January 19 - Madonna wins Best Actress at the Golden Globes

In 1996, Madonna showed the World how talented she truly was. After years of #1 records and chart topping singles to go along with countless Grammy Awards, Madonna tried her hand in the acting game as she took on the role of Eva Peron in the 1996 movie "Evita". Madonna's performance was nothing short of spectacular and she earned top honors at the Golden Globe Awards as she took home the award for Best Actress. Madonna beat several award winning actors to claim the Best Actress honors including Barbara Streisand (The Mirror Has Two Faces) and Gleen Close (101 Dalmations).

Madonna had desired to play the role of Peron and even wrote a letter to the director outlining why she would be perfect for the role. The movie and Madonna were a huge success, and the soundtrack (which was done by Madonna) received an Academy Award in 1997. The feature single "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" became a worldwide hit and went to #1 in several countries.

As of 2011, Madonna has been featured in over 20 films throughout her career.





January 18 - Willie O'Ree breaks the NHL's colour barrier

There are several milestone days in the NHL's history, and January 18th, 1958 is certainly one of them. On this day, New Brunswick native Willie O'Ree became the first black player to play in an NHL game. The African-Canadian played right wing for the Boston Bruins and played his first career game against the Montreal Canadiens.

O'Ree is regarded as the Jackie Robinson of hockey, due to breaking the colour barrier in the sport. The Bruins Right Winger has left a lasting impact on the NHL, as there are currently more African-American and Canadian players than ever before. Calgary Flames Captain and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Jarome Iginla cites O'Ree as one of his idols and credits him for allowing players like Iginla to be given the opportunity to become superstars in the NHL.

O'Ree would play a total of 45 games in the NHL, all for the Boston Bruins. In 2010 he received the Order of Canada, which is the highest civilian award given to a Canadian citizen.





January 14 - An Epic Marriage for the Ages

On this day in 1954, two of the biggest celebrities on the planet got married in a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall. New York Yankees legend Joe Dimaggio and American actress, singer, and model Marilyn Monroe got hitched in what will always been remembered as marriage between two of the most high profile and recognized celebrities in the world at that time.

In New York, Dimaggio was icon as he was a 13 time All Star for the Yankees and at the time (and still today) was regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game. Monroe on the other hand was one of the biggest celebrities in the world and was the dream girl for many men during the 1950's.

The marriage had its ups and downs, including a divorce, and then an attempt to remarry prior to Monroe's mysterious death in 1962. While there have been many marriage cross overs between the sports and entertainment stars, this duo may go down as the most recognizable of all time. Others include David Beckham (English National Team) and Posh Spice, Lamar Odom (LA Lakers) and Khloe Kardashian, and Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) and Candace Crawford.





January 12 - Berry Gordy Jr. founds Motown Records

On this day in 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. helped change the music industry forever. Motown Records (previously Tamla Records) was founded and became the first record label owned by an African American to primarily feature African American artists who achieved crossover success. Motown is believed to have played an extremely important role in the racial integration of popular music. The record label was known for its own unique sound which combined soul music with pop influence.

Several mainstream artists have come from the Motown label over the last 40 plus years. The Supremes, Four Tops, Jackson 5, Boyz II Men, and the Commodores are just some of the highly successful acts to have come up through the Motown Record ranks. Boys II Men became the labels biggest client during the 90's as the R&B group produced 4 #1 singles during the decade including their hit single "I"ll Make Love to You" which spend 14 weeks at #1.

Today, Motown produces mainstream R&B/Soul Music as well as hip hop.





January 11 - Amelia Earhart Makes History

On this day in 1935, Amelia Earhart had done something nobody on the planet, man or woman, had ever done before. She became the first person to fly from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California, which made her the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean. While many people were anxious and nervous about the solo flight, Earhart was anything but as she relaxed and listened to the broadcast of the "Metropolitan Opera from New York" during the last few hours of the flight.

Earhart was widely recognized as a worldwide celebrity during her lifetime. She is regarded as a feminist icon and there have been many books, articles, and stories about her which serve as inspirational and motivational tales for women all over the world. She holds 15 aviation records and currently has memorials, airports, and scholarships named after her all across the globe. Earhart's life ended in complete mystery during the last 1930's as she famously vanished off the face of the planet and nobody was able to find her. There are numerous theories out there as to what may have happened, but her mysterious disappearance has added a great deal of mystique to her legacy.

Earhart has become a major part of popular culture since her mysterious disappearance in 1939. She has been featured in several movies including "A Night of the Museum", "The Aviator", and the biopic "Amelia" which starred Hilary Swank as Earhart.





January 10 - Time Inc. and Warner Communications Complete $14 Billion Merger

If you believe that bigger is better, than nothing in the early 1990's was bigger than the merger between Time Inc. and Warner Communications. The $14 Billion merger made Time Warner, at the time, the World's largest entertainment company. Among its subsidiaries are HBO, New Line Cinema, TBS, Warner Bros. The CW Network, and much much more.

The list of Time Warner's former assets reads just as impressive as their current ones. AOL, Warner Music Group, World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and Six Flags Theme Parks, are just some of the assets which were once a part of the Time Warner Empire.

There are several competing threats to the TW Empire. Companies such as CBS, Viacom, NBC Universal, and Disney are all seen as direction competition for Time Warner. Piracy has also hurt the media conglomerate as their feature films and TV programs do not bring in the same advertisements they once did.

Time Warner is currently the second largest entertainment company in the world behind Disney and is the World's largest media conglomerate.





January 8 - The Mona Lisa arrives in the North America

On this day in 1963, the worlds most famous painting arrived in North America for the first time. The Mona Lisa invaded the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. amidst flocks of people who were dying to see worlds most enigmatic smile. The Mona Lisa was originally created in the 16th century, so one has to wonder what took so long for the painting to be showcased in North America (well over 400 years).

Given how long ago the painting was created, there is vast array of speculation as to the origins and meanings of the artwork. The woman in the picture is widely believed to be Lisa del Giocando, who was was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany in Italy. Lisa's husband, Francesco, is believed to have commissioned Leonardo Da Vinci to paint the portrait of his wife.

In December of 2010, it was discovered that the Mona Lisa has tiny letters and numbers in her eyes which are only apparent when looking through a magnifying glass. The significance and meaning of the numbers and letters are yet to be determined.

The Mona Lisa is currently owned by the Government of France and is on display on at the Musée du Louvre.





January 7- Timbaland makes it big with "Shock Value"

On this day in 2008, Timbaland began a 4 week run at the top of the Australian music charts with his second solo album, "Shock Value". The 4 week run in Australia was the fourth time that this album held the peak position on country's music charts for at least 4 weeks. Timbaland was a successful musician and producer prior to this album, but this album turned him into one of the most popular and sought after talents in music. "Shock Value" went platinum in 10 different countries, including selling over a million albums in the United States alone.

The 2007 release featured several #1 singles including "Give it to Me", "The Way I Are", and "Apologize". The album was noted for featuring several mainstream artists including Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, One Republic, Fallout Boy, Nicole Scherzinger, Dr. Dre, Missy Elliot, and many more.

In 2009, Timbaland released "Shock Value II" which was a follow up to the 2007 release. This album was just as successful as its predecessor, and featured 4 mainstream singles including "Morning After Dark" and "Carry Out". "Timbo" is currently working on his upcoming album, "Shock Value III" which is due out in 2011.





January 6 - Happy Birthday Mr. Bean!

Happy birthday to Rowan Atkinson! The man who attained worldwide fame for his role as Mr. Bean turns 56 years old today. Atkinson is a British actor, writer, and comedian and is widely regarded as one of the funniest British actors of all time.

As mentioned earlier, Atkinson is best known for his work as the iconic character, Mr. Bean. Mr. Bean ran for 5 years and has spawned off two feature films, an animated series, multiple books, and a 2007 video game release. The character himself is described as a "child in a grown mans body". Much of Mr. Bean's comedy comes from creating an adventure out of the most simple and everyday tasks. His Teddy Bear and his car (British Leyland Mini) became two iconic recurring props throughout the course of the show.

The 1992 episode, "Trouble with Mr. Bean" was the most watched Mr. Bean show of all time as over 18 million viewers tuned in. In 2013, "Mr. Bean Returns!", the third feature film of the Mr. Bean series is due out in theaters.





January 5- The Red Sox officially sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees

Who would have guessed that a then small time transaction would go on to impact the balance of baseball for the next 86 years? Not the Yankees, and clearly not the Red Sox.

On this day in 1920, the Boston Red Sox officially sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Upon his arrival in New York, Ruth would complete his transformation from a pitcher to one of the greatest power hitters in the history of the game. As a member of the New York Yankees, The Babe would go on to rewrite the MLB record book and become one of the most popular athletes in North America.

On the flip side, the Red Sox endured one of the most frustrating runs in professional sports history. After selling Ruth, the Red Sox would come victim to the "Curse of the Bambino" which hung over the franchise for 86 years. While under the hex of this curse, the Red Sox did not win a championship from 1918-2004 and many believed it was the curse of trading away Babe Ruth that was the reason behind their constant failures.

In 2004, after completing an epic comeback against the New York Yankees, the Red Sox would go on to win their first championship in 86 years and would finally lift relieve themselves of "The Curse of the Bambino".





January 2 - Niagara Falls is here to stay!

On this day in 1929, Canada and the USA agreed to preserve the beautiful, picturesque, and historic landmark that is Niagara Falls. Prior to this agreement, there were talks about construction happening just North of the Falls and the signed document assured no construction would take place and put restrictions in place to make sure the beauty of the Falls would remain in tact.

Niagara Falls is one of the most recognized landmarks in North America. While the total height of the Falls totals only 167 ft., the landmark is exceptionally wide as it covers more than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m³). Needless to say, it is the most powerful waterfall in North America!

Movies such as Superman II and Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End have been shot at Niagara Falls, and in 1990 illusionist David Copperfield performed a trick where he appeared to travel over the Horseshoe Falls (the part of the waterfall which is fully located in Canada).





January 1 - A stand is made against Cigarette Commercials

On this day in 1971, cigarette advertisements were officially banned from American television. This was without question one of the biggest stands taken against cigarette companies and to think that this was implemented nearly 40 years ago is quite amazing. The "Virginia Slims" brand was the last cigarette commerical shown to the public at 11:59PM during a commercial break for the Tonight Show.

Prior to the ban, cigarette companies were featured heavily on both television and radio. Game shows, newscasts, and radio programs were all sponsored by cigarette companies, including America's first ever regular Television News Program, "Camel News Caravan". The newscast was sponsored by Camel Cigarettes and featured an ashtray on the main desk in front of the newscaster.

Canada was a little more tardy to ban cigarette advertisements, as they passed the "Tobacco Products Control Act" in 1988 which prevented cigarette advertisements on Television and Radio and assured that all cigarette packages contained health warnings.

The hit TV show "Mad Men" provides a glimpse of what life was like before the banning of cigarette advertisements and before laws passed that prevented people from lighting up in restaurants and bars.





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