Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton. She was born on this day in 1946. She was born a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Pittman Center, Tennessee. She was the fourth of twelve children.
On this day in 1990 (January 19, 1990), retired Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg died. He served on the Supreme Court for only a few years (1962-65), before he resigned to become UN ambassador, a relatively insignificant role that President Johnson falsely claimed to him was really important. The gullible Goldberg believed it and resigned from the powerful Supreme Court to become a powerless UN ambassador. He later privately realized he had been conned, to open up a seat on the Supreme Court for Johnson’s crony Abe Fortas, who later resigned from the Supreme Court in disgrace. In 1970, he ran unsuccessfully for governor of New York, and was defeated by liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller.
Dolly Parton is far more famous than Arthur Goldberg was. She has had 25 songs reach no. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 44 career Top 10 country albums, a record for any artist. She has garnered 11 Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award; ten Country Music Association Awards; five Academy of Country Music Awards, four People’s Choice Awards; and three American Music Awards. As an actress, she has starred in films such as 9 to 5 (1980), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), and Steel Magnolias (1989).
Today is also National Popcorn Day. In pre-Columbian times, Aztecs used popcorn in headdresses worn during ceremonies honoring Tlaloc, their god of maize and fertility. Early Spanish explorers were intrigued by the corn that burst into what looked like a white flower.
Popcorn started becoming popular in the United States in the mid-1800s. In the late 1800’s, Charles Cretors, a candy-store owner, developed a machine for popping corn with steam that made popcorn more abundant. By 1900 he had horse-drawn popcorn wagons going through the streets of Chicago.
Around 1900, Louise Ruckheim added peanuts and molasses to popcorn to come up with “Cracker Jack.” It soon became a staple at baseball games.