Jan. 17: Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016): heavyweight boxing champ, inventor of the Ali Shuffle, possessed the ability to float like a butterfly and sting like a B-52. Below is video of Muhammad Ali with Michael Jackson. (Click here to see him with the Beatles back when he was called Cassius Clay.) Other Jan. 17 birthdays: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790): inventor of the frankfurter; also started an exercise craze when he published “Poor Richard Simmons’ Almanack.” (Video from Old Farmers Almanac) Al Capone (1899-1947): infamous Chicago gangster known as “Cigarface.” Jim Carrey, 55: actor-comedian, starred in the Lewis Carroll classic “Tweedledum &...

Feb. 19: Copernicus

  Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543): Polish astronomer, theorized that the sun was at the center of the solar system, somewhere near Cleveland. Other Feb. 19 birthdays: Smokey Robinson, 75: singer, Motown hits include his horrifying saga of a murderous circus performer, “Fears of a Clown.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1878, Thomas Edison received a patent both for inventing the phonograph and for what he called that “cool, retro scratchy sound.” On this day in 1803, Congress voted to admit Ohio into the union, but insisted it stop calling itself The Bug-Eye...

Feb. 18: Yoko Ono

  Yoko Ono, 82: singer, best known for her songs “I Am the Banshee” and “Twist and Screech.” Other Feb. 18 birthdays: John Travolta, 61: actor, received Oscar nominations for his role as the charismatic Theodore Cleaver in “Saturday Night Beaver.” Matt Dillon, 51: actor, “There’s Something About Mary Magdalene.” Molly Ringwald, 47: actress, “Sixteen Cannibals.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1972, the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty. All those executed prior to 1972 were “de-electrocuted” and returned to death row. On this day in 1885, Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published and was immediately banned due to its shocking use of the grammatically incorrect term...

Feb. 17: Michael Jordan

  Michael Jordan, 52: basketball god, hairless leader of a generation of bald men. Among his millions of lights was this late-career defensive gem. Other Feb. 17 birthdays: Lou Diamond Phillips, 53: actor, starred in the timeless classic about a young Hispanic deer, “La Bambi.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1979, Garrison Keillor launched his radio show about Midwestern small-town hookers, “A Prairie Ho Companion.” On this day in 1817, Baltimore became the first city to be illuminated with gas streetlamps, and the first to be hit with gas streetlamp...

Feb. 16: Kim Jong-il

  Kim Jong-il (1941-2011): former “supreme leader” of North Korea, best known for his signature 18-inch platform shoes and pompadour hairdo; regarded as part immortal by his subjects, he claimed to have invented the hyperbaric chamber, Kentucky Fried Chicken and parts of the Internet. A seventh-degree black belt in golf, he reported hitting 11 holes-in-one the first time he played. This video shows a news report speculating that his funeral in 2011 was attended by a mysterious “giant.” Other Feb. 16 birthdays: Edgar Bergen (1903-1978): ventriloquist, played a key role in the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings investigating communism with his longtime dummy Charlie McCarthy. Sonny Bono (1935-1998): starred on “Sonny & Cher” TV show before becoming a U.S. congressman then dying at age 53 by slamming into a tree while skiing. LeVar Burton, 58: actor, played Lt. Kunta Kinte, a former slave who escaped onto a spaceship in “Star Trek: The Roots Generation.” Ice-T, 57: actor-rapper, found fame and controversy with his 1992 song “Cop Killer” before becoming a TV cop on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1959, Fidel Castro overthrew Cuban President Batista, who was found in a ditch outside Havana with first-degree cigar burns over 60 percent of his body. On this day in 1804, a U.S. fleet raided Tripoli Harbor in direct violation of the harbor’s strict “Make No Wake” policy. On this day in 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was founded by a guy who had been kicked out of a rival club called the Benevolent and Protective Order of Sea...

Feb. 15: Susan B. Anthony...

  Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906): feminist, began suffering at age 2 months and grew up to lead the women’s suffrage movement, first woman to be depicted on a dollar that nobody in the world ever uses. Other Feb. 15 birthdays: Galileo Galilei (1564-1642): Italian astronomer, used a telescope to prove his theory that the universe did not revolve around the church. Matt Groening, 61: creator of the legendary cartoon family “The Simpsons,” and its blood-spattered 1995 spinoff “The O.J. Simpsons.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 2000, Fox aired “Who Wants to Marry a Serial Killer?,” a reality-style TV special that drew huge ratings and left only seven dead. On this day in 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court, as long as they wore a short skirt and high heels. On this day in 1964, Cassius Clay became the heavyweight boxing champ with a brash, trash-talking victory over loud-mouth couch potato Howard...

Feb. 14: Jack Benny

  Jack Benny (1894-1974): comedian and violinist; just before his death hit No. 1 with Elton John, playing violin on “Benny and the Jets.” Other Feb. 14 birthdays Carl Bernstein, 71: journalist, exposed all of President Nixon’s lies as co-author of “All the President’s Mendacity.” Meg Tilly, 55: actress, played a young nun smitten with a movie monster in “Agnes of Godzilla.” This Day in Revisionist History On this day in 1849, James Polk became the first president to be photographed in office. Polk lost his re-election bid though, having frightened voters with his beaming red eyes. On this day in 1859, Oregon became the nation’s 33rd state, but was put on a six-month probation filled with merciless hazing from some of the older...

Feb. 13: Chuck Yeager

  Chuck Yeager, 92: aviation legend, first person to break the sound barrier (1947), also rumored to have been the first person to join the mile-high club while breaking the sound barrier. Other Feb. 13 birthdays: Grant Wood (1892-1942): artist, depicted a Brazilian rain forest couple gripping a bamboo pitchfork in his greatest work, “South American Gothic.” Jerry Springer, 71: host of the daytime cockfighting show “Lowest Common Denominator.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1542, King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was beheaded for adultery with the royal pool boy On this day in 1920, the League of Nations allowed Switzerland to claim its perpetual neutrality, but then passed a resolution to block the further spread of “this insidious neutrality...

Feb. 12: Abraham Lincoln...

  Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965): 16th president, freed all peoples to have drunken sex in his epic speeches the “Intoxication Proclamation” and the “Fornication Proclamation.” Other Feb. 12 birthdays: Charles Darwin (1809-1882): scientist, many skeptics pooh-poohed the theory of evolution he set forth in “On the Origin of Feces.” Maud Adams, 70: actress, starred in the Woody Allen/James Bond movie, “What’s New, Octopussy?” Christina Ricci, 35: actress, played Wednesday Addams in “Friday Night Lights,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Any Given Sunday.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1733, English settlers led by Captain Crunch founded the city of Battle Creek, Michigan. On this day in 1999, the Senate voted to acquit President Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice, but found him guilty of truth-fudging and intern-banging. Today’s Quote: “Why can’t you be more like that Lincoln boy.” – Bill Clinton’s mother...

Feb. 11: Thomas Edison

  Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931): some idiot who didn’t even know about the Internet; actually, an amazing genius who invented the lightbulb so he could stay up late and invent the phonograph so he could listen to music while he invented the motion picture camera. Other Feb. 11 birthdays: Burt Reynolds, 79: actor, starred in the 1977 fire safety comedy “Smokey the Bear and the Bandit.” Jennifer Aniston, 46: actress, starred in the sitcom “Friends” and a bunch of forgettable movies; died in 2024 in a Pay-Per-View steel-cage death match versus archnemesis Angelina Jolie. This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed after spending 27 years in a South African prison. Asked what he would do, Mandela responded, “I’m going to Disney World. On this day in 1993, President Bill Clinton named Miami prosecutor Janet Reno to be the first female attorney general, despite widespread concern that she might frighten the nation’s...

Feb. 10: Lon Chaney Jr.

  Lon Chaney Jr. (1906-1973): actor, starring role in “The Wolf Man” led to career playing horror-movie monsters that culminated with “The Ghost of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man’s Mummy at Dracula’s Zombie Castle.” (This 1945 “House of Dracula” trailer shows Chaney as the Wolf Man.) Today’s Birthdays: Boris Pasternak (1890-1960): Russian author, best known for his classic novel “Dr. Zhivago and Mr. Hyde.” Robert Wagner, 85: actor, played part of a TV husband-wife detective team in “Hart to Hart” and a handsome resuscitation survivor in “Mouth to Mouth.” Roberta Flack, 76: singer, hit No. 1 in 1973 with “Killing Me Softly With a Blunt Instrument.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1949, opening on Broadway was Arthur Miller’s new play “Death of a Used Car Salesman.” On this day in 1962, Russia traded Francis Gary Powers, a captured American U-2 pilot, for 12 cases of Smirnoff and a Soviet dissident to be named...

Feb. 9: William Henry Harrison...

  William Henry Harrison (1773-1841): ninth president, died just 32 days into his term when he was bitten by a rabid Kentucky congressman and had to be put down. Other Feb. 9 birthdays: Joe Pesci, 72: actor, won Oscar as Best Supporting Gangster in “Goodfellas.” Mia Farrow, 70: actress, starred opposite Marcel Marceau in “Mimes and Misdemeanors” and Jimi Hendrix in “The Purple Haze of Cairo.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1964, The Beatles made their first visit to “The Ed Sullivan Show,” where Sullivan ordered the moptopped lads not to sing the song “I Wanna Hold Your Breasts.” On this day in 1950, Sen. Joseph McCarthy warned that the State Department was infested with Communists and presented a photo-copy from Kinkos naming names of prominent...

Feb. 8: James Dean

  James Dean (1931-1955): actor, starred in “Rebel Without a Positive Role Model.” Other Feb. 8 birthdays: Jules Verne (1828-1905): author of the SciFi self-help classics “Astound the World in 80 Days” and “Journey to the Center of Your Inner Child.” Gary Coleman (1968-2010): actor, played young Malcolm X in the sitcom “Militant Strokes.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated with the motto: “We don’t need no stinking merit badges.” On this day in 1969, the final issue of the “Saturday Evening Post” prompted a new magazine devoted to analyzing its demise, the “Sunday Evening...

Feb. 7: Charles Dickens

  Charles Dickens (1812-1870): author, best known for his novel about boozing in London and Paris, “Cocktail of Two Cities.” Other Feb. 7 birthdays: Eubie Blake (1883-1983): piano wizard whose popular songs included “I’m Just Wild About Harry Potter.” Chris Rock, 50: stand-up comedy superstar whose greatest movie success is playing a zebra in animated “Madagascar” movies. Ashton Kutcher, 37: actor, played a dim-witted young John Quincy Adams in “That 1770s Show.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1839, Sen. Henry Clay of Kentucky declared “I had rather be right than president,” thus insuring his defeat in the race for the White House in...

Feb. 6: Babe Ruth

  Babe Ruth (1895-1948): baseball legend, first man to slug 60 home runs and chug 60 kegs of beer in a single season. Other Feb. 6 birthdays: Aaron Burr (1756-1836): former vice president best known for busting a fatal cap in Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s ass. Ronald Reagan (1911-2004): first U.S. president to make a movie with a chimpanzee, an animal with no evolutionary connection to humans whatsoever. This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1788, Massachusetts ratified the U.S. Constitution after first confirming that it was not crafted by witches. On this day in 1971, astronaut Alan Shepard temporarily disabled his lunar module by shanking a golf ball into its control...

Feb. 5: Hank Aaron

  Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, 81: first baseball Hall of Famer to be named after a carpenter’s tool; finished his career with a record 755 home runs instead of 900-something because he forgot to take steroids Other Feb. 5 birthdays: Jennifer Jason Leigh, 53: actress, starred as an anemic psycho in “Single White Blood Cell.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1631, Rhode Island founder Roger Williams landed in Boston where he was met by a gold-blazered real estate agent from Century 17. On this day in 1983, former Nazi Getapo official Klaus Barbie was brought to France to stand trial for suspected war crimes at Barbie’s Malibu Dream House. On this day in 1988, wrestler Andre the Giant beat Hulk Hogan after lifting him up by the nostrils, ripping off his face and punching his...

Feb. 4: Charles Lindbergh...

  Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974): legendary aviator, in 1927 became first pilot to fly solo over the Atlantic and boy were his arms tired. Other Feb. 4 birthdays: Betty Friedan (1921-2006): author and founder of NOW (National Orgasm for Women). Dan Quayle, 68: former dunce vice president, finished 12th in the Western Indiana Class 4 debating championship (Lightweight Division) in 1968. Alice Cooper, 67: rock star, hit the charts in 1971 with “I’m Eighteen,” did not hit the charts in 201 with “I’m 67.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1789, George Washington became the nation’s first president after earning four A’s and one B from the electoral college. On this day in 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst and several rare felines were kidnapped by the Siamese Cat Liberation...

Feb. 3: Norman Rockwell

  Norman Rockwell (1894-1978): famed “Saturday Evening Post” artist, beat out Monet and Michelangelo for best painting ever of a boy getting a haircut while being licked by puppies. Other Feb. 3 birthdays: Dave Davies, 68: musician with The Kinks, hits include “Catch Me Now I’m Falling and I Can’t Get Up.” Morgan Fairchild, 65: actress, starred in the night-time soap opera “Dallas” and its X-rated spinoff “Phallus.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1913, federal income tax was authorized with the passage of constitutional Amendment 1040-EZ. On this day in 1930, extra-large ex-president William Howard Taft resigned as chief justice of the Supreme Court, saying he wanted to “spend more time with my George Foreman grill.”...

Feb. 2: George Halas

  George Halas (1895-1983): football pioneer, played the White Bear in the Lewis Carroll football classic “Halas in Wonderland,” only Bear ever to be named the MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl and play for the New York Yankees (see video). Other Feb. 2 birthdays: Ayn Rand (1905-1982): writer, author of the dystopian, beer-drinking novel “Atlas Chugged.” James Joyce (1882-1941): Irish poet and novelist, author of “Finnegan’s Wake and Bake” and “Portrait of the Artist Formerly Known as Prince as a Young Man.” Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009): actress, starred as a fluffy-haired geometry enthusiast in the popular 1970s show “Charlie’s Angles. This Day in History: On this day in 1832, Congress officially created Groundhog Day after thousands of the nation’s woodchucks converged on Washington in the “Million Rodent March.” On this day in 1848, the war between America and Mexico ended with a treaty that ceded all existing Taco Bell franchises to the U.S....

Feb. 1: Clark Gable

  Clark Gable (1901-1960): actor, best known for his role as a dashing tracheotomy survivor in “Gone With the Windpipe.” Other Feb. 1 birthdays: Sherman Hemsley, 77: actor, starred as the wise-cracking illegitimate great, great grandson of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings in “The Jeffersons.” Lisa Marie Presley, 47: divorced Michael Jackson because he wanted her to father a set of androgynous albino quintuplets. This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union after them damn Yankees suggested there might be something wrong with owning human beings. On this day in 1960, four black college students staged a “sit-in” at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in North Carolina, where they’d been denied the right to consume rancid egg salad on rye....

Jan. 31: Jackie Robinson...

  Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947; also broke lots of tackles as seen in this footage from his college football-playing days at UCLA. Other Jan. 31 birthdays: Carol Channing, 94: underwent multiple breast jobs to prepare for her role in “Hello, Dolly Parton!” Johnny Rotten, 59: played tenor saxophone for the legendary punk band the Sax Pistols. Justin Timberlake, 34: singer and former Mickey Mouse Club star, plans to wow fans with new single, “I’m Bringing Mousy Back This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1990, McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Moscow, serving Caviar McNuggets and vodka-flavored milkshakes. On this day in 1928, inventor Richard Drew created Scotch tape during a weeklong scotch-drinking bender....

Jan. 30: Franklin D. Roosevelt...

  Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945): 32nd president, three-time White House wheelchair basketball champion. Other Jan. 30 birthdays: Gene Hackman, 85: actor, won Oscar playing a guy who got syphilis from a Parisian hooker in “The French Infection.” Vanessa Redgrave, 78: actress, earned Oscar nomination as a whiskey-swilling monarch in “Mary, Queen of Scotch.” Dick Cheney, 74: vice president, hobbies include running the world from an “undisclosed location.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist who believed grown men should not wear diapers in public. On this day in 1964, the U.S. launched Ranger 6, a rocket whose mission was to crash land on the moon, manned only by three of NASA’s top crash-test dummies. On this day in 1969, the Beatles performed on their studio rooftop; when police told them to stop and they refused, they were roughed up by Sgt....

Jan. 29: William McKinley...

William McKinley (1843-1901), only U.S. president to die of gangrene, approximately eight days after being shot by alleged anarchist Leon Czolgosz. In a historic case of swift justice, his assassin was electrocuted just six weeks after McKinley fell dead. Other Jan. 29 birthdays: Thomas Paine (1737-1809) political activist and writer known for his influential pamphlet on indigenous North American plant life, “Common Scents.” Anton Chekhov (1860-1904): Russian author, best known for his risqué novel about the loss of innocence, “The Cherry Popping Orchard.” Tom Selleck, 70: actor, played a fun-loving caveman in the 1980s detective show “Cro-Magnon, P.I.” Oprah Winfrey, 61: talk show host and actress, starred with the Marx Brothers in “A Night at the Oprah.” Heather Graham, 45: actress, starred in the porn-horror films “Boogie Night of the Living Dead” and “Boogie Nightmare on Elm Street.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe first published “The Raven,” in which he eerily predicted that the Baltimore Ravens would win the Super Bowl 156 years later. On this day in 1861, Kansas became the 34th state; today its major tourist attractions include the Soybean Museum and the Farm Accident Hall of...

Jan. 28: Jackson Pollock...

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), legendary American artist known for his motto: “Paint fast, die young and leave some good-looking canvases.” A leader of the abstract expressionist movement known for his unique style, some paint he dripped and slapped onto a canvas in 1948 (“Number 19”) auctioned in 2013 for a reported $58 million. Other Jan. 28 birthdays: Alan Alda, 79: (aka Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo) actor, best known for playing a brash, dashing doctor on the 1970s smash “M*A*S*H.” Jeanne Shaheen, 68: U.S. senator and former governor from New Hampshire. Known as the “Lean, Mean Legislating Machine,” Shaheen is fond of fighting red tape with blue-ribbon panels. Elijah Wood, 34: noted Hollywood hobbit, best known for playing a New Zealand chicken chef on a mission in “The Lord of the Wings.” This Day in Revisionist History: On this day in 1909, the U.S. lost its jurisdiction over Cuba in a high-stakes game of “rock, paper, scissors” with the Russians and the...