January Trivia

People
on January 13, 2011

After all the excitement and festivity of November and December, the first cold weeks of the new year can seem dull by comparison. But look closer at January and you’ll find plenty to celebrate—and a lot to ponder!

  • Historical figures Betsy Ross, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Franklin D. Roosevelt were born in January. So were movie stars Mel Gibson, Robert Duvall, Nicolas Cage, Orlando Bloom, Kevin Costner, Paul Newman, Gene Hackman and Tom Selleck, and singers Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, Dolly Parton and Neil Diamond.
  • January got its name from Janus, the Roman god —of the doorway,— many times represented as a two-faced mask signifying both beginnings and endings.
  • Remember this the next time you sip a milk shake: Paraffin-coated drinking straws were patented in January 1888.
  • Would you like fries with that, comrade? McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in the Soviet Union in January 1990.
  • Fore! In January 1916, probably because it was too chilly to go outside and play, golfers in New York established the Professional Golfers Association.
  • Wedding bells: Billionaire Bill Gates tied the knot in Hawaii in January 1994, reserving every room in his hotel to ensure privacy.
  • Wheel of Fortune began its long-running spin on TV, with host Chuck Woolery at the helm, in January 1975.
Found in: People