This Day in Pop Culture for January 26
1998: President Clinton Gives the “I Did Not” Speech
While the scandal first came out on January 17, 1998 of an affair between President Bill Clinton and an intern named Monica Lewinsky, it was on this day in 1998 during a press conference that Clinton gave this following statement with his wife Hilary standing by his side: “Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.” On August 17, 1998, Clinton then admitted that he had engaged in an “Improper physical relationship” with Lewinsky and that it indeed was “not appropriate.”
1934: ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ Film Rights are Sold
Published in 1900, it wasn’t until this day in 1934 that producer Samuel Goldwyn bought the film rights to L. Frank Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Shirley Temple was the original choice for Dorothy, but in the end, the role went to Judy Garland who won a special “Best Juvenile Performer” award and made the award-winning song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” a huge hit. Buddy Ebsen was cast as the tin man, but had to be replaced with Jack Haley as Ebsen was deadly allergic to the aluminum makeup. Though the film was only a modest success at the box office, 45 million people tuned in to watch the film air for the first time on TV in 1956. (By the way, the slippers were silver in the book!)
- 1926: Paul Newman (actor)
- 1934: Bob Uecker (sportscaster)
- 1946: Gene Siskel (film critic)
- 1955: Eddie Van Halen (muscian)
- 1958: Anita Baker (singer)
- 1958: Ellen DeGeneres (comedian)
- 1961: Wayne Gretzky (hockey player)
- 1837: Michigan wad admitted as the 26th U.S. state.
- 1838: Tennessee enacted the first prohibition law in the U.S.
- 1915: The Rocky Mountain National Park was established.
- 1926: John Logie Baird presented the first demonstration of the TV.
- 2020: NBA champion Kobe Bryant die in a helecopter crash.