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Today in History: Monday, January 22, 2024

Television and Radio
U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House in 1924…Sock it to me! Comedy variety hour “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” debuted on NBC in 1968, and soared to the top of the rating charts…”You’re under arrest, Sugah! “Get Christie Love!“, the action crime drama starring Teresa Graves, premiered on the “ABC Movie of the Week” in 1974. At a time when hero blaxploitation films were at its peak, the ABC telefilm was a ratings success and a weekly series (again, for ABC) followed during the 1974-75 season. The series version only lasted one season long, however…On a two-hour episode of CBS family drama “The Waltons” in 1976, a devastating fire resulted in the children being temporarily housed with neighbors while John (Ralph Waite) rebuilt the home….Two NBC series premiered in 1983: sitcom “Mama’s Family” starring Vicki Lawrence, based on “The Family” sketch on “Carol Burnett Show“; and family drama “The Family Tree” starring Anne ArcherFrank ConverseMelora Hardin and James Spader. “Family Tree” was developed from the 1982 made-for-TV movie “The Six of Us.” The series only ran for six episodes. “Mama’s Family” aired for 35 episodes across two seasons on NBC, then an additional 95 episodes in four seasons in syndication from 1986-90…During the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on CBS in 1984, the famous commercial for Apple McIntosh computers entitled “1984” first aired nationwide. Directed by Ridley Scott (“Blade Runner”), the dystopian setting in the ad was in reference to George Orwell‘s novel “1984”. English athlete Anya Major portrayed the heroine who throws her sledgehammer to destroy the character of Big Brother…CBS launched the action/adventure “Airwolf” in 1984, which followed immediately after Super Bowl XVIII (L.A. Raiders-Washington). The series, which starred Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine, lasted for four seasons…“Cheers” spin-off sitcom “The Tortellis” starring Dan Hedaya and Jean Kasem debuted on NBC in 1987. It ran for only 13 episodes…Following the San Francisco 49ers‘ 20-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII in 1989, NBC premiered the first part of the two-part miniseries “The Brotherhood of the Rose“. It starred Peter Strauss and David Morse as two orphans who were raised as assassins by their foster father (Robert Mitchum). Connie Sellecca (“Hotel”) also starred. The miniseries concluded the following evening; not surprisingly, it was the highest-rated telefilm of the 1988-89 TV season…Conan O’Brien hosted his last episode of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in 2010. His $45 million exit package included $12 million that was designated for distribution to his staff, who had moved with Conan to Los Angeles from New York when he left his previous talker “Late Night with Conan O’Brian“…Sketch comedy show “Chappelle’s Show” starring Dave Chappelle debuted on Comedy Central in 2003. Although it ran for only two seasons and would have lasted longer if not for Chappelle’s reported exile to Africa after the abandonment of his blockbuster deal with the network, the series continues to be a fan favorite and air in reruns on cable.

“Lady Soul”, the 14th studio album by Aretha Franklin was released in 1968, It was named the Billboard Album of the Year…John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded single “Power to the People” in 1971… Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart; “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder in 1977; “All For Love” (from the movie “The Three Musketeers“) by Rod StewartSting and Bryan Adams in 1994.
Excavation for the Empire State Building began in 1930. When completed only 410 days after the construction began, it stood as the world’s tallest building…The Boeing 747 made its first commercial passenger trip to London, England in 1970…Roe Vs. Wade: The legalization of abortion within the first three months of pregnancy was allowed effective in 1973. This decision was based on a ruling by the Supreme Court upon adjournment of the Roe Vs. Wade Case that women had a constitutional right to obtain an abortion…China locked down the city of Wuhan and its 11 million people, in an effort to control COVID-19 with a then official death toll of 17 and over 500 people ill in 2020.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Former Journey lead singer Steve Perry is 74; actor John Wesley Shipp (“The Flash”) is 68; “The Exorcist” star Linda Blair is 64; actress Diane Lane (“The Perfect Storm”); is 58; Chef Guy Fieri is 55; actress Olivia d’Abo (“The Wonder Years”) is 54; actress Gabriel Macht (“Suits”) is 51; “7th Heaven” star Beverley Mitchell is 42.

Did You Know?
During the September 16, 1968 episode of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”Richard Nixon, running for president, appeared for a few seconds with a disbelieving vocal inflection, asking “Sock it to me?” Nixon was not doused or assaulted. An invitation was extended to Nixon’s opponent, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, but he declined…“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” originally aired as a one-time special on September 9, 1967, and was such a success that it was brought back as a series, replacing spy drama “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”