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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Today in history—January 11

Macdonald_dollar1815: John Alexander Macdonald (left, on the $10 bill)  is born at Glasgow, Scotland. He will become a successful trial lawyer and first prime minister of the new Dominion of Canada (1867-73, 1878-93).  His anti-American "National Policy," which rejects free trade with the U.S. and imposes high tariffs, is highly popular.

1878: Alexander Campbell becomes the first dairyman to put milk in glass bottles. Previously, milk had been sold in bulk and ladled into customer’s buckets.

1911: One of the world’s great research societies, the Max Planck Society, is founded.  For some reason the original name, "Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science" will eventually get dropped.

1925: Grant Tinker, the man who will turn wife Mary Tyler Moore’s 13-week contract for a TV series into the MTM entertainment empire (Mary Tyler Moore Show, Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Remington Steele, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere) is born in Stamford, Connecticut.

1936: Another Canadian lawyer and prime minister, Jean Chrétien, is born at Shawinigan, Quebec.

1939: Richard Allen Posner, the law and economics scholar and future judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, is born at New York City.

Whiskeyagogo 1963: The original American discothèque, the Whiskey-a-Go-Go (left), opens at Sunset Boulevard and Clark in Los Angeles.

1964: U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry calls a press conference to announce that smoking is hazardous to your health.  Congress requires package warnings a year later.

1973: Civilization shudders as major league baseball votes to permit the use of the designated hitter in the American League.

1984: Michael Jackson’s Thriller becomes the biggest-selling album of all time, passing the 10 million mark. The previous record-holder? The cast recording of West Side Story.

1986: Author James (Shogun) Clavell signs a contract with Morrow/Avon Publishing, giving him a $5 million advance for his book, Whirlwind.

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