This Day in Pop Culture for January 8
2011: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is injured in Shooting
Regardless of party line, most people agree that one of America’s saddest days happened on this day in 2011 as U.S. congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot and critically injured during a shooting spree outside of a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona where she had been speaking. Six people died in the attack and another 13, including Giffords, were critically wounded. Jared Lee Loughner, the gunman, shot Giffords at point-blank range with a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol. He was attacked by a bystander and taken into custody. Gifford’s skull was fractured and had a very long road ahead of her at a rehabilitation hospital in Texas. In November of that same year, Giffords and her husband released a memoir, “Gabby: A Story of Hope and Courage.” On January 25, 2012, Giffords resigned from Congress.
2004: The Series Debut of ‘The Apprentice’ Airs
The very first version of NBC’s The Apprentice aired for the first time on this day in 2004. Hosted by Donald Trump, the business skills reality show pitted a group of career-seeking hopefuls in battling to become Trump’s new apprentice. Show creator Mark Burnett billed the show as “the ultimate job interview.” Each week, two teams worked on select tasks where the losing team would be sent to the boardroom and one player would be told, “You’re Fired.” In 2005 The Apprentice: Martha Stewart aired with Stewart in the Trump role who uttered the catch phrase, “You Just Don’t Fit In.” This version was less successful and only lasted one season. In 2008, NBC aired the first celebrity version of the show and Trump hosted his last show in 2015 just before he announced that he was running for president. In 2017, Arnold Schwarzenegger began hosting the latest version of The Celebrity Apprentice where his tagline was, “You’re Terminated.” With ratings less than impressive, it is unclear if the series will ever be revived. Maybe when Trump is done serving in the White House.
- 1933: Charles Osgood (journalist)
- 1935: Elvis Presley (singer)
- 1937: Shirley Bassey (singer)
- 1938: Bob Eubanks (game show host)
- 1942: Stephen Hawking (physicist)
- 1942: Yvette Mimieux (actress)
- 1947: David Bowie (singer)
- 1982: Gabby Hoffman (actress)
- 1987: Cynthia Erivo (actress)
- 1790: George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address in New York City.
- 1828: The Democratic Party of the United States was organized.
- 1835: The U.S. Nation Debt was zero for the first and last time.
- 1867: African American Men were granted the right to vote in Washington D.C.