This Day in Pop Culture for January 9

1976: ‘Rocky’ Comes to Theaters

Before this day in 1976, Sylvester Stallone’s only leading role was in the movie, The Lords of Flatbush (1974) which was a flop. He turned to writing in an effort to provide better roles for him to play. It is said that he wrote the script for Rocky in only three and a half days. He sold the script to producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff on the condition that he would be able to play the now-famous boxer. However, the producers wanted someone with a higher profile like James Caan, Burt Reynolds or Ryan O’Neal. Surprisingly, a deal was made and Stallone began training for six hours a day for five months before filming. Rocky was shot just under a month on a $1 million budget and directed by John Avildsen. Movie critics either loved it or hated it but the film ended up making Stallone a rich and valuable star. At the 1977 Academy Awards, Rocky was nominated for 10 awards and won for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Film Editing.

2007: The First iPhone is Unveiled

Steve Jobs revealed the very first iPhone to the public on this day in 2007 at the Macworld convention which was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. At the time, the first two models, a 4 GB and 8 GB were priced at $499 and $599. The two became available that following June 29 at 6:00 p.m. to the delight of hundreds of fans who stood outside stores across the nation waiting to get their hands on the “Jesus Phone.”

Birthdays

1935: Bob “Gilligan” Denver (actor)
1935: Dick Enberg (sportscaster)
1951: Crystal Gayle (country singer)
1955: H.K. Simmons (actor)
1956: Imedla Staunton (actress)
1967: Dave Matthews (singer)
1973: Sean Paul (rapper)

Other Events

  • 1793: Jean-Pierre Blanchard became the first person to fly in a balloon in the U.S.

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