his balloon back into the city.

This momentous occasion was not only the United States’ first voyage into the sky but also helped solidify America’s reputation as a beacon of innovation and technological advancement. The flight wasn’t celebrated annually until 2011, marking the first year National Balloon Ascension Day was officially observed.

How To Celebrate

The best way to celebrate this day is to overcome your fear if you have it, and take to the skies. Don’t let this opportunity for a full 360-degree view sit idly on your bucket list. Climb in the basket and soar up, up, and away, camera in hand, ready to be amazed. There is no shame in keeping your feet firmly on the ground. After all, that’s just what Washington himself did. It’s still an amazing sight to watch these massive balloons slowly expand and reach toward the clouds. If there is no hot air balloon event near you, you could always tie a bunch of helium balloons to your house, or carry them around the neighborhood! However you do it, it’s a fascinating piece of American History to read up on or get involved in, and January 9 is the perfect day for an adventure.

January 9th Birthday Quotes

I would have made a good Pope.
– Richard M. Nixon

I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept infinity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.
– Simone de Beauvoir

If you work harder than somebody else, chances are you’ll beat him though he has more talent than you.
– Bart Starr

You can’t decide how you’re going to die. Or when. What you can decide is how you’re going to live now.
– Joan Baez

Nah, the Smithsonian doesn’t ask for anything back from Gilligan, … They haven’t dropped that low yet.
– Bob Denver

The individual is defined only by his relationship to the world and to other individuals; he exists only by transcending himself, and his freedom can be achieved only through the freedom of others.
– Simone de Beauvoir

January 9th Birthdays

1859 – Carrie Lane Chapman, American Suffragette (died in 1947)
1901 – Chic Young, American cartoonist, Blondie comic strip (died in 1973)
1908 – Simone de Beauvoir, French author, and philosopher (died in 1986)
1913 – Richard Nixon, American politician, 37th President of the United States (died in 1994)
1916 – Vic Mizzy, American composer (died in 2009)
1925 – Lee Van Cleef, American actor (died in 1989)
1928 – Judith Krantz, American novelist
1934 – Bart Starr, American football player (died in 2019)
1935 – Bob Denver, American actor (died in 2005)
1939 – Susannah York, English actress (died in 2011)
1941 – Joan Baez, American singer-songwriter
1944 – Jimmy Page, English guitarist
1951 – Crystal Gayle, American singer-songwriter
1955 – J.K. Simmons, American actor
1965 – Joely Richardson, English actress
1967 – Matt Bevin, American politician, 62nd Governor of Kentucky
1967 – Dave Matthews, South African-American singer-songwriter
1968 – Joey Lauren Adams, American actress
1973 – Sean Paul, Jamaican rapper
1978 – AJ McLean, American singer, Backstreet Boys
1982 – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton)
1989 – Nina Dobrev, Bulgarian-Canadian actress

January 9th History

1693 (Earthquake) Sicily, Italy

1788 – Connecticut became the 5th state

1793 – Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first successful balloon flight in the United States, from Philadelphia, PA to Woodbury, NJ.

1857 (Earthquake) Fort Tejon, California

1905 – The Saint Petersburg Massacre. Palace Guards fired at some 150,000 unarmed protestors. Over 200 people were killed.

1927 – A fire at the Laurier Palace movie theatre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, killed 78 children.

1947 – Elizabeth “Betty” Short, AKA the Black Dahlia, was last seen alive.

1951 – Life After Tomorrow, 1st film to receive an “X” rating, premiered in London… ‘X’ ratings at that time were not the same as today – through 1951-1970 – it meant the film was for viewers over 16.

1956 – Abigail Van Buren’s “Dear Abby” column first appeared in newspaper syndication.

1959Rawhide premiered on CBS.

1961 – #1 Hit January 9, 1961 – January 29, 1961: Bert KaempfertWonderland by Night

1968 – It Tales a Thief, starring Robert Wagner, debuted on ABC

1984 – Wendy’s “Where’s The Beef” commercials with Clara Peller began

1988 – #1 Hit January 9, 1988 – January 15, 1988: Whitney HoustonSo Emotional

1996- 3rd Rock From The Sun debuted on NBC

1997Antiques Roadshow debuted on PBS

2000Malcolm in the Middle premiered on FOX

2007 – Apple’s iPhone was unveiled.

2009 – Bride Wars debuted in theaters.

2011 – Bob’s Burgers premiered on FOX

#1 Hit January 9, 2021 – January 22, 2021: Mood24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.

The word criminal does not mean ‘evil.’ It simply means ‘any person who does any illegal thing.’ Remember that next time you watch the news.

Useless Pronunciation: P as in pee

“Mylar balloon” is an accepted geometric term, despite the trademark in it.

Axl Rose – Real Name: William Bailey

“Based on a true story” means “we made up all the best bits.”

Vinyl records don’t have grooves. They have one groove that spirals inward. They have a groove.

The price of a Model T went from $829 in 1909 to $260 in 1925. Henry Ford continually reduced its price as production efficiency increased. #capitalism

“It is sad to grow old but nice to ripen.” – Brigitte Bardot

Minus 40 degrees Celsius is the same as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

In 1986, a volcanic lake in Cameroon, Africa burped a C02 gas cloud that killed 1,746 people in minutes.

TV Quotes… “Yeah, that’s the ticket” (Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar) on “Saturday Night Live”

It takes over eighteen hours to watch the entire Harry Potter series in one sitting.

Don’t use a song you like as your alarm in the morning. Eventually, you will come to hate it.

In Star Wars, Emperor Palpatine’s first name is Sheev.

Keanu Reeves’s first name means “cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian.

“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids” – Trix cereal ad

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