103 years ago – In 1915, San Diego offered rainmaker Charles Hatfield $10,000 to bring rain to the city during a drought.
By the end of January, the streams were overwhelmed and caused major flooding. At least 20 people died when a local dam burst, and the city refused to pay him. The county coroner estimated 50 people died in Hatfield’s Flood.
43 years ago – In 1975, Foghat’s “Slow Ride”entered the Top 40. Millions of impressionable young rockers learned to jam to it courtesy of “Guitar Hero 3”.
40 years ago – In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony Dollar, the first coin to honor a woman. It was taken out of circulation quickly because it was too easy to mistake for a quarter.
39 years ago – In 1979, the “Jack Frost” holiday special aired for the first time.
39 years ago – In 1979, the National Christmas Tree went dark to honor the American hostages in Iran.
Only the star on the top of the tree was lit and President Carter said the rest of the tree wouldn’t be lit until the hostages returned home. It stayed dark until Reagan’s inauguration in January 1981, when the hostages were released.
33 years ago – In 1985, Phil Collins made his acting debut, playing a game show host on an episode of “Miami Vice”.
33 years ago – In 1985, the movie version of “Clue” was released. It had THREE different endings. On the DVD, you get them all . . . but at the theaters you’d only get one, so newspapers advertised which ending was playing where.
22 years ago – In 1996, “Jerry Maguire” was released. “You had me at ‘Hello’.”
20 years ago – In 1998, voters in Puerto Rico rejected U.S. Statehood. Again.
It was the third referendum on Puerto Rico’s status. The fifth was last year.
18 years ago – In 2000, Al Gore finally conceded the presidential election to George W. Bush.
The entire election was decided by 537 votes . . . and the U.S. Supreme Court.
15 years ago – In 2003, U.S. soldiers captured Saddam Hussein in the raid of a farm about 10 miles outside his hometown of Tikrit, where he was cowering IN A HOLE. Let’s relive the pictures, shall we?
15 years ago – In 2003, The White Stripes’ Jack White was involved in a brawl with Jason Stollsteimer of the Von Bondies at Detroit’s Magic Stick.
The brawl was pretty one-sided. Jack spat in Stollsteimer’s face, then repeatedly unleashed his fists of fury on Stollsteimer’s face until he was finally pulled off by bystanders . . . leaving Stollsteimer’s face bloodied and bruised.
Apparently Stollsteimer’s crime was “he purposely ignored” Jack White.
15 years ago – In 2003, during a Christmas benefit concert at the Vatican, Lauryn Hill made sure she would never be invited back . . . by reading a statement criticizing the Catholic Church for harboring pedophilic priests. She said there was, quote, “no acceptable explanation for defending the church.”
13 years ago – In 2005, Crips cofounder Stanley “Tookie” Williams was executed by lethal injection for killing four people in California. He was 51.
11 years ago – In 2007, the Mitchell Report was publicly released. It listed the names of 89 Major League Baseball players who presumably tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Eight years ago – In 2010, a 2,400-year-old pot of soup was unearthed in China.
Two years ago – In 2016, Alan Thicke died of a heart attack at age 69.
He’s best known for being the dad on “Growing Pains” and the dad of Robin Thicke.
One year ago – In 2017, Smithereens singer Pat DiNizio died at 62.
The band’s hits include “Blood and Roses”, “A Girl Like You”, and “Only a Memory”.