On This Day

What Happened in January 2008

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 A New Hampshire law legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples comes into effect.
  • Jan 1 Malta and Cyprus officially adopt the Euro currency and become the fourteenth and fifteenth Eurozone countries.
  • Jan 1 94th Rose Bowl: #6 Southern California beats #13 Illinois, 49-17
  • Jan 1 74th Sugar Bowl: #5 Georgia beats #10 Hawai'i, 41-10
  • Jan 2 37th Fiesta Bowl: #11 West Virginia beats #3 Oklahoma, 48-28
  • Jan 3 74th Orange Bowl: #8 Kansas beats #5 Virginia Tech, 24-21

Hopman Cup

Jan 4 Hopman Cup Tennis, Perth: Americans Serena Williams & Mardy Fish beat Serbian pair Novak Đoković & Jelena Janković 7-6, 6-2 for an unassailable 2-0 lead, and the 5th US title

  • Jan 7 13th Critics' Choice Movie Awards: "No Country for Old Men" wins Best Film
  • Jan 7 College Football, 10th BCS National Championship Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans: #2 LSU beats #1 Ohio State, 38-24
  • Jan 8 New Jersey officially apologizes for slavery, becoming the first Northern state to do so.

Film and TV Awards

Jan 8 34th People's Choice Awards: Johnny Depp & Reese Witherspoon win (Movie Star) and Patrick Dempsey & Katherine Heigl win (TV)

Sports History

Jan 8 Joe Gibbs retires, for the second time, as head coach of the Washington Redskins

  • Jan 13 Orlando Magic knock down a then NBA-record 23 3-pointers in 37 attempts (62.2%); Jameer Nelson goes 5-for-5 from beyond the arc as Magic beat the Sacramento Kings, 139-107
  • Jan 14 MESSENGER spacecraft performs a Mercury flyby
  • Jan 15 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members celebrate 100th anniversary by donating $1 million to scholarship funds at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

United Nations

Jan 18 The United Nations announce George Clooney as a UN messenger of peace

  • Jan 20 AFC Championship, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough: New England Patriots beat San Diego Chargers, 21-12
  • Jan 20 NFC Championship, Lambeau Field, Green Bay: New York Giants beat Green Bay Packers, 23-20 (OT)

Film & TV History

Jan 20 "Breaking Bad", created by Vince Gilligan and starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul premieres on AMC

  • Jan 21 Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%.
  • Jan 21 The Eyak language in Alaska becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies

Australian Open Women's Tennis

Jan 26 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Russian Maria Sharapova wins her first and only Australian title; beats Ana Ivanović of Serbia 7-5, 6-3

Australian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 27 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Novak Đoković beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 to become first Serbian player to win a Grand Slam title

  • Jan 27 56th NHL All-Star Game, Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 8-7; MVP: Eric Staal, Carolina, C
  • Jan 27 24th Sundance Film Festival: "Frozen River", directed by Courtney Hunt, wins Grand Jury Prize Dramatic

Famous Divorces

Daniel Johns

Jan 4 Australian pop diva Natalie Imbruglia (32) and "Silverchair" frontman Daniel Johns (28) announce their divorce stating "we have simply grown apart through not being able to spend enough time together"

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 1 Salvatore Bonanno, American mafioso & son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, dies of a heart attack at 75
  • Jan 1 Peter Caffrey, Irish actor, dies at 58
  • Jan 1 Pratap Chandra Chunder, Indian union minister, dies at 88
  • Jan 1 Harold Corsini, American photographer, dies from a stroke at 88
  • Jan 2 Gerry Staley, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1952-53, 60; St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox), dies of natural causes at 87
  • Jan 2 Galyani Vadhana, Princess of Naradhiwas, dies at 84
  • Jan 2 George MacDonald Fraser, British poet & author (Flashman at the Charge), dies at 82
  • Jan 2 Lee S. Dreyfus, American politician, dies at 81
  • Jan 3 Werner Dollinger, German politician and economist (b. 1918)
  • Jan 3 Aleksandr Abdulov, Russian actor (b. 1953)
  • Jan 3 Natasha Collins, British actress and television presenter (b. 1976)
  • Jan 3 Yo-Sam Choi, South Korean boxer (Lineal & WBC light flyweight titles 1999-2002), dies of brain damage after fight at 35
  • Jan 4 Mort Garson, Canadian-American composer ("Our Day Will Come") and Moog synthesizer pioneer, dies of renal failure at 83
  • Jan 4 Joyce Carlson, American artist (b. 1923)
  • Jan 4 Xavier Chamorro Cardenal, Nicaraguan journalist and newspaper editor (La Prensa; El Nuevo Diario), dies of heart disease at 75
  • Jan 4 Jimmy Nah, Singapore celebrity (b. 1968)
  • Jan 5 Clinton Grybas, Australian sports commentator (b. 1975)
  • Jan 5 Irene Reid, American jazz singer ("I Must Be Doing Something Right"). dies at 77
  • Jan 7 Alwyn Schlebusch, South African vice state president (b. 1917)
  • Jan 8 George Moore, Australian champion jockey (b. 1923)
  • Jan 8 Clyde Otis, American songwriter and music producer (b. c. 1924)
  • Jan 9 Johnny Grant, American radio personality, television producer, and "unofficial mayor" of Hollywood, dies at 84
  • Jan 9 William Quinn, Irish Republican Army soldier (b. 1950)
  • Jan 9 Mehran Ghassemi, Iranian journalist (b. 1977)
  • Jan 9 John Harvey-Jones, English businessman and chairman of ICI (1982-87), dies at 83
  • Jan 10 Christopher Bowman, American figure skater (b. 1967)
  • Jan 10 Maila Nurmi [Syrjäniemi], Finnish-American actress (The Vampira Show), dies at 85
  • Jan 10 Mikhail Minin, Russian Soviet soldier (b. 1922)
  • Jan 10 (Walter) "Pete" Candoli, American jazz, big band, and session trumpeter (Woody Herman; Stan Kenton; Henry Mancini; The Brothers Candoli), dies of prostate cancer at 84
  • Jan 11 Carl Karcher, founded the Carl's Jr. hamburger chain (b. 1917)

Edmund Hillary

Jan 11 Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer/1st to climb Mt Everest in 1953, dies from a heart attack at 88

  • Jan 13 Sergei Larin, Lithuanian tenor (b. 1956)
  • Jan 13 Johnny Podres, American baseball player (b. 1932)
  • Jan 14 Judah Folkman, Surgeon that developed Angiogenesis (b. 1933)
  • Jan 15 Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, English Game Designer (Zombies Ate My Neighbors), dies of cancer (b. 1964)
  • Jan 15 Brad Renfro, American actor (The Client), dies of heroin overdose at 25
  • Jan 17 Ernie Holmes, American football player (b. 1948)
  • Jan 17 Allan Melvin, American character actor (Brady Bunch, All in Family), dies of cancer at 84
  • Jan 17 Rod Allen [Bainbridge] British pop-rock singer and bassist (Fortunes - "You've Got Your Troubles"; "Here It Comes Again"), dies of cancer at 63
  • Jan 18 Georgia Frontiere, American businesswoman and co-owner of the St. Louis Rams, dies at 80
  • Jan 18 Frank Lewin, German-American composer and music theorist (Yale, 1971-92), dies at 82
  • Jan 18 John Stroger, first African-American Cook County Board President (b. 1929)
  • Jan 19 Suzanne Pleshette, American actress (b. 1937)
  • Jan 19 John Stewart, American pop-folk singer, guitsrist, banjo player (Kingston Trio, 1961-67), and songwriter ("Daydream Believer"), dies of a stroke at 68
  • Jan 19 Don Wittman, Canadian sportscaster for CBC (b. 1936)
  • Jan 20 Tālivaldis Ķeniņš, Latvian-Canadian composer, organist, and pedagogue, dies at 88
  • Jan 21 Pam Barrett, Canadian politician (b. 1953)
  • Jan 21 Marie Smith Jones, last native speaker of the Eyak language (b. 1918)
  • Jan 22 Roberto Gari, American actor (b. 1920)

Heath Ledger

Jan 22 Heath Ledger, Australian-American Actor (Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight), dies of a drug overdose at 28

  • Jan 22 Miles Lerman, Polish-American activist (b. 1920)
  • Jan 22 Ștefan Niculescu, Romanian composer, dies at 80
  • Jan 24 Randy Salerno, co-anchor of Chicago's CBS 2 News (b. 1963)
  • Jan 24 J. Robert Hooper, American politician, dies at 71
  • Jan 25 Christopher Allport, American actor (To Live and Die in L.A.), dies at 60
  • Jan 25 Evelyn Barbirolli, English musician (b. 1911)
  • Jan 26 Christian Brando, American actor and son of Marlon Brando, dies of pneumonia at 49
  • Jan 26 Viktor Schreckengost, American industrial designer, dies at 101
  • Jan 27 Gordon B. Hinckley, American religious leader, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1995-2008), dies at 97

Suharto

Jan 27 Suharto, 2nd President of Indonesia (1967-98), dies at 86

  • Jan 27 Louie Welch, mayor of Houston (b. 1918)
  • Jan 28 Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece (b. 1939)
  • Jan 28 Bengt Lindström, Swedish artist, dies at 82
  • Jan 29 Raymond Jacobs, American soldier (b. 1925)
  • Jan 29 Philippe Khorsand, French actor (b. 1948)
  • Jan 29 Margaret Truman, American presidential daughter, singer and writer (Murder at FBI), dies at 83
  • Jan 30 Jeremy Beadle, British television host (Beadle's About), dies of pneumonia at 59
  • Jan 30 Roland Selmeczi, Hungarian actor (b. 1969)
  • Jan 30 Marcial Maciel, Mexican religious leader (b. 1920)
  • Jan 31 Zeltim Odie Peterson, famous pug (b. 1997)