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August 1st Today in History

Famous People & Celebrities Born on August 1st:

  • Francis Scott Key
    (1779) - He's the author of the lyrics to the United States national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner." Key's inspiration for the lyrics came about while he watched British troops bombard Baltimore's Fort McHenry. The melody was taken from an 18th century drinking song. The U.S. Congress adopted the four-stanza song as the official national anthem in 1931. The flag that inspired Key is now part of a Smithsonian Museum collection that also features the very first Dustbuster vacuum cleaner. The Francis Scott Key memorial was dedicated in 1922 by president Warren G. Harding in Baltimore. It was the first time a president spoke over radio.
  • Herman Melville
    (1819) - Author of Moby Dick. Techno-pop artist Moby is related to Melville, who died in 1891. Every year on the anniversary of his birth, a group of residents in Mystic, Connecticut, reads all 135 chapters of Moby Dick in a public recital that takes 24 hours.
  • Chuck D
    (1960) - Rapper with Public Enemy. His real name is Carlton Ridenhour.
  • Dom Deluise
    (1933) - Comedian. Cannonball Run (1980), Fatso (1980), Voice of the troll in 1994's cartoon film A Troll In Central Park.
  • Yves Saint Laurent
    (1936) - Fashion designer. His real name is Henri Donat Mathieu.
  • Alfonse D'amato
    (1937) - Former New York senator.
  • Jerry Garcia
    (1942) - The sister of Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir claims she's been telepathically communicating with Garcia ever since his death and reports that Garcia is sober, clear-headed and definitely enjoying his life in the "astral plane." Garcia's very first instrument was an accordion which he traded in at a pawn shop soon after he started playing. The band considered several names before settling on "Grateful Dead" -- among them "The Warlocks," "The Mythical Ethical" and "Icicle Tricycle." The Dead had only one Top 10 hit: 1987's "Touch of Grey." In 1987 Ben and Jerry's ice cream created a new flavor: "Cherry Garcia." Jerry helped promote the stuff on the first day of its release. Ben, of Ben and Jerry, says Garcia never asked to have the Cherry Garcia ice cream named after him -- but he did comment about the flavor saying "at least they didn't name a motor oil after me." Garcia once claimed the film Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein had a profound influence on his interest in life-after-death after his father passed away. Garcia himself died from a heart attack on August 9, 1995, at the age of 53. Two drug dealers claim they sold a deadly mixture of heroin and cocaine to Garcia just two days before his death in a California drug rehab center. Domino's Pizza claims orders for mushroom-topped pizzas rose 61 percent the day Garcia died.
  • The Greaseman
    (1950) - Syndicated DJ. His real name is Doug Tracht.
  • Robert Cray
    (1953) - Robert Cray Band, "Because Of Me" (1988), "Smoking Gun" (1988). Cray had a bit part as a member of the "party band," Otis Day and the Knights, in the movie Animal House.
  • Robert Buck
    (1958) - 10,000 Maniacs.
  • Coolio
    (1963) - The rapper's real name is Artis Ivey, Jr. He won a 1996 Grammy for his hit tune, "Gangsta's Paradise." Ed McMahon owns several rap albums by Coolio, Ice Cube and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. When Coolio met Noel Gallagher of Oasis backstage at London's Hard Rock Cafe in 1996, he challenged Gallagher to a milk shake drinking contest. Coolio says it was to prove how fast he could suck a shake through a straw. Gallagher declined to participate. Coolio flicks: Daredevil (2003), Exposed (2002), Stealing Cndi (2002), Media Whore (2002), Tapped Out (2001), I Know What You Screamed Last Summer (2000), Leprechaun 5: In the Hood (2000).
  • George Ducas
    (1966) - The country singer confesses that while he loves playing music live, he also enjoys making videos and hopes to do more film work. George -- who looks like Quentin Tarantino's better looking cousin -- says it's his dream to perform a song in a Tarantino flick. Hit: "Every Time She Passes By" (1996)
  • Tempestt Bledsoe
    (1973) - Former talk show host. Played Vanessa Huxtable on The Cosby Show.
  • Jordan Wall
    (1981) - Played Joe on the PBS TV series Wishbone. Wall competed against more than 2000 other young actors in an open casting call for the lead role -- although Wishbone, the dog is the series' real star.
  • Ashley Angel Parker
    (1981) - Singer from the boy band O-Town. He says he likes Calvin Klein briefs.
Famous and Noteworthy Events on August 1st:
(1619) - The first African-Americans arrived at Jamestown, Virginia.

(1873) - The first trial run of a San Francisco cable car took place on this day in 1873. The test took place at 5 in the morning and the car rolled all the way down Clay Street, a 2,800-foot run.

(1876) - Colorado became the 38th state. Nickname: Centennial State. State Animal: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Born Or Residing In Colorado: Lon Chaney (actor); Jack Dempsey (boxer); Douglas Fairbanks (actor); Lowell Thomas (newscaster)

(1960) - Chubby Checker's hit tune "The Twist" was released. Within weeks "The Twist" turned into the dance craze of the '60s.

(1944) - 15-year-old Anne Frank made her final entry in her famous diary. The Frank family hid from the Nazis for two years in Amsterdam. The family was discovered three days after Anne's last entry.

(1966) - A 25-year-old man barricaded himself in a clock tower on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin where he shot and killed 13 people. A 14th victim died days later. The sniper, a former Marine named Charles Whitman, also killed his wife and mother the night before. Whitman packed an odd assortment of supplies for his trip to the top of the 30-story tower including toilet paper, several sandwiches, a transistor radio, a can of Spam, some fruit cocktail and a bottle of Mennen deodorant. He also hauled along several rifles, a sawed-off shotgun, a Smith & Wesson revolver and more than 700 rounds of ammunition. The tower was closed to the public in 1974. It was reopened in September of 1999.

(1978) - After a failed experiment involving coat and buttoned-shirt uniforms, the U.S. Navy announced sailors would once again wear white caps, jumpers and bell-bottom trousers.

(1978) - New York City passed a special "Canine Waste Law" that made dog owners liable for cleaning up their animal's poo. Violators were fined $50. The ordinance was an attempt to cut down on the more than 60 tons of pet waste generated every day in New York City.

(1981) - MTV began its first day of programming. The first video played was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." MTV's first five veejays were Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, J.J. Jackson and Alan Hunter.

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