This Day in Pop Culture for August 9

Shark Tank sharks

2009: ‘Shark Tank’ Debuts on ABC

Based on the similar Canadian show, Dragon’s Den which is based on the similar Japanese show, Tigers of Money, Mark Burnett (of Survivor and The Apprentice fame) created the American version, Shark Tank, which premiered on this day in 2009. The concept of the show features four “sharks” who are investors looking for the next big thing that they can sink their teeth into and make a hefty profit at the same time. Numerous entrepreneur contestants make a presentation to the sharks in hopes that one of them will bite. Both Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary came from the Canadian show. Shark Tank has won numerous awards including four Emmys for Outstanding Structured Reality Program. It is said that many of the deals made on the show are never enacted due to all of the red tape that must be done including product testing, examination of the entrepreneur’s finances, etc. (Image: Wikimedia)


1936: Jesse Owens Wins Fourth Medal

When James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens arrived in Berlin, Germany for the Summer Olympic Games, he was welcomed by a huge group of fans. Many of the women came prepared with scissors in hopes of snipping off a chunk of his clothing which forced him back on the train. It was on this day in 1936 that Owens won his fourth gold medal. Owen’s won medals for 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and 4 x 100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the games and the African American proved Adolf Hitler wrong who not only had hopes that his German athletes would dominate the Games, but also “prove” that those of African descent were inferior to whites.

1930: Betty Boop is Born

Create and animated by Max Fleischer, Betty Boop arrived on the animated scene on this day in 1930. Originally designed as a humanized French poodle, Boop was quickly changed into a jazz-age flapper girl whose heart was bigger than her brains. At first she was voiced by a number of different actresses, but Mae Questel began voicing Boop in 1931 and continued doing so until 1998, including her 1988 cameo role for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (Most people know Questel from her role as Aunt Bethany in 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.) Although Boop’s character was kept pure, she was definitely used as a sex symbol until the Hayes code of 1935, which required her to wear a few more clothes and to lose some of the “oop” in her “doop.”



  • 1899: P.L. Travers (author)
  • 1944: Sam Elliott (actor)
  • 1957: Melanie Griffith (actress)
  • 1959: Michael Kors (fashion designer)
  • 1963: Whitney Houston (singer)
  • 1968: Gillian Anderson (actress)
  • 1970: Chris Cuomo (journalist)
  • 1976: Jessica Capshaw (actress)
  • 1985: Anna Kendrick (actress)

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