9thToday in 1793, Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first balloon ascent in North America. He ascended from the Washington Prison Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and landed in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Carrying the first airmail letter, this flight was observed by President George Washington. After the flight, Blanchard returned to Europe and, with his wife, Marie, who had also learned to fly balloons, performed many other exhibitions. In addition to his balloon flights in France and the United States, Blanchard is also credited with the first balloon flights in Germany, Belgium, Poland, and the Netherlands. On the day in 1811 the first Ladies Golf tournament was held. It was held at Musselburgh in Scotland. Although records show that an annual competition took place annually on the links between local fishwives on New Year’s Day during the 18th century, this earliest known reference for female golfers describes a pitch and putt type course at Musselburgh over 18 holes for the Creel Trophy. First prize was a creel and a skull which was a small fishing basket with runners up receiving “fine blue handkerchiefs from Barcelona”. Born on this day in 1910 was the English long-distance runner Tom Evenson. In the 1932 Olympics he won silver in the 3000m steeplechase and four years later he was eliminated in the first round of the same event. At the 1930 Empire Games he won bronze in the 6 mile race and finished fifth in the 3 miles event. In 1934 he won silver in the 2-mile steeplechase. He also competed at the International Cross Country Championships in 1930–1936 and won seven gold medals: two individual and five with English team. At New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1942 Joe Louis successfully defended his world heavyweight title for the twentieth time when eh knocked out Buddy Baer, brother of Max, four seconds from the end of the first round. In their previous encounter, a year earlier, Baer had become the first man to be disqualified in a world heavyweight title fight after he claimed that he had been hit, and knocked down, after the bell in the seventh round. He refused to come out for the next round. The referee therefore disqualified him. Buddy’s nephew , Max Bear junior, played the part of Jethro in the popular TV series The Beverly Hillbillies. On this day in 1975 Australia beat England by 171 runs in the 4th Test to regain The Ashes. The lone yachtsman, Tony Bullimore, feared drowned after his boat capsized in the Southern Ocean five days previously, was found safe and well today in 1997. He survived on “a little chocolate, water and sheer determination” crouched in the upturned hull of his yacht. He was suffering from mild hypothermia and dehydration when his drifting yacht, the Exide Challenger, was spotted by an Australian navy ship. There were no visible signs of life, but when the rescuers banged on the boat’s hull, they were amazed to hear Bullimore knocking back. His was wearing a survival suit which helped protect him against the extreme cold – but trapped in the boat’s living quarters he probably had only enough air to last for about six days. His first reaction to hearing his rescuers outside his boat was, “absolutely ecstatic, I thought it would never happen.” Arriving on board the naval rescue ship, HMAS Adelaide, he was said to be “babbling with excitement” and asked for a cup of tea. He needed decompression treatment in a specialised medical centre for a few weeks after his ordeal. On his return to Britain, he was invited to an audience with the Queen. Tony Bullimore’s ordeal did not put him off sailing. He later filmed a TV programme with comedian Lenny Henry in which they sailed from Kent to the Caribbean. On this day in 2009 Rob Gauntlett, the youngest Briton to summit Everest (he did so on 17th May 2006, a week after his 19th birthday), died after a fall while ice-climbing at Chamonix in the Alps. His body, along with that of his climbing companion James Atkinson were found on the morning of 10 January by a mountain rescue team. Gauntlett was an intrepid explorer for one so young – After graduating, he cycled from Bilbao to Istanbul with a school friend, Richard Lebon and between 8 April 2007 and 9 October 2008 Gauntlett and another climbing buddy James Hooper made a 180° expedition from North to South Magnetic Poles, using only human and natural power, to help raise awareness of climate change. They travelled by ski, dog sled and sail boat to New York City, by bicycle on to Panama City and then sailed to Guayaquil in Ecuador before resuming on their bicycles for the journey to Punta Arenas, Chile for the very last sea voyage. Having completed the 22,000 miles (35 200 km) trip, the pair sailed 1,800 nautical miles on to Australia. The expedition helped to raise money for The Prince’s Trust, and in November 2008 Gauntlett and Hooper were named as the National Geographic Society’s Adventurers of the Year at the Society’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.



10thOn this day in 1863 London Underground begins operations. The world’s oldest underground railway ran between London Paddington station and Farringdon station. Billy Liddell, Scottish footballer, who played his entire professional career with Liverpool was born today in 1922. He signed with the club as a teenager in 1938 and retired in 1961, having scored 228 goals in 534 appearances. He was Liverpool’s leading goal-scorer in the league in eight out of nine seasons from 1949–50 to 1957–58 and surpassed Elisha Scott’s club record for most league appearances in 1957. With Liverpool, Liddell won a league championship in 1947 and featured in the club’s 1950 FA Cup Final defeat by Arsenal. He represented Scotland at international level on 29 occasions. While serving as a Royal Air Force navigator during the Second World War, Liddell continued his career by appearing in unofficial games for Liverpool and guesting for various teams in the United Kingdom and Canada. After his retirement from football, in 1961, Liddell occupied himself as a Justice of the Peace (from 1958), bursar of Liverpool University, and voluntary worker. He died in 2001, posthumous recognition has included a plaque unveiled in 2004 at Anfield and sixth place in a poll of Liverpool fans, conducted in 2006 under the title “100 Players Who Shook The Kop”. He was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in November 2008. New Zealand played their first Test match this day in 1930 when they entertained England at Lancaster Park, Christchurch. The England team was weakened by the absence of some established players who were making up a second Test side simultaneously touring in the West Indies. Nevertheless, England won the match by eight wickets, with Maurice Allom’s five wickets for 38 runs decisive. Chandra Cheeseborough was born on this day in 1959. An American track and field athlete, she broke onto the international track scene at age 16 by winning two gold medals at the 1975 Pan American Games, taking the 200m in an American record time of 22.77 seconds. In 1976, she set a World/ American junior record of 11.13s coming second at the U.S Olympic trial and sixth at the Montreal Olympics. She graduated from Jean Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida in 1977, where she set the still standing NFHS national high school records in both the 100yds and 220yds. Next she attended Tennessee State, where she was a member of national championship teams that set world indoor records of 1:08.9 in 640yds relay and 1:47.17 in the 800yd sprint medley relay. She won the national indoor 200yds in 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1983. Her breakthrough year in the 400m came in 1984, when she set two American records in the event and won silver at the Los Angeles Olympics in a career best of 49.05. She made history at the 1984 Games when she became the first woman to win gold medals in both relays, which were held less than an hour apart. Cheeseborough later became a coach and returned to Tennessee State. She was named head coach of both men and women in 1999. She also has served as an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the 1999 Junior Pan-Am Championships. In March 2007 it was announced that Cheeseborough would be the assistant coach for the 2008 Olympic team. Cheeseborough coached the sprints and hurdles for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ian Poulter, English professional golfer who is a member of the world’s top two professional golf tours, the U.S.-based PGA Tour and the European Tour was born today in 1976. The Sinclair C5 runs into a safety row on the very first day on the road in 1985. The electric tricycle, capable of a top speed of 15 mph was launched by the computer millionaire, Sir Clive Sinclair and was designed for short journeys around town and could be driven by anyone over the age of 14. But the £399 vehicle, driven by a battery-powered motor, only 2 ft 6 in high and six feet long raised safety concerns. The British Safety Council said that the vehicle was too close to the ground giving the driver poor visibility in traffic, who sits with legs outstretched and the controls beneath the thighs. With a top speed of only 15 mph, safety experts said the C5 could be vulnerable to knocks from other cars. The vehicle was open-topped and the driver was not obliged to wear a crash helmet or even have a driving licence. The Sinclair C5 was however a commercial disaster with only 12,000 ever produced; it has since achieved a cult status. In 1991 Manchester United announced they would be following Tottenham Hotspur’s lead and become a public company with shares quoted on the Stock Exchange.


11thThe first of the great British jockeys, Fred Archer, was born in 1857. He rode 2748 winners from 8084 mounts between 1870, when he was only 13, and 1886. He was champion jockey every year from 1874 to 1886 and he won 21 Classics, including the Derby five times. Another top racing man, trainer Henry Cecil, was also born on this day, in 1943. He trained a record 180 winners on the flat in 1987. Today in 1953 J Edgar Hoover declined a six figure offer to become president of the International boxing Club.  In 1959 Hanif Mohammad completed the then highest innings in first-class cricket when he scored 499 for Karachi against Bahawalpur at Karachi, surpassing Don Bradman’s old record of 452 not out. Facing the last ball of the day, Hanif went for a quick single to notch up 500 but was run out! His mammoth effort had taken 10 hours 35 minutes to compile. On this day in 1973 the first graduates from the Open University (OU) were awarded their degrees after two years studying from home. Out of the 1,000 students who sat the final exams, 867 were successful. The Open University enrolled its first students in 1971, the idea of learning from home was designed to appeal to mature students, but from 1974 the OU opened its doors to 18-year-olds as well. The OU is currently the largest academic institution in the UK with over 170,000 students. Steve Davis made history in 1982 when, playing against John Spencer in the Lada Classic at Oldham, he recorded snooker’s first televised maximum 147 break. Ironically this distinction would have been Spencer’s three years earlier, during the televised Holsten Lager Tournament at Slough, if the Thames TV cameraman had not been on a lunch break due to a union ruling! On this day in 1991 Chelsea were fined a then record of £105,000 by the Football League for making irregular payments to players. Betty Archdale, captain of the English women’s cricket team in 1934 and 1935 died on this day in 2000. In 1934/35 she led the first English cricket team to tour Australia and New Zealand, the result of which was a 2-0 victory over Australia. This tour did much both to raise the status of women’s cricket and to heal some of the damage done to Anglo-Australian cricket relations by bodyline two years earlier. Betty led an interesting and varied life – Born in London, she was the daughter of a suffragette and a Irish soldier in the British army who was killed when she was 11 in WWI. Her godmother was Emmeline Pankhurst. The memory of visiting her own mother, imprisoned in Holloway after a demonstration, was a lifelong inspiration. Educated at Bedales School, Hampshire, St Leonard’s school, St Andrews, McGill University in Montreal – where she graduated in economics and political science – and London University, where she read law. Specialising in international law, she studied in the Soviet Union but was, she said, a socialist, not a communist. She was called to the bar in 1938. She served as a WRNS officer in the Far East, Africa, Australia and the Pacific during the Second World War and was awarded the OBE for helping nurses escape from the conflict. Having moved to Australia, in 1946 she was appointed principal of Sydney University’s “Women’s College”, a post she held for 10 years. Archdale was a member of the University Senate for 25 years, and a television and radio personality throughout the 1960s. In 1997, she was listed as an Australian Living Treasure. In March 1999, Archdale was one of the first ten women to be granted Honorary Life Membership of Marylebone Cricket Club in England. The Association of Heads of Independent Girls’ Schools, ‘Archdale Debating’ competition (for Sydney’s private and catholic girls’ schools) is named in her honour. The theory that Egypt’s pyramids were built by free workers rather than slaves was reinforced on this day in 2010 by the discovery of new tombs near the great pyramids.



12thOn this day in 1866 the Royal Aeronautical Society was formed in London and also on this day, in 1895, the National Trust was founded. Rugby League international Mike Sullivan was born in 1934. He scored a record 45 international tries between 1954 and 1963. The American swimmer, Olympic medallist and world record holder, Chet Jastremski was born on this day in 1941. Jastremski attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he swam for Doc Counsilman‘s Indiana Hoosiers swimming and diving team. He and Counsilman invented the “whip kick” to replace the frog kick, previously used in the breaststroke. The whip kick minimized drag and accentuated Jastremski’s very powerful shoulders and upper arms. Over the years, the original whip kick (done from the knee to feet) morphed into the breaststroke kick that uses the entire leg. He was featured on the January 29, 1962 cover of Sports Illustrated. At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Jastremski represented the United States. He won the bronze medal in the men’s 200m breaststroke, finishing in a time of 2:29.6. He again qualified for the U.S. team for the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, and swam for the winning American team in the heats of the men’s 4×100m medley relay. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977, and the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Jastremski received his medical degree from Indiana University in 1968. He was a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic medical team. André Bicaba was born today in 1945. Who I hear you ask? Bicaba became the first athlete to represent the Republic of Upper Volta at the Olympic Games when he competed in the 100m at the 1972 Olympics, where he finished fifth in his heat with a time of 10.71 seconds. As he was the only competitor from the African nation he was also the flag bearer at the opening and closing ceremonies. Ex-world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier was born in 1947. Brendan Foster was born on this day in 1948. He founded the Great North Run and won the bronze medal in the 10,000m at the 1976 Olympics, and the gold medal in the 5,000m at the 1974 European Championships and the 10,000m at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. In 1959 Henry Cooper beat Brian London over 15 rounds to win his first British title. Agatha Christie died on this day in 1976. The most popular novelist in the world was rumoured to have left a multi-million pound fortune and a final book waiting to be published. The British author, who sold an estimated 300 million books during her lifetime, had been in poor health for several years. She died at her home in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, aged 85. Two London theatres dimmed their lights that evening – St Martin’s where her record-breaking “The Mousetrap” was in its 24th year and the Savoy, where “Murder at the Vicarage” would have its 200th performance the following week. Dame Agatha was believed to have left one last novel featuring one of her most famous characters, the deceptively clever Miss Marple, as well as an autobiography. When her will was published in April of the same year it was revealed she had left only £106,683, having managed to dispose of most of her wealth before she died. She left most of her property to her husband and daughter with a number of smaller bequests such as £500 to her gardener, £250 to her secretary and £200 to her garden manager. Sleeping Murder, Miss Marple’s last case, was published after her death. Her autobiography was also published posthumously. On this day in 1997 Tiger Woods won the Mercedes Championships. Today in 2013 in County Wicklow in Ireland, the funeral services for Irish mountaineer, Ian McKeever, who was killed by lightning on Mount Kilimanjaro, were held.


.13thThomas Lord, the man who founded Lord’s Cricket Ground, died in 1832. American golfer Mark O’Meara was born in 1957. While he has not won a major, he has been a consistent money winner since joining the US Tour in 1981; in 1984 he was second on the money list. Born on this day in 1966, Leo Visser, Dutch speed skater, who in 1989 won the World All-round championships and European championships. At the 1988 Olympics in Calgary he won a silver medal in the 5000m and a bronze medal in the 10,000m. Four years later, at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, Visser won a bronze medal in both the 1,500m and the 5,000m, behind Norwegians Johann Olav Koss and Geir Karlstad. Nationally, he won the all-round titles in 1988, 1989 and 1991, as well as four distance titles. After his career as a speed skater, Visser became a pilot and he is now captain on the Boeing 777 for Dutch airline KLM. In 2002, he was the chef de mission for the Dutch Olympic team. His wife, Sandra Voetelink, is also a former Olympic speed skater. Stephen Hendry, snooker player was born on the day in 1969. Hendry became the youngest professional snooker player in 1985 aged 16 and, in 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21.  He won the World Championship seven times, a record in the modern era, and was snooker’s world number one for eight consecutive seasons between 1990 and 1998, and again in 2006/2007. Hendry has the distinction of winning the most world ranking titles (36) and is second on the century break list behind Ronnie O’Sullivan with 775 competitive century breaks. He has made 11 competitive maximum breaks, second only to O’Sullivan with 13. In May 2012 he retired from the sport to concentrate on his commercial interests, and also works as a commentator for the BBC and ITV. Vitaly Scherbo the Belarusian gymnast was born today in 1972 in Minsk. One of the most successful gymnasts of all time, he is the only male gymnast ever to have won a world title in all 8 events (Individual All-Around in 1993, Team in 1991, Floor in 1994, 1995 and 1996, Horizontal Bar in 1994, Parallel Bars in 1993 and 1995, Pommel Horse in 1992, Rings in 1992, Vault in 1993 and 1994). He was the most successful athlete at the 1992 Summer Olympics, winning 6 of 8 events – team, all-around, and 4 of 6 event finals. In 1974 the Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 at Houston to win back-to-back Super bowls. Born in 1986 – Joannie Rochette, Canadian figure skater. She is the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist, the 2009 World silver medalist, the 2008 and 2009 Four Continents silver medalist, the 2004 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, and a six-time (2005–10) Canadian national champion The opposing goal-keepers in the Preston v Bury football league games on this day in 1990 were brothers Aland and Gary Kelly. Their father, Alan, was also a goal-keeper at Preston. On this day in 1985, 99 year-old Otto Bucher scores a hole-in-one, he aced the 130-yard, 12th hole at La Manga Golf Club in Spain. But is not the oldest person to have scored a hole-in-one, that honour goes to 101 year-old Harold Stilson who holed a 4-iron at the 108-yard 16th hole at Deerfield Country Club in the United States in May 2001. In 1994 Tonya Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eric Eckardt & Derrick Brian Smith arrested & charged with conspiracy in attack of skater Nancy Kerrigan. Today in 1995 – America3 becomes 1st all-female crew to win an America’s Cup race.



14thPlaying for Celtic against Dunfermline in a Scottish League first division game in 1928, Jimmy McGrory scored a first/Premier division record eight goals. In the same season Owen McNally of Arthurlie had become the first man to score eight goals in a Scottish league game, against Armadale in the second division; over the next 10 seasons Jim Dyet (Kings Park), John Calder (Morton) and Norman Haywood (Raith Rovers) equalled the records set by McNally and McGrory. Australian golfer Graham Marsh, brother of Test cricketer Rodney Marsh, was born in 1944. His finest moment came in 1977 when he beat Ray Floyd to win the World Match-Play Championship at Wentworth. On this day in 1958, a crowd of 60,000 watched Manchester United beat Red Star Belgrade 2-1 in a European Cup tie at Old Trafford. The second leg three weeks later was to be the last appearance of the ‘Busby Babes’ before the Munich Air Disaster. On the day in 1969 Matt Busby retires from Manchester United. 59 year-old Busby told a news conference ‘It’s time to make way for a younger man….a track-suited manager’. Busby proved a hard act to follow with successor Wilf McGuinness was sacked just 18 months later. He was followed by Frank O’Farrell who fared little better and then in 1972 Tom Docherty took control and gradually lifted the team’s flagging performance as aged players like Sir Bobby Charlton retired to let in new blood. Docherty himself was sacked in 1977 after it was revealed he was having an affair with the wife of the team’s physiotherapist. Sir Alex Ferguson took over as manager in 1986. From 1980 until 1993 Sir Matt was president of the club, he died in 1994. Harold Abrahams, British athlete died on this day in 1978 aged 78. His father, Isaac, was a Jewish immigrant from the Congress Poland. He worked as a financier, and settled in Bedford with his Welsh Jewish wife, Esther Isaacs. Harold was born in Bedford, and was the younger brother of another British athlete, the Olympic long jumper Sir Sidney Abrahams. Another brother, Sir Adolphe Abrahams, according to Harold, became the founder of British sport medicine. Harold, while at Cambridge was a member of the Cambridge University Athletics Club (of which he was president 1922–1923) and also was a member of the Achilles Club, a track and field club formed in 1920 by and for past and present representatives of Oxford and Cambridge universities.  He was Olympic 100m champion in 1924 and also, as opening runner for the 4 × 100 m team, he won a silver medal. In May 1925, Abrahams broke his leg while long-jumping, ending his athletic career. He returned to his legal career. In 1928, he was team captain of the British Olympic team at Amsterdam and editor of the Official British Olympic Report for the same games. Subsequently he worked as an athletics journalist for forty years, becoming a commentator on the sports for BBC radio. In 1936, he reported the Berlin Olympics for the BBC. Later in his life, he also became president of the Jewish Athletic Association, and served as chairman for the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA). Abrahams wrote a number of books, including The Olympic Games, 1896–1952 and The Rome Olympiad, 1960. Although not an official timer, Abrahams was also present when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1954. On this day in 1994 Inna Lassovskaya triple-jumped a female world record of 14.61m, in 1996 she jumped past the 15m mark for the first time (15.08m) at Madrid and won an Olympic silver medal. In 1997 she won the World Indoor Championships and the same year in Valencia she jumped 15.09m which remains her PB. In 2015 American rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson become the first to successfully free-climb the Dawn Wall face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, a climb of 3,000ft, the men started the climb on December 27th 2014.


15thOn this day in 1892 the rules of Basketball were published in Triangle Magazine, Massachusetts. In 1927 BBC Radio gave its first life commentary of a rugby match, Teddy Wakelam reporting on the first international from Twickenham between England and Wales. England won 11-9. Amelia Earhart set an aviation record for women at 171mph in a Lockheed Vega on this day in 1930. Ian Stewart was born in 1949, a Scottish long-distance runner, he was one of the world’s leading distance runners between the late 1960s and mid-1970s. Stewart won the bronze medal in the Men’s 5000m at the 1972 Olympics in Munich (a race won by Lasse Virén). Stewart also won the following championships: European 5,000m (1969), Commonwealth 5,000m (1970), European Indoor (1969 and 1975) and World Cross Country (1975). Wellington batsman John Reid scored a world record 15 sixes in his innings of 296 against Northern Districts at Wellington in 1963. Playing in front of 62,000 crowd at the Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, the Green Bay Packers beat Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 to win the first Super Bowl in 1967. Max McGee and Elijah Pitts each scored two touchdowns for the victors, for whom Bart Starr became the first winner of the coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Ukrainian pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka set his first world record, with a vault of 19ft ¼in (5.81m) in 1984. Also in 1984 Hana Madlikova ended Martina Navratilova’s 54 match winning streak. At Bournemouth in 1985 snooker player Stacey Hillyard made history when she became the first woman to compile a century break in a competitive match. Hallyard, who was only 15 at the time, compiled 114 playing in a local league match. At Madras in 1988, Indian bowler Narendra Hirwani produced the best figures for a player on his Test debut, taking 16 wickets for 136 runs against the West Indies. Bob Massie also took 16 wickets, but for 137 runs, on his debut for Australia against England at Lord’s in 1972. Alexei Cherepanov, Russian professional ice hockey player was born today in 1989. He had played for Avangard’s lower level teams, and then for the senior men’s team in the Russian Super League. He was selected in the first round (17th overall) of the 2007 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, although he never played professional hockey in North America. Cherepanov represented Russia in international play, and played in several tournaments at the junior level. He won a gold medal at the 2007 World Under-18 Championships. While playing at the Under-20 level, Cherepanov won silver and bronze medals in 2007 and 2008. During a KHL game in October 2008, Cherepanov collapsed on the bench near the end of the game, and could not be resuscitated. He was pronounced dead later that day in hospital at the age of 19. His cause of death was attributed to heart failure, although there were varying reports as to the specific nature of his underlying medical condition. After his death, the KHL launched an investigation into the emergency response provided by the home team during the game, and also into team officials and physicians for their treatment and management of Cherepanov’s health during his career. Avangard retired Cherepanov’s #7 jersey after his death, and the KHL renamed its Rookie of the Year trophy to the Alexei Cherepanov Trophy. On this day in 2012, Mika Ahola, Finnish enduro rider and a five-time world champion died. He was also a seven-time winner of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) World Trophy with Team Finland, and was the fastest overall in the competition in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Ahola debuted in the World Enduro Championship in a Husqvarna in 1993, and became a regular title contender after joining the TM factory team in 1997.Mika Ahola announced his retirement from enduro racing on New Year’s Day 2012.  He subsequently died of internal injuries on 15th January at a hospital in Barcelona, a few weeks after crashing while training in Girona, Spain