January 18 in History

January 18 in Pop Culture History

January 18th is…
Gourmet Coffee Day
Maintenance Day
Michigan Day
Peking Duck Day
Thesaurus Day
Winnie the Pooh Day

On this day in 1779, Peter Mark Roget, the father of the modern thesaurus, was delivered, produced, came into being, born. After a long career as a physician, scientist, and tinkerer (he also invented a slide rule), Roget retired from medicine. They dedicated his time to cataloging, assembling, gathering, composing, and compiling a dictionary of synonyms.

First published in 1852, Roget’s Thesaurus (from the Greek thēsauros, meaning storehouse, treasury, or treasure) is still the go-to source for word alternates, substitutes, equivalents, euphemisms, and synonyms by poets, academics, and crossword lovers everywhere. That’s quite the legacy. What’s on your retirement/ bucket list?

While you contemplate, ponder, and puzzle over that one, take a moment to thank Peter Roget. Happy Thesaurus Day!

1644 – “In this year, one James Everell, a sober, discreet man, and two others, saw a great light in the night at Muddy River. When it stood still, it flamed up and was about three yards square; when it ran, it was contracted into the figure of a swine: it ran as swift as an arrow towards Charlton and so up and down about two or three hours. They were come down in their lighter about a mile, and, when it was over, they found themselves carried quite back against the tide to the place they came from. Divers[e] other credible persons saw the same light, after, about the same place.
– John Winthrop (1588-1649) John was the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. *some reports say it was 1638

1778 – James Cook ‘discovered’ Hawaii, naming it ‘The Sandwich Islands.’

1896 – The X-Ray Machine was shown to the public. Not really. The Cabaret du Neant charged people to see an ‘illusion’ of the effect.

1911 – The first landing of an aircraft on a ship occurred as pilot Lt. Eugene B. Ely landed on the USS Pennsylvania.

1944 – Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, and Jack Teagarden performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC.

1960 – #1 Hit January 18, 1960 – February 7, 1960: Johnny Preston – Running Bear

1971 – Ivan Koloff beat Bruno Sammartino in New York to become the WWWF champion.

1975 – #1 Hit January 18, 1975 – January 24, 1975: Barry Manilow – Mandy

1975 – (fictional) Leslie Knope’s Birthday

1980 – Gold reached $1,000 an ounce for the first time.

1985 – Blood Simple was released in theaters.

1986 – #1 Hit January 18, 1986 – February 14, 1986: Dionne Warwick – That’s What Friends Are For

1990 – Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested in a drug enforcement sting. He claimed that the “bitch set me up” when he was caught with crack cocaine.

1991 – White Fang & Flight of the Intruder were released in theaters.

1993 – Martin Luther King Day became official in all 50 United States.

2002 – Snow Dogs debuted in theaters.

2004 – The L Word premiered on Showtime.

2008 – Cloverfield, 27 Dresses, Blonde and Blonder and Teeth debuted in theaters.

2014 – #1 Hit January 18, 2014 – February 7, 2014: Pitbull featuring Kesha – Timber

#1 Hit –  January 18, 2020 – April 3, 2020: The BoxRoddy Ricch


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