Daily Calendar for January 17th, 2020

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Benjamin Franklin's Birthday

Benjamin Franklin, born on January 17, 1706, not only was a world-renowned statesman, inventor, and scientist, but also was fascinated by agriculture. To demonstrate the value of gypsum as fertilizer, he applied it to a field in a pattern that spelled out, "This land has been plastered." Sure enough, clover in the fertilized area exhibited more vigorous growth.

Every Year

  • Benjamin Franklin's Birthday


  • Born 1706: Benjamin Franklin (statesman)


  • Born 1806: James Madison Randolph (grandson of Thomas Jefferson; first baby born in the White House)


  • Born 1820: Anne Brontë (novelist)


  • Died 1851: Thomas Lincoln (father of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln)


  • 1871: Andrew S. Hallidie received a patent for a cable car system

  • Died 1871: John Baker (Canada's last ex-slave)

  • Died 1874: Chang and Eng Bunker (Siamese twins)


  • Died 1893: Rutherford B. Hayes (19th U.S. president)

  • Born 1899: Al Capone (gangster)


  • 1916: Meeting held to form the Professional Golfers Association


  • Born 1922: Betty White (actress)


  • Born 1931: James Earl Jones (actor)

  • Born 1933: Shari Lewis (actress and puppeteer, best know for Lamb Chop)

  • Born 1939: Maury Povich (talk show host)


  • Born 1942: Muhammad Ali (boxer)

  • Born 1948: Mick Taylor (musician)

  • 1949: The first Volkswagen Beetle arrived in the United States from Germany

  • Born 1949: Andy Kaufman (comedian & actor)


  • Born 1962: Jim Carrey (actor)

  • Born 1964: Michelle Obama (U.S. First Lady)

  • 1966: Simon and Garfunkel released their album, "Sounds of Silence"


  • 1977: Gary Gilmore was the first person legally executed in the U.S. after the death penalty was reinstated


  • 1985: British Telecom announced the retirement of Britain's red telephone boxes


  • 1991: Operation Desert Storm launched

  • 1994: 6.7 earthquake occurred in Northridge, California25 Years Ago


  • Died 2002: Norman Kay (dubbed "the Babe Ruth of bridge")

  • Died 2002: Camilo Jose Cela (won the 1989 Nobel Prize in Literature for works such as The Family of Pascual Duarte)

  • Died 2002: Harvey Matusow (former aide to Sen. McCarthy who was imprisoned for lying before the House of Un-American Activities)

  • Died 2003: Gertrude Janeway (the last widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War)

  • Died 2004: Noble Willingham (actor)

  • Died 2005: Virginia Mayo (actress)

  • Died 2007: Art Buchwald (humorist)

  • Died 2008: Bobby Fischer (champion chess player)


  • Died 2012: Johnny Otis (musician; known as the godfather of R&B)

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