Jan 22 2011

On This Day in History January 22

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 22 is the 22nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 343 days remaining until the end of the year (344 in leap years).

On this day in 1968, the NBC-TV show, “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”, debuted “from beautiful downtown Burbank” on this night. The weekly show, produced by George Schlatter and Ed Friendly, then Paul Keyes, used 260 pages of jokes in each hour-long episode. The first 14 shows earned “Laugh-In” (as it was commonly called) 4 Emmys. And “you bet your bippy”, Nielsen rated it #1 for two seasons. Thanks to an ever-changing cast of regulars including the likes of Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Arte Johnson, Goldie Hawn, Ruth Buzzi, JoAnne Worley, Gary Owens, Alan Sues, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin, Richard Dawson, Judy Carne, President Richard Nixon (“Go ahead, sock it to me!”), the show became the highest-rated comedy series in TV history.

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968, to May 14, 1973. It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin and was broadcast over NBC. It 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 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Mondays at 8 pm (EST).

The title, Laugh-In, came out of events of the 1960s hippie culture, such as “love-ins” or “be-ins.” These were terms that were, in turn, derived from “sit-ins”, common in protests associated with civil rights and anti-war demonstrations of the time.

The show was characterized by a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches, many of which conveyed sexual innuendo or were politically charged. The co-hosts continued the exasperated straight man (Rowan) and “dumb” guy (Martin) act which they had established as nightclub comics. This was a continuation of the “dumb Dora” acts of vaudeville, best popularized by Burns and Allen. Rowan and Martin had a similar tag line, “Say goodnight, Dick”.

Laugh-In had its roots in the humor of vaudeville and burlesque, but its most direct influences were from the comedy of Olsen and Johnson (specifically, their free-form Broadway revue Hellzapoppin’), the innovative television works of Ernie Kovacs, and the topical satire of That Was The Week That Was.

 565 – Eutychius is deposed as Patriarch of Constantinople by John Scholasticus.

1506 – The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrives at the Vatican.

1521 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, opens the Diet of Worms.

1771 – Spain cedes Port Egmont in the Falkland Islands to the United Kingdom.

1824 – Ashantis defeat British forces in the Gold Coast.

1849 – Second Anglo-Sikh War: The Siege of Multan ends after nine months when the last Sikh defenders of Multan, Punjab, surrender.

1863 – The January Uprising breaks out in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. The aim of the national movement is to regain Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth from occupation by Russia.

1877 – Arthur Tooth, an Anglican clergyman is taken into custody after being prosecuted for using ritualist practices.

1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Isandlwana – Zulu troops defeat British troops.

1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Rorke’s Drift – 139 British soldiers successfully defend their garrison against an intense assault by four to five thousand Zulu warriors.

1889 – Columbia Phonograph is formed in Washington, D.C.

1890 – The United Mine Workers of America is founded in Columbus, Ohio.

1899 – Leaders of six Australian colonies meet in Melbourne to discuss confederation.

1901 – Edward VII is proclaimed King after the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

1905 – Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg, beginning of the 1905 revolution.

1917 – World War I: President Woodrow Wilson of the still-neutral United States calls for “peace without victory” in Europe.

1924 – Ramsay MacDonald becomes the first Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1941 – World War II: British and Commonwealth troops capture Tobruk from Italian forces during Operation Compass.

1944 – World War II: The Allies commence Operation Shingle, an assault on Anzio, Italy.

1946 – Iran: Qazi Muhammad declares the independent people’s Republic of Mahabad at Chuwarchira Square in the Kurdish city of Mahabad. He is the new president; Hadschi Baba Scheich is the prime minister.

1946 – Creation of the Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

1947 – KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood, California.

1957 – Israel withdraws from the Sinai Peninsula.

1957 – The New York City “Mad Bomber”, George P. Metesky, is arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut and is charged with planting more than 30 bombs.

1959 – Knox Mine Disaster: Water breaches the River Slope Mine near Pittston City, Pennsylvania in Port Griffith; 12 miners are killed.

1962 – The Organization of American States suspends Cuba’s membership.

1963 – The Elysee treaty of cooperation between France and Germany is signed by Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer.

1968 – Apollo 5 lifts off carrying the first Lunar module into space.

1968 – Operation Igloo White, a US electronic surveillance system to stop communist infiltration into South Vietnam begins installation.

1969 – A gunman attempts to assassinate Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

1970 – The Boeing 747, the world’s first “jumbo jet”, enters commercial service for launch customer Pan American Airways with its maiden voyage from John F Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.

1971 – The Singapore Declaration, one of the two most important documents to the uncodified constitution of the Commonwealth of Nations, is issued.

1973 – The Supreme Court of the United States delivers its decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states.

1973 – A chartered Boeing 707 explodes in flames upon landing at Kano Airport, Nigeria, killing 176.

1984 – The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, is introduced during Super Bowl XVIII with its famous “1984” television commercial.

1987 – Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself during a televised press conference, leading to debates on boundaries in journalism.

1987 – Philippine security forces open fire on a crowd of 10,000-15,000 demonstrators at Malacanang Palace, Manila, killing 13.

1990 – Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. is convicted of releasing the 1988 Internet Computer worm.

1991 – Gulf War: Three SCUDs and one Patriot missile hit Ramat Gan in Israel, injuring 96 people. Three elderly people die of heart attacks.

1992 – Rebel forces occupy Zaire’s national radio station in Kinshasa and broadcast a demand for the government’s resignation.

1999 – Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons are burned alive by radical Hindus while sleeping in their car in Eastern India.

2002 – Kmart becomes the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

2006 – Evo Morales is inaugurated as President of Bolivia, becoming the country’s first indigenous president.

2007 – At least 88 people are killed when two car bombs explode in the Bab Al-Sharqi market in central Baghdad, Iraq.

Holidays and observances

   * Christian Feast Day:

         o Anastasius of Persia

         o Vincent of Saragossa

         o Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

         o January 22 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Reunion Day (Ukraine)


  1. RiaD

    10 yrs old when Laugh-In came out. A lot of the jokes went over my head but I still watched every week. My brother, 8 yrs older than I, was in love with Goldie Hawn; his wife greatly resembles her in fact.

    thanks MomCat

  2. TMC

    The military run TV station AFN-TV, started carrying  it but censored the references to Nazis and Germans. I didn’t see those until i was passing through the US on my way to Southeast Asia in 1969

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