January 30th in history:
The British monarchy came to a temporary end on January 30th, 1649, when King Charles the First was beheaded by opponents of royalty. Oliver Cromwell led England as Lord Protector for several years afterward. When the monarchy was restored, after Cromwell’s death, royalists dug up his body and beheaded him in retaliation on January 30th, 1661.
On January 30th, 1933, Adolf Hitler was sworn in as the chancellor of Germany. Hitler came to power on the 51st birthday of the newly-elected U.S. president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was sworn in weeks later. FDR and Hitler would both die in the same month, April 1945, as the U.S. and its allies were about to defeat Nazi Germany in World War Two.
January 29th in history:
In 1845, readers of the New York Evening Mirror got their first look at a new poem by Edgar Allan Poe, called “The Raven” — published in the January 29th edition. Because Poe lived for many years in Baltimore and is buried there, the Baltimore Ravens football team was named in honor of the poem.
Baltimore-born Babe Ruth became one of the first five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 29th, 1936. The Babe and Honus Wagner tied for second place in that first hall of fame election behind long-time Detroit Tigers star Ty Cobb.
And January 29th is the birthday of the actor who often wore a Tigers baseball cap in his TV role as “Magnum, P.I.,” Detroit native Tom Selleck (1945).
November 1 in history:
A major artistic marvel was shown to the public for the first time on this date in 1512…Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. The project took four years to complete, as Michelangelo painted Biblical scenes while lying on his back atop a 60-foot scaffold.
November 1st is the anniversary of two technological marvels used by drivers in Michigan. A tunnel connecting Windsor, Ontario and Detroit was dedicated on this date in 1930. The tunnel is located 75 feet below the Detroit River. The 1st of November in 1957 was the opening day for a five-mile bridge stretching across the Straits of Mackinac, linking Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
August 20 in history:
A classical song often performed on the 4th of July in America was introduced in Russia on August 20th, 1882. Peter Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” was written in honor of Russia’s fight against Napoleon, but it’s popular in the U.S. because of the cannon shots included in the finale.
The “1812 Overture” probably has been played a few times over radio station WWJ in Detroit. WWJ was America’s first commercial radio station when it took to the air on this date in 1920, using the call letters 8MK.
A couple of musicians who had big radio hits in the 1970′s were born on August 20th: Isaac Hayes (1942), who wrote the “Theme from Shaft”; and “Stairway to Heaven” writer and singer Robert Plant (1948).
July 30 in history:
Henry Ford’s name is synonymous with Detroit, the car industry, and the assembly line. The founder of the Ford Motor Company was born July 30th, 1863.
The last of the traditional Volkswagen Beetles came off an assembly line in Mexico on this date in 2003. The Beetle had been sold only in Mexico since 1998.
June 4th in history:
The idea of air travel got a big lift on June 4th, 1783, when the Montgolfier brothers of France demonstrated the hot-air balloon they developed. There were no people or animals aboard that test flight.
On this date in 1878, a momentous train trip ended when the Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco. The train had traveled cross-country from New York City in just three-and-a-half days.
Henry Ford tested an early version of his automobile early on the morning of June 4th, 1896, by driving the vehicle through the streets of Detroit.
One highlight of Dennis Weaver’s acting career was when he played a motorist being chased by a mysterious truck driver in the TV movie “Duel.” Weaver, also known for TV roles in “Gunsmoke” and “Gentle Ben,” was born June 4th, 1924.