Maine Fast Fact: Mainers that supplied lobsters to New York and Boston markets in the 1820’s were known as smackmen, named after their small sailing boats called smacks that featured tanks that allowed seawater to circulate around their catch.
- 1862: Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher, founder of the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897, now known as the Doubleday Publishing Group
- 1935: Elvis Presley, American singer
- 1938: Bob Eubanks, American television and radio personality, best known for hosting The Newlywed Game
- 1942: Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and author
- 1946: Robby Krieger, American musician, songwriter and guitarist for the rock and roll band The Doors
- 1947: David Bowie, English musician
- 1967: R. Kelly, American singer
- 1969: Jeff Abercrombie, American musician, bass guitarist and founder of the hard-rock band Fuel
- 1971: Jason Giambi, American baseball player
- 1973: Sean Paul, Jamaican singer
- 1979: Torry Castellano, American musician, drummer for the band The Donnas
- 1982: Gaby Hoffman, American actress
- 1324: Marco Polo, Italian explorer
- 1642: Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and scientist
- 1825: Eli Whitney, American inventor of the cotton gin
- 1938: Johnny Gruelle, American artist, cartoonist, writer of children’s books and creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy
- 1991: Steve Clark, English musician, guitarist for the rock band Def Leppard
- 2002: Dave Thomas, American restaurant owner, philanthropist, founder and CEO of Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers fast-food chain
- 2007: Jane Bolin, American judge, first African-American woman to graduate from Yale Law School, join the New York City Bar Association, join the city’s law department and the first to serve as a judge in the United States
- 1790: President George Washington gives the first State of the Union Address in New York City.
- 1811: A slave revolt is led by Charles Deslandes in St. Charles and St. James, Louisiana but is unsuccessful.
- 1815: Andrew Jackson and the American forces defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.
- 1835: The United States national debt is 0 for the first and only time.
- 1867: African-American men are granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
- 1877: War leader of the Oglala Lakota, Crazy Horse, and his warriors fight their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain in Montana.
- 1912: The African National Congress is founded.
- 1918: President Woodrow Wilson announces his “Fourteen Points” for peace in the aftermath of World War I.
- 1940: Britain introduces food rationing during World War II.
- 1959: Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution is completed with the takeover of the capital city Santiago de Cuba of the Santiago de Cuba province.
- 1963: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is exhibited for the first time in the United States at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
- 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a war on poverty.
- 1973: The Watergate trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate hotel begins.
- 1994: Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov leaves for the space station Mir and would stay in space until March 22, 1995, spending a record 437 days in space.
- 1996: A cargo turboprop plane crashes into the central market in Kinshasa, Zaire, killing more than 350 people.
- 2002: President George W. Bush signs the No Child Left Behind Act into law.
For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_8 , http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/20090108.html